Coronavirus: UK-hosted Golden Shears postponed to 2023

Scotland will host the event at the Royal Highland Centre a year later than planned
Scotland will host the event at the Royal Highland Centre a year later than planned

The world's most prestigious sheep shearing event that would have taken place in 2022 has been postponed until 2023 due to the pandemic.

The Golden Shears competition was due to be held at the Royal Highland Show 2022, but is now delayed to 2023, organisers said.

The event, founded in New Zealand in 1961, features competitors from over 30 countries, including the United Kingdom.

Scotland would have hosted the 2022 event at the Royal Highland Centre.

The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) and the Golden Shears World Shearing Council Executive issued a joint statement.

The decision was taken in order to 'protect the integrity' of the competition amid the uncertainty relating to staging of events in 2021, they said.

RHASS Chairman Bill Gray said: “Although we are disappointed to reschedule, we know it is a necessary step to ensure we can host a successful Golden Shears event.

"Postponement to 2023 will allow us time beyond current Covid-19 restrictions to build towards our shared goal of an inclusive and memorable World Shearing & Wool Handling Championship.

"Meanwhile, as we plan for the 2021 Royal Highland Show, we remain committed that shearing will feature in the show line up.”

George Graham, chairman of World Shearing Council, added that the event must take place 'as safely as possible'.

"After much consultation with RHASS it was decided that the decision to postpone was the best step towards planning a successful Golden Shears championships.

"With extra time to prepare, we can ensure that all qualifying events and the championships can take place as safely as possible.”