A word from the President

For the first time since it began 42 years ago, the World Sheep Shearing Championships is coming to France in 2019. After two years of reflection, the team that organised the French Shears and the 6 Nations tournament in 2013, felt motivated and ready to take on the challenge. Subsequently, a group made up of ATM (French sheep shearers association) members, but not exclusively, created the AMTM (Association pour le Mondial de Tonte de Moutons) on the 8th of December 2015 with its headquarters located in Le Dorat. The ambitions were plural: To spotlight France, to talk about our territory, our agriculture, our craftsmanship… And to achieve all that through a profession, indispensable for the animal’s comfort. A profession, but also a sport, still little-known by the French people.
In 2017, France’s candidature was validated at Invercargill, in New-Zeeland.
Strong with the tremendous work achieved by all the volunteers involved by our side, and by the support of all the sponsors mobilized, this event will be, without a doubt, a success.
Christophe RIFFAUD, President of the AMTM – professional sheep shearer and competitor.

 Some figures…

34 countries
5 continents
A site of 7 hectares
5.000  sheep for the competitions
76  partners, private and public
50.000  visitors attendus
250 000  ewe lambs
500 volunteers
A population de 1800 in Le Dorat
and over 300 competitors

The Association for the World Sheep Shearing Championship

Everything began for the village of Le Dorat, and for Christophe Riffaud and his team in 2013, when the French Championships and the 6 nations tournament were held in the village. Motivated by the success of this two-day event, with 150 competitors, 60 partner organisations, and 1800 sheep, the group of volunteers decided to take on a crazy challenge: to organize the World Sheep Shearing Championships in 2019, in Le Dorat.
In December 2015, and after two years of reflection, the AMTM was created (World Sheep Shearing Championships Association). Its membership consisted of people from all professional horizons and all regions of France. From that point on time was short. There was only one year to prepare a strong bid, including all the technical, financial, and logistical elements.
These Championships meant 5000 sheep to locate, 300 sheep shearers and companions to accommodate, 30 000 persons to welcome and feed. In a country where sheep shearing is not well known, and even less as a sport, the team had an enormous task ahead.
During this time every opportunity to communicate about sheep shearing and the project was seized. The International Agricultural Salon, in Paris, in February 2016 was the starting point, followed by all the major national agricultural events, but also more local events, whether they were on a regional, district or village scale. The whole public needed to be informed, both to understand what sheep shearing is about but also the aims of the project. Because this was the strategy: use word-of-mouth to pass on the information, and get people talking about the AMTM via all possible channels and networks. Through this strategic work, the project was able to expand and attract financial partners, both public and private, which was the second major challenge.

To become shearer

In response to the needs of professionals, and individual farmers, shearing training courses were put in place several years ago and are aimed at different audiences and different levels: from initiation and beginners’ courses to advanced courses and additional training in woolhandling and blade shearing.
The ATM courses are aimed at people who want to shear their own sheep, as well as those who want to become professional shearers. The initiation courses are a good base for farmers and shepherds who would like to know more about the tools of the shearing trade, and how and when to use them for the benefit of their sheep.
The beginner’s shearing course is then aimed individuals who wish to become professional shearers and teaches the New Zealand method. This method has been shown to be the most effective for the tools used and for the collection of the wool in view of it being transformed.  The shearer should subsequently be able to shear a ewe in complete autonomy.  A three-day course is naturally only a start, and it is recommended that beginners join a team of experienced shearers in order to hone their new skills. Advanced courses are available to perfect the skills and rhythm needed to be a fast shearer whilst at the same time being aware of the needs and well-being of the sheep. They also allow for the correction of wrong techniques before they become bad habits.  For the more experienced shearers there are super-advanced courses where the rhytmn and flow of the movements are worked on to improve in speed whilst still respecting the animal and paying attention to the quality of the wool that is collected.
Blade shearing courses are also organised for shearers who wish to master the use of the traditional shearing tools.


