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    SUCCESS: Brandon Bone watches his brother Josh Bone at Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show.

AgLife: Trio prepares for national shearing stage

By Abby Walter

Three Wimmera shearers are gearing up to compete at a national level after their success at the Victorian State Shearing and Wool Handling Championships at Bendigo.

Nhill’s Josh and Brandon Bone won the open and senior state titles, respectively, earlier this month.

Down the road at Kaniva, Dalton Austin is proud to have finished runner-up in the intermediate state titles.

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Josh said after his success at state level, it would be a ‘dream come true’ to succeed at a national level.

“I will never forget when I first picked up a handpiece at 13 years old and the trainer asked why I wanted to shear – I said I wanted to be the best in Australia,” he said.

“I’ll go to nationals at Bendigo in October and I would love to make finals there against some of the world’s best. 

“It would be a dream come true to finish in the top-three and make the world team.”

Josh shore 12 sheep within about 19 minutes to come away with the open win. 

It came after he claimed the Northern Shears Shearing and Wool Handling Competition the day prior.

Josh said he gave up shearing full- time six months ago and was working on a farm.

“I’ve been in and out of trucks, mostly, and only doing a day here and there to help out — so I’ve been shearing five days in the past six months,” he said.

“I wasn’t going to go to Bendigo initially, but then decided to go and support my sister and brother. 

“My best mate said I should throw in my shearing gear if I was going to be there.

“There was training on Friday, and I went and played golf instead because I had no plans to shear.

“Then come Saturday, I decided to jump in and qualified in top spot for the semi-finals and also the final.”

Josh said that was the moment he decided it was time to believe he could go all the way to the state finals.

“My sister, Kirsty, works in wool handling and her passion and belief in me is so special and inspires me to get up there and go for it,” he said.

“I’m over the moon. I think I was more nervous for the presentations than the shearing, but I had a great time.

“It meant so much to watch my brother Brandon win in the senior category, too. 

“I have been humbled and very appreciative of the overwhelming love and support from the people in the town and further afield.”

Dalton placed first in intermediate and third in senior sections at the Northern Shears Shearing and Wool Handling Competition before finishing second in the state titles.

“I’ll head to nationals at the end of October, which should be a good challenge,” he said.

“This was my first competition. I have been shearing for just over three years and I really enjoy it.

“I went a lot better than I expected and there was less than half a point difference between first and second place, so while that was disappointing, I was pretty happy to finish in the top-two.”

Dalton is working in a shearing shed almost year-round and also helps on the family farm.

“I didn’t do a lot of training leading up to the competition. I was just trying to shear as clean as I could,” he said.

“Before I head to nationals, I will do some training, but I am keen for the next competition and to keep getting better to work up to be in the open competition in the next couple of years.”

The entire July 27, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire July 27, 2022 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!