A Maniototo merino stud is hosting the National Shearing Circuit finals on Saturday, saving the day and saving a flock a trip to the North Island. A dozen shearers have qualified for the semi-final to be held in the woolshed on the more than 2000ha Armidale farm in Gimmerburn. The final six shearers will compete for the McSkimming Memorial Trophy and a raft of prizes. Farmer Allan Paterson, says the when the iconic Golden Shears in Masterton was cancelled this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, he offered to host the competition in his woolshed. Competitors will shear six each of merino wethers, Corriedale ewes, crossbred ewes and crossbred lambs. He says “the shearing industry is a very important part of what we do” and Armidale farm has been sending the merino wethers required for the competition to the North Island for 15 years. The woolshed that had a recent $500,000 facelift and Armidale owner Simon Paterson says the crowd will be fewer than 100, to meet the Red traffic light restrictions.