There are about 200 professional shearers in France within the Association for Sheep Shearers – ATM – which is the only independent organization that represents these professionals. It has three main areas of activity:

– Training courses for aspiring shearers by shearing instructors,
– The organisation of national and international competitions,
– The publication of a professional magazine “Deshabillez-moi”

You don’t need to have phenomenal strength to be a shearer, but you do need stamina, suppleness in the back and all the joints, and good social skills. The most widely practiced technique, recommended by the ATM, is the Bowen or New Zealand method and the ATM has produced a booklet aimed at students on their beginners’ courses. This method combines an efficient way to work with all ovine races with respect for the animal and a relaxed shearer (minimizing the level of fatigue). It also facilitates the collection and sorting of the fleeces.

A Real Sport !

Professional and competitive sheep-shearing involves true sporting ability. For the World Championships, the members of the French team train several times per week depending on their availability and access to work. Speed counts for around 40% of the total score. Preparatory training for a shearing competition involves bursts of energy, so cardio work, running, for some playing football, and doing split training. The most important work is done on the day of the shearing. There, the shearers work on endurance. Finally, a lot of work is done on mental preparation and competitors use meditation or yoga, as these activities improve concentration. This aspect is very import in competition where it is necessary for the competitor to zone out and ignore what is going on around them so that they can concentrate solely on their movements and on the animal.
Core body training and muscle strengthening are essential. It is necessary to work on the deep muscles, the back muscles which are used a lot, but also on the arms and the legs, which are used even more in controlling the animal. Stretching is vital because the body is bent over and somewhat twisted. One also has to be supple and this suppleness is acquired over years of shearing.
Another major element is that a sheep weighs between 60 and 70 Kg, and during a day of shearing, a competitor can shear about 350 sheep, perhaps more.  This interaction with a live animal requires that the shearer is able to hold and manipulate the animal and anticipate the creature’s movements. The shearer needs to know how to hold the animal without injuring or traumatizing it, whilst at the same time allowing the shearing to happen as fast as possible without reducing the quality of the shear which must adhere to the rules of the competition.
The principal difference between blade shearing and machine shearing is in the much greater use of the forearm muscles that hold the shears. Blade shearing is a little less explosive in the movements but requires more concentration because the shears are very sharp.
Another argument to demonstrate that shearing is a sport (if it were needed) is that the MSA (Agricultural Insurers Association) will, during the Championships, be presenting a study which has been looking into the musculoskeletal problems linked to this intense physical activity.  Therefore, physiotherapists will be on site during the Championships to mitigate the risks of injury as well as a sophrologist (a practitioner of relaxation techniques based on yoga).
This training, which is vital for competition has also another objective; competing against other teams improves the French national skill level as well as improving the individual shearer’s skills and raising awareness of the sport in the Hexagon.  For their part, New Zealand has included study of this sport in their university sporting curricula. Despite the absence of coaching or a structured training programme, and a lack of time and money, some French shearers have greatly improved their skill levels.
It was therefore vital that French shearers compete against overseas shearers, honing their skills along the way.  Improving methods and practices has led to a better recognition of the profession and has helped change techniques used in a particularly difficult job.  Knowing how to hold and animal without injuring or traumatizing it can be physically uncomfortable for the shearer..

Shearing is necessary for the well-being of the sheep

Wool is a fibre that grows continuously, and an un-managed fleece becomes a damp and matted environment where mould can grow and all manner of insects and parasites can and do live. Wool provides excellent insulation, so sheep can also get heat-stroke in hot weather, as they are unable to sweat: shearing is therefore vital for the health of the sheep.

Shearing does not harm sheep

The method used by professional shearers allows the animal to literally relax and let go as it has no footing to be able to lift itself up. It is not hindered in any way and can move freely. No physical force is applied to keep the animal in place while it is being shorn. Sheep are shorn before they are fed, as the position they lie in would otherwise cause discomfort. Cuts are rare, and mostly superficial, and are treated immediately. Shearing is best done when the sheep are dry, there is not much wind, and the temperature is above 10C. Shearing gives man a wonderful natural product, but it is also vital for the well-being and good health of the sheep. It is for this reason that an apprentice learns to put comfort of the sheep first during training out of respect for the animal.
We will now talk about how “handling” is taught to beginners. How to handle and move the sheep into different positions during shearing, due to the constraints of the machine, is a major part of the training of a shearer. As one hand is holding the machine and the other is moving across the animal’s skin to allow the machine to pass easily, this leaves the knees and feet to move the animal into different positions. Before an apprentice even touches the shearing machine, their instructor will make them practice many times this sequence of movements and the different positions with a ewe between their legs. Sheep handling has to come before sheep shearing.

