SHEARERS from all across the globe have flocked to Invercargill, at the tip of New Zealand’s South Island, for the World Shearing Championships being held this week. 
As well as seasonal shearers hoping to round off a trip to the southern hemisphere with some good results in one of the biggest shearing competitions there is, the championships also welcome several national teams and Scotland is no different, with six shearers and woolhandlers representing the country. 
Taking to the stage for the team machine shearing will be Gavin Mutch and Hamish Mitchell, two of Scotland’s top shearers which have each won open finals at the Royal Highland Show and Lochearnhead Shears, as well as team titles between them, while Mark Armstrong and Wilson Wyllie will compete in the blade, or hand, shearing competition, and Kirsty Donald and Audrey Lamb will put their skills to the test in the wool handling event. 
As The Scottish Farmer went to press on Wednesday, reports indicated that New Zealand man, Johnny Kirkpatrick – who is entering his fourth world championship and already has two world team titles to his name – is a narrow favourite for the open final with fellow Kiwi, Nathan Stratford, a close second. 
Gavin Mutch is also expected to be a podium finisher, as the Taranaki-based Scot hopes to build on his win here in 2012 and Golden Shears title in 2015. Other favourites for the open final include Hamish Mitchell, Irish world record-holder Ivan Scott, two Australians in the shape of Shannon Warnest and Jason Wingfield, as well as Northern Ireland duo, Ivan Montgomery and Jack Robinson. 
Live coverage of the events, as well as all the results of the heats through to quarter and semi-finals, can be found on the website at