A team of four eager farmers are demonstrating that shearing is caring, as they gear up to hit the handpieces for 24 hours of shearing within a 36-hour period to raise money for charities that have supported the region during tough times.
Dan Billing, Mark Buick, Will Billing, and Nick Balfour – who all have strong ties to Wairarapa – will be showing their shear determination by participating in ‘Shear4U’, which is set to take place at the Spring Valley Enterprises Woolshed on January 13 next year.
All money raised will be donated to Wairarapa Rural Support Trust, Gumboot Friday, and Farmstrong – all of which are significant to those competing in the 24-hour shearathon.
“The theme of this event is how everyday people go through tough times – times that make us feel insignificant and want to give up as the hurt and pain that we can go through is hard to manage and see past,” Shear4U event organiser and participant Dan Billing said.
“But with the help and support of those around us, we stand tall and endure the hardship to come through the other side. The comparison of recent hardships to the shearers completing this event is the same.”
Billing told the Times-Age that he decided to bring back Shear4U for a second time after this year’s event – held at Pukemiro Station, near Dannevirke – attracted so much support.
“The shearers shore more sheep than planned, we raised more money than expected, and the community support was something that can’t be described easily,” Billing said.
While this year’s event goal was to shear 6000 sheep over 24 hours, Isaac Scott, Adam Roe, Vaughan Wrenn, and Billing’s final tally sat at 6654, and the $128,000 raised at this year’s event was evenly split between the Breast Cancer Foundation, Rural Support Trust, and men’s mental health charity #Hear4U.
“My partner Sarah and I have been working on and really applying ourselves to this since then,” Billing said.
“The decision to hold the event here in Wairarapa was easy given the events that have happened over the past nine months, the stress it has caused, and how it has affected the community.”
As far as preparation goes, all four farmers have been training since August, as Billing believes their “mind and body need to be so fit and strong to get them through”.
“Leading up to this event, the excitement is starting to build, but so are the nerves,” he said.
If your business is interested in sponsoring ‘Shear4U’, contact [email protected].
Donations can also be made via Shear4U’s Givealittle page at givealittle.co.nz/cause/shear4u-wairarapa-2024