Demonstrating the value of French wool

Sheep’s wool has, for a long time, been used as an everyday material thanks to the diversity of its products: clothing, mattress making, bedding, interior décor including mats, carpets, sheets, fabrics, objects… It used to be a complementary source of income for the farmers, but then it was taken over by the textile industry and abandoned after the Second World war due to the development of synthetic fibres. On the French market, 100% French wool (collected, washed, and processed entirely in France) has become a rare product. In 2013, more than 8 000 tonnes among the 15 000 tonnes produced were exported, including 5 400 tonnes to Asia (FAO Stat, 2013), to be partly imported back into France after being washed and processed. Of the remaining 7 000 tonnes, some wool was transformed in France and the rest was disposed of after shearing. Wool has become a burden for farmers, its market value rarely covering the shearing costs. Moreover, sheep selection for meat or milk production, has gradually become disassociated from the characteristics of the wool, leading to a deterioration in wool quality. Nevertheless, an opportunity for the development of the wool industry exists in the current consumer trends which favour natural materials and « made in France » products. For several years now private and public initiatives of wool recovery have been emerging at local and regional levels and have managed to reconquer some of the market. The interests of artisans and industry have converged, leading to them to use the same networks for wool transformation for productions in France. Furthermore, France benefits from its huge diversity of sheep breeds (about sixty). This diversity, which is a handicap for the industrial sector, is an attraction for processors and consumers who are interested in unique products, with their own local characteristics and a guaranteed origin. In the large nursing basin, most of the ewes originate from crosses between the Rouge de l’Ouest / Vendéen and Charolaise breeds in the Poitou-Charentes region, and Suffolk or Texel / Charolaise or even Suffolk / Texel in the Limousin region. The Charmois is used in the two regions for rutting the hoggets. Traditional breeding is mostly conducted in the semi-outdoors with two lambing seasons. The 2019 World Championships will be an opportunity to present the diversity of the French breeds, their wool, and the uniqueness of the products that are created as a result. The goal is therefore to highlight the link between the freshly shorn wool and the transformed wool, and demonstrate the potential of this important underused by-product of sheep breeding.

The tradition of sheep rearing in France

On a world-wide scale, France may not have the largest national flock, but it does have a strong tradition of sheep farming.
Originally orientated towards wool, leather and meat production, these largely family-run farms have diversified and turned more towards the production of quality meat products with the wool becoming an undervalued by-product. Therein lies the importance of France’s bid to host the World Sheep Shearing Championship. Sheep rearing in France is not for wool or leather, but above all for meat and cheese. Quality production using the AOP and IGP systems of quality control guarantee the geographical origin and quality of meat and cheese: local and identifiable producers are becoming a more and more important selling point for the consumers.
French gastronomy is based on local, identifiable produce, for example the Baronet lamb which is produced in the area around Le Dorat. Discovering a different food culture is another of the unique selling points that helped the AMTM win the bid to host the Championship.

Main sheep rearing regions in FranceNouvelle Aquitaine, Occitanie, PACA,  AUVERGNE-Rhône-alpes et Grand-Est

The National Flock

There are seven million sheep in France, one million of which are used for milk production. The Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Occitanie have 4 million of the 7 million. Le Dorat is in the north-east of Nouvelle-Aquitaine in the Haute-Vienne department (87), a very rural, agricultural area: 60% of the land is farmed, 80% of that is pasture and a significant contributor to the environmental richness of the Haute-Vienne. Beef cattle and sheep are the main animals reared.
The Haute-Vienne is the department with the largest number of nursing ewes (250 000), and the area around Le Dorat is especially important for the rearing of spring lamb around the month of March. The shearing seasons is spread over the period of late spring and early summer except for the ewes lambing in the off-season when shearing happens before lambing. The summer is therefore dedicated to the shearing of hoggets and lambs from the beginning of July, the period in which the 2019 World Championships will be taking place, so sourcing the sheep for the competitions should not pose a problem.
If we take into account the 250 000 ewes in the Haute-Vienne, together with 60 000 in the bordering departments (Vienne, Charente, Indre, Creuse), there are no less than 300 000 ewes to be found in a radius of up to one hour around Le Dorat. The competition programme requires 5000 hoggets, lambs and ewes and these animals will be found in a 30-minute radius of the site.

