Matt Smith sheering a sheep as a crowd watches

Shearers can pick up advice from world shearing champion and 2017 Farmers Weekly Awards Sheep Farmer of the Year Matt Smith at a series of free-to-attend shearing workshops starting later this month.

The seven workshops will kick off on 24 April in Holsworthy, Devon, and will continue into early May at locations throughout the UK.

See also: Cornwall sheep farmer Matt Smith smashes shearing world record

They have been designed to provide practical tips to young shearers as well as semi-professional and professional contract shearers and sheep farmers.

Each event is being delivered by Selwyn Williams, former professional shearer who now works as Heiniger’s research and development manager.

New Zealander Mr Smith, who smashed the nine-hour strongwool ewe world shearing record in 2016 will be taking part in the Holsworthy, Lostwithiel and Tavistock events, which are close to the 121ha deer and sheep farm he runs in Launceston with wife Pippa.

The events will offer delegates the chance to:

  • Improve their shearing knowledge
  • Gain advice on selecting the right equipment
  • Learn how to set up their plant correctly
  • Glean tips on clipper and blade maintenance
  • Learn how to grind and sharpen combs and cutters for optimum performance and lifespan
  • Get specific advice in a Q&A session

As well as live demonstrations at selected events, Mr Smith will talk about the importance of health, nutrition and fitness, which can be overlooked but are key to a successful shearing career.

The events are being hosted by clipping and shearing equipment manufacturers Heiniger and their official UK distributor Cox and Ritchey (part of the Allflex Group).

Ian Chapman, marketing executive for Allflex UK Group, said:  “The sole aim of these workshops is to help improve a shearers’ knowledge, thus making the shearing season more efficient, more productive, more profitable and safer for novice and experienced shearers and farmers.”

Refreshments will be available at each workshop, but places are limited. To reserve your place please contact the relevant host (see below for locations and contact details).  

Event locations, times and contact details 

Venue

Date

Time

Contact/host

Harper Farm Supplies, Waldon Way, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 6ER

24 April

6pm

Dan Miles – 07976 627 014

Tanner Trading by permission of Talling and Palmer at Tregenna Farm, Lostwithiel, Cornwall PL22 0NT

25 April

6pm

Sam Tanner – 01579 321 703

George Mudge and Co, Meadowside, Collaton, Tavistock, Devon PL19 9JT

26 April

6pm

Andrew Mudge – 01822 615 456

Wales YFC Centre, Ty Nant Farm, Tal Y Bont SY24 5DN

30 April

6pm

Elin Williams – 01982 553 502

Llysfasi College, Llanfair DC, Ruthin, Denbighshire LL15 2LB

1 May

1pm

Dafydd Jones – 01978 267 976

Carrs Billington, Hopes Auction, Syke Road, Wigton, CA7 9NS

3 May

7.30pm

Amy Bell – 01697 345 874

Highway Shearing, Unthank Hall, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 9TG

4 May

1pm

Dave Gillett – 01768 899 659