Weird News: Sheep shearers flock to world championship in France - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Weird NewsSheep shearers flock to world championship in France

13:45  05 july  2019
13:45  05 july  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Sheep shearing experts flocked to a small town in the French countryside on Thursday for the opening of the annual world championship , a four-day event held for the first time on French soil.

BORDEAUX, FRANCE - Sheep shearing experts flocked to a small town in the French countryside on Thursday for the opening of the annual world championship , a four-day event held for the first time on French soil. More than 320 competitors from 34 countries as far apart as Norway

Sheep shearers flock to world championship in France © MEHDI FEDOUACH American Amelia Seifert is one of only two women competing in the world sheep shearing competition

Sheep shearing experts flocked to a small town in the French countryside on Thursday for the opening of the annual world championship, a four-day event held for the first time on French soil.

More than 320 competitors from 34 countries as far apart as Norway, Japan and the Cook Islands, are battling it out to win titles in woolhandling, machine shearing and "blade" shearing, a traditional method using scissors.

Sheep shearers flock to world championship in France © MEHDI FEDOUACH The quality of the fleece is of paramount importance, judges checking for marks, uncut fleece and uneven shearing

And the 5,000 sheep on site will no doubt appreciate a hair cut, with temperatures expected to peak at 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit) over the coming days in Le Dorat, a town in central France.

Can you find the penguin among the flock of toucans in this viral brainteaser?

Can you find the penguin among the flock of toucans in this viral brainteaser? Can you spot the penguin?

The easiest way to complete this quest is to buy 20 balls of wool at the Grand Exchange, or from other players, and then just give them to Fred the Farmer. The general store in Ardougne sells balls of wool. Head to Fred the Farmer and talk to him. Tell him you're looking for a quest.

Sheep shearing is the process by which the woollen fleece of a sheep is cut off. The person who removes the sheep 's wool is called a shearer . Typically each adult sheep is shorn once each year (a sheep may be said to have been "shorn" or "sheared", depending upon dialect).

It is the first time the international competition sets foot -- and hoof -- on French soil, although the town, which is home to 1,800 people, has previously hosted the French sheep shearing championships in 2013 as well as the Six Nations tournament the same year.

Sheep shearers flock to world championship in France © Oli SCARFF Meanwhile, in northern England, Britain's Boris Johnson, who is running for premier, was hard at work shearing a sheep on a farm in Yorkshire

Last year, it also welcomed a 24-hour sheep shearing marathon, with six shearers clipping around 2,500 sheep, producing six tonnes of fleece.

"The world championship, it's so fantastic, so spectacular, we want to share it with the French people," said Christophe Riffaud, president of the Association for the World Sheep Shearing Championship (AMTM) who has competed in Northern Ireland and the Netherlands."

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'I think sheep shearing is the greatest sport in the world - they should introduce it at the Olympic Games. They are far better athletes than the footballers Top professional shearers travel all over the world for their work and earn about pounds 40,000 a year. England team member Alan Derryman, 36

The South African Sheep Shearing Federation is the only controlling body of shearing and wool handling sport in the Republic of South Africa. The SASSF is funded by donations and sponsorships. Our membership is free and all trained shearers and wool handlers can enter our championships .

"I like the physical aspect of the job," said Canadian Pauline Bolay, one of only two women among the 323 participants.

- Endurance, speed, flexibility -

Sheep are typically shorn at least once a year to avoid sickness caused by ticks, flies and other insects in their wool.

Endurance, speed and flexibility -- particularly in the back -- are considered key skills for this iconic rural activity, with professional shearers typically paid per animal.

Competitors in Sunday's machine-shearing final will be tasked with shaving 20 lambs in under 16 minutes.

Quality is the most important aspect, making up around 60 percent of the final grade.

Judges "check for marks, uncut fleece and uneven levels of shearing," the AMTM said on its website.

New Zealand is the favourite to win the world title, after celebrating home-turf victories in the machine shearing and woolhandling categories in 2017. South Africa picked up first prize for blade shearing.

Apart from cherrypicking the best of the best, the event aims to educate the public about how wool goes from sheep to jumper.

"Ninety percent of French wool gets sent to China to be washed and processed," Riffaud said. "There's not much demand for French wool because of its structure, but we want to promote it as a quality natural product".

The seven-hectare (17-acre) site is also displaying around 100 exhibits made from wool, including a wedding dress and jeans, in a bid to promote the fruits of the French countryside.

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