The world championship

In 1958 a group of young sheep farmers had the idea of organizing a sheep shearing competition. The shearers from the Land of the Long White Cloud came to compete with speed and skill. Thanks to the success of the competition and the enthusiasm of the public, Laurie Keats, Lain Douglas and Graham Buckley organized the first Golden Shears event in the Memorial Stadium, Masterston in 1961.
The crowds flocked to watch the competition which was broadcast on television and which featured the biggest names in shearing. As a result, international contests between NZ and Australia were arranged.
Major sponsors arrived, attracted by the extent of the media coverage, and the first World Championships took place in 1977. The Golden Shears World Council, created in 1980 by New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain, set the rules and ensured their enforcement.
The World Championships has taken place every two years since then. French Shearers, under the ATM banner, compete at these championship events which are held mainly in the Southern hemisphere.
As yet, although they have been close, no French competitor has ever reached the final round of the World Championships. However, the standard of French competitors has greatly improved as a result of work exchanges abroad and participation in competitions there. Here in France, in addition to the French championships, the ATM organises competitions each year throughout the country to raise the standard and profile of the sport and the profession.
In the World Championship, however, the best shearers and woolhandlers in the country are selected to compete in their national team in the following event categories :

> Machine shearing – electric shears are used in the competition
> Blade shearing  – blades is the name given to the shearing scissors
> Woolhandling.

The competitions

The All Nations is an international competition. Competitors from some 30 countries compete as individuals, in the following event categories:

> Machine shearing  

  • Junior : In France, this applies to beginners who are only in their first year of shearing.
  • Intermediate : amateur or occasional shearers and beginners whose average dally tally does not exceed 100 merinos (dense wool, fine skin requiring delicate shearing), 150 open wool breed of sheep (less dense wool, Texel Suffolk, Vendee) or 250 lacaunes with very open wool with little on the stomach and neck area (Limousine, Caussenardes du Lot).
  • Senior : experienced shearers with an average daily tally of up to 150 merinos, 250 open wool breed of sheep or 400 lacaunes.
  • Open : experienced professional shearers of a high international standard whose average daily tally exceeds the Senior class scores.

> Women’s Machine Shearing
> Woolhandling  (senior and open levels)
> Blade Shearing

 *Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Cook Islands, Czech Republic, England, Estonia, Falkland Isles, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Scotland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United States, Wales.

French Championship
The French Championship or French Shears, which completes the national circuit of competitions in France. The best French competitors in the All Nations heats will go through to the following rounds :

> Semi-finals and finals of the Open Machine event
> Finals of the Blade shearing event
> Finals of the Woolhandling event

To mark the start of the World Championship week, a Speed Shear event is being organised, which is a competition where the shearer has to shear on lamb as fast as possible, to music. For this first French version of the event, the location chosen is the Champ de Juillet in Limoges. Open machine shearers from 34 countries are expected.

Test Matches :
France v Wales
France v Spain

Rather like a rugby test match, during Shearing Championships there are often meetings, matches and competitions between two countries (Spain, England, Ireland…). A home match takes place in France, and then there is a return away match in another country, or the reverse.

How the competition is run

Each competition event in the World Championship starts with the qualifying rounds or heats (3 in the Machine shearing event, and 2 in the blade shearing and the woolhandling), then competitors proceed to the semi-finals and final.
The All Nations event also includes heats, but only one round, and depending on the event category (see page 8), then there are semi-finals and finals for each event.
The French championship will have semi-finals and a final for the Open machine event and finals for the Blade shearing and Woolhandling events.
The shearers and woolhandlers compete in the order that is selected by a software algorithme. The judges may intervene to stop a competitor who is too slow and not able to complete their round in the maximum time allowed.
Competitors must perform with their own handpieces, combs, cutters and blades.
No additional time is allowed for the malfunction of equipment, or if a competitor has allowed an animal to escape on the shearing podium.
Without assistance, each shearer must be able to  :

– Start and stop their machine
– Collect their sheep from a standing position within the catching pen
– Put each sheep out the porthole after shearing
– Switch off their handpiece between sheep.

According to the event category and how far the competitor manages to go in the competition, he or she does not have the same number of sheep to shear. In the same way the woolhandler will not have the same number of sheep assigned to them.

Machine shearing
> Qualifying rounds : Round 1 : 5 lambs –  Round 2 : 5 ewes –  Round 3 : hoggets
Between 4 and a 6 minutes per round depending on the animals and speed of the shearer.
> Semi-finals : 10 sheep ( 5 ewes et 5 lambs)
Between 8 to 10 minutes
> Final : 20 lambs ( 10 ewes et 10 lambs)
Between 12 to 16 minutes

> Qualifying rounds : Round 1 : 3 ewes – Round 2 : 3 ewes
> Semi-finals : 4 ewes
> Final : 6 ewes

> Qualifying rounds : Round 1 : 3 ewes – Round 2 : 3 ewes
> Semi-finals : 5 ewes
> Final : 7 ewes


To give a score to a competitor, three factors are taken in to consideration. We will demonstrate this with an example.

 > TIME 
Speed counts for around 40% of the final score.
Shearing a sheep quickly minimises the stress of the animal, which is the most important factor. While shearing, a competitor is penalised three points for every minute of shearing (or 1 point per 20 seconds), so for example 8 sheep in 8minutes costs 24 time points.
Then 2 criteria count for the remaining 60% of the score.

> Quality of shorn fleece
For each bit of fleece that the shearer has to go back over (a second cut), marks are deducted according to the quality  of the wool cut twice. So if our shearer has to concede 12 points for 8 sheep shorn, the 12 is divided by 8 to give an average of 1,5 points which is then added to the time penalties. By now, our shearer has lost 25.5 points (24 + 1.5).

> Quality of final work, including respect of the animal
Behind the podium, judges evaluate the quality of the shear, seeing if there are any cuts or marks on the animal, uneven levels of shearing or uncut fleece. For our shearer, the judges have found wool on the neck (4 points), on the rump (3 points), a cut the size of a 10 cent piece (2 points) so 9 points for this sheep. For the 8 sheep, our shearer lost 56 points, which is divided by 8, for the number of sheep, to give 7 points, so overall, our shearer lost 24 + 1.5 + 7 points = 32.5 points. Good work, he should qualify for the next round!


Woolhandling is judged in two different areas. On the podium or board, the work of the competing woolhandlers is judged during the competition. Then, off the podium, after the competitors have sorted the wool, their rolled fleeces are presented to the judges. There are two types of wool for judging: the “full-wool” fleece (12-month wool) which is thrown onto and sorted (or blended) on a special slatted table, then rolled and placed into a container; and the lamb’s wool which is sorted on the ground. Each competitor works with 2 dedicated shearers who shear a certain number of ewes in shifts, depending on which round it is in the competition. During this time the competitor must sort and separate the different parts of the fleece and the oddments: the belly wool, tail and crutch wool, socks, locks, discoloured wool and the long wool (main part of the fleece). These are then put into different containers. For the full wool fleeces, competitors gain penalty points (during the throwing of the fleece onto the table) for any wool that falls to the floor and for parts that do not lie flat and fully exposed on the table.
Lambs’ fleeces have to be well-aired. Zero penalty points indicates a well-aired fleece and 35 penalty points means a badly-aired fleece. Once the last of the two shearers switches off their machine, the timer is started, therefore time plays an essential part in woolhandling.  The wool containers and bins are then examined to ensure that the wool has been correctly sorted; any mixing of wool, particularly in the main container containing the rolled fleece is penalized.


COACH : Alain BELLIARD – 60 years old
> 5 times French Champion

Lucie GRANCHER – 25 years, from the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04)
> Since 2015 : competed 4 times in the Six Nations tournament
> 2017: Winner of the Bellac (87) International Competition.
> 2017: competited in the World Championships in New Zealand.
> 2018: 4th place in the Senior event category it Gisborne show in New Zealand.
> 2018 : French Champion

Adèle LEMERCIER – 29 year old, Côtes d’Armor (22)
> Reached the semi-finals in the Junior and Senior event category in New Zealand competitions.
> 2017 : Reached the semi-final in the last All Nations competition and World Championship events in New Zealand.

Loïc LEYGONIE – 27 years, Lot (46)
> 2015 and 2017 : 2nd place in the French Championship.
> 2017 :14th place in the last World Championship in New Zealand.
> 2016 and 2018 : champion of France.

Thimoléon RESNEAU – 44 years old, Aude (11)
> 2004, 2005, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015 : 6 French championship titles.
> 5 times Shearer of the Year
> 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2017, 2019 : 6 selections to represent France in the World Championship
> 2012 : Semi-finalist (11th place) et finalist in the team event (6th place) at the World Championship.

Loïc JAUBERTHIE – 31 years old, Lot (46)
> 2016, 2017 et 2018 : French blade shearing champion

Reinhard POPPE – 33 years old, Lot-et-Garonne (47)
> 2018 : 2nd place in Blade shearing in the National circuit in France.

> Machine shearing judge

> Woolhandling judge


34 countries competing : Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cook Islands, Czech Republic, England, Estonia, Falkland Isles, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United States, Uruguay, Wales.


Events around the themes of agriculture and food

The World Championships is an ideal opportunity to an ideal opportunity to raise awareness amongst the general public about the whole of the agricultural industry, to discover the sheep industry and even more so to promote our regional products to international visitors.
Over a large site of 7 hectares there will be: A sponsors’ village, an exhibition village, an artisans’ village demonstrating different crafts and skills linked to agriculture, a producers’ village with regional products for sale, a showcase for wool displaying art objects and other products made from wool, a shearing exhibition showing the history, methods and materials used in France and the rest of the world…
There will be an exhibition of livestock, with different breeds of sheep, cattle, pigs and horses, and a mini-farm. There will be herding dog demonstrations and competitions with sheep, cows and geese, as well as demonstrations of safe shearing (location, physical techniques, manipulation of animals…), an exhibition of old and new agricultural equipment, demonstrations and competitions for logging and wood sculpture. Our goal is that each visitor will discover, or re-discover a rich rural and agricultural world.
Gourmets will also be spoiled with all the culinary knowledge of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region spread across various food and cookery skills demonstrations, including bread-making, from harvesting the wheat to making a loaf.

Cultural and Musical Events

The AMTM wanted to make this World Championships an exceptional festival for everyone.  Numerous musical events will take place across the four days of this festival. The musical bands Bagdad de Vannes, Les Insupportables, Diapason de Magnac-Laval, FreeStyle and Les Gueules sèches will provide a party atmosphere during the day and the groups Aloha, Press Play, Les Spams, Powerage, Roger Brillantine, Booze Brothers, and Curtis Simmons will light up the evenings of this World Championships.
Children haven’t been forgotten either, with an organised treasure hunt on site and various events and demonstrations in the Wool village (such as spinning and felting).

A memory to take away with you

The closing ceremony on Sunday will be undertaken by the Fresque historique de Bridiers, a magnificent show with numerous participants, special effects, music, costumes, scenery…No details will be leaked before the 7th July and the secret will be well guarded!  “The promise renewed…et delivered!…of an unforgettable journey through time”


The BOOZE BROTHERS made their debut in 1999, on the eve of a new millennium. The band brings together both artists playing traditional Irish music and members of punk rock bands from Toulouse and the Pyrenees. Out of this improbable mix of origins as well as diverse and varied musical influences, the BOOZE BROTHERS’ unique and universal style was born: 90’s punk rock mixed with Celtic sauce! The violins, Bodhran, accordions and other flutes mix with electric guitars and supersonic rhythms creating a super energetic, playful and tribal music. The lyrics, in French, English or Occitan, are meaningful, and carry strong comitted messages. From their first concerts in Irish pubs to the many venues of rock and folk festivals, the BOOZE BROTHERS travel all over Europe to deliver their Celtic rock to the ever-growing number of fans, ages 7 to 69 years old. Whether in squats or on more prestigious venues alongside Gogol Bordello, Exploited or Millencolin, the pleasure of performing and especially sharing experiences with their audience remains intact.

In the spring of 2004, following various musical adventures, Kris, Lolo, Nico, Steve and Tof decided to start a band that is still today, and on “the eve of the end of the world”,  the SPAMS. This is mostly a family affair, it’s up to you to find the family traits! Lolo and Nico, at the rhythmic base, behind Tof as seasoned chief and occasionally on the guitar, Kris with his many instruments – especially the violin and the guitar – and finally Steve as mad lead singer. The band’s chosen style was always self- evident. The 5 pranksters having opted for total eclectism, play live with great chemistry, each concert bringing its dose of fits of laughter and wacky solos. With many concerts throughout France and occasional international events, the SPAMS family invites you to join it without delay to start [or continue] the party!

Created in 1995, the Aloha orchestra is composed of 4 to 18 professionals each offering their dynamic performance on stage for the greatest joy of the public. Singers, musicians, dancers, technicians ….. The group performs at evening events, for events committees, organisations, town halls, works events committees, tourist offices, private parties, weddings, country fairs, village and agricultural fetes …..
Thanks to an extensive musical know-how, Aloha plays all the pop, rock and disco music classics, from the French and international popular music of the 70s until today. Their musical repertoire is composed of more than 100 songs from Claude Francois to Lady Gaga! The orchestra travels everywhere in France and beyond. For them, music has no borders !

An AC / DC tribute band with 4 musicians who fell under the electric spell in their youth. Father, son and friends, from South Drome and Vaucluse-, cover expertly the Australian band’s music, without spoofing or unnecessary frills. From High voltage to Rock or Bust, they revive the cult songs of the Young tribe for a 2-hour live concert. Two Christophers: one the drummer, the other a singer / rhythmic guitarist, Clement the lead singer, and Phil the bass player have been scouring the bars and festivals of the region since 2012 to pay a faithful tribute to the soul of this legendary band.

After travelling the world, his guitar in his hand, Curtis Simmons chose France as his home for his musical universe. The guitarist, with electrical talents has played for quite a lot of people, and his solo project starts here. A chameleon artist with multiple sides, as at ease with the piano as with the guitar, Curtis Simmons has been influenced by many different artists. His guardian angels are Hendrix, Vaughan, Lennon or Bowie and even though the roots of this amazing guitarist are well-anchored in the blues, his compositions are mostly the great dusty indie rock that is so good !

Pressplay is a rock group based in Central France, with a performance list of pop, rock, funk and soul that travels from the 60’s to today. The group plays for private and public events, weddings, festivals, bars, restaurants, and town events. They travel the Limousin and neighbouring departments. Four musicians with Keith on bass, Philippe on the guitar, Denis on drums, Bev who sings and Dave, the soundguy.

A real mix of influences : Traditional French songs, realistic songs, cajun blues, 60’s and 70’s rock and some others. In the background, ” snarling electro”: Edith Piaf or Malicorne are not incompatible with Led Zepp or Steppenwolf (preferably in the same song!) This is the result  of a long lasting friendship between friends who want to do just what they like doing.

l’Harmonie “Les enfants du Dorat”
Founded in 1870, the Music society “Les Enfants du Dorat” (literally The children of Le Dorat) has continued its activities without interuption since its beginning and will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2020. Do not be fooled by its age, this Wind band is a dynamic group of peoople ! The Wind orchestra has 37 musicians male and female. Thanks to its diverse musical styles, it is able to adapt to all the different invitations it receives, for concerts, festival and military processions, street entertainment, religious services and religious processions.
Its membership has endured due to its partnership with the local School of Music which has an excellent reputation.The teaching team, consisting of four qualified teachers, is responsible for preparing students to play together with the goal of integrating the school’s orchestra and then the wind orchestra. In 2012, under the leadership of Philippe BERTRAND, President at that time, DORAmifa was born. This music festival grows and diversifies with each new edition. It has now become a biennial musical event supported by the local people from the north of the department and further afield. Since 2016, the dynamic and fun-loving Sylvain ALBERTEAU has been directing the orchestra to the delight of both musicians and public alike. Since last year, in addition to rehearsals every Friday night with the orchestra, he has also been leading a conducting workshop for interested musicians. Performing every two years in the Le Dorat sports centre is a great moment for everyone.

Musical bands on site

Diapason banda DE MAGNAC LAVAL
Diapason Banda was created in 1999 by about fifteen musician friends with the help of the district council of Magnac Laval ( North of the Haute Vienne). Today, it is the Haut Limousin inter-village council who supports this association in their projects. The HQ of this association is in Magnac Laval, 50km north of Limoges. After 20 years of existence, the membership has risen to thirty musicians. Diapson Banda performs at Carnivals, Flowered Corsos, Christmas Markets, local celibrations and also participates in Concerts and Festivals throughout the year. This Banda will share with you their passion of music and their friendship through its varied and festive repertoire ( music from the South West, Ambience, and French varieties…).
The great attraction of this group is their obvious love of music and life, and the desire to share this, as a group, with their public.

Created in 1922 for the carnival of Limoges, the Gueules Seches have, since this date, communicated their joy of life and their good humour during many diverse performances throughout the whole of Europe: Nice, St-Quentin, Douai, Stuttgart, Gdansk, Sète, San Sebastien, Nantes, Mont de Marsan, Sisteron, Albi… and of course Limoges. An association of music-lovers, male and female, and of all ages, who train their future members and know how to perpetuate the costume and the motto of their founders: « Honni soit qui mal y pense », literally  evil be to him who evil thinks

It’s rare that a Pipe Band within 4 years of its creation is able to win the final of the TV programme “France’s got Talent” with more than 12.5 million viewers, to march through the streets of Dublin on St Patrick’s Day in March 2016 in front of 500000 people, and to play to a packed  house at the Olympia in Paris on the 17th February 2017, with their showstopper “Contrechamp”, and then to transform a trial run in 2018 into a tour of nearly 20 towns in France, known as the ” Essential Tour”. This Pipe Band, recognisable from afar by their smoke blue waistcoats, is the Vannes Millers Bagad or the Vannes Melinerion. Strong in numbers with nearly 300 members, this dynamic association benefits from its status as a public utility. At its heart it reunites 4 Pipe Bands; for competitions there is the first category; then the 2 bagadiou, smaller pipe bands in the third and fifth category ; and the bagadigan, a youth pipe band, formed in partnership with the Music schools in Vannes, the teachers of traditional breton music ” sonerions” and the volunteers from the association. The millers, proud of their roots and history (formed in 1952) and their enthusiasm and love for traditional music, revisit this music whilst integrating current ideas, trends and styles. In developing the concept of an orchestra, the Band has expanded the traditional Breton music to compose pieces and suites which subtly incorporate strands of Celtic music, classical and even jazz and other music from elsewhere in the world.

Les Insupportables
This story begins in the Spring of 2010 with some of the young musicians from ” Les enfants du Dorat” a local group who have impressed the crowds on the streets for the past 140 years. And why them? Or rather, why not us? The average age was 14 when they began this adventure. The first concerts were initially local in and around Le Dorat. Little by little the group evolved, with new encounters, and while new members joined, others left. But we have grown up since then!  In 2016, at the start of summer, the first album ” Copains d’abord” was launched. A label which justifies its name, as we are friends and family above all. Both literally as well as figuratively! But to explain all this to you could take a long time…..you could say that it was from this moment that the group took off. Bookings increased, and from further afield, friendships grew stronger all the time as well as the pleasure of playing! After all ” Les Insupportables” are above all this sense of madness, of dynamism and the love of playing music . To date we’ve performed over 150 concerts since we began, stretching from Mont de Marsan to Paris, without forgetting from where we came from, and it’s always great to perform back home in Le Dorat. We’re also happy to have produced our second album ” Nouvel Air” at the end of 2018. Nouvel Air or Nouvelle Ère translates as New Air or New Era? Both titles are appropriate to the group’s ambititions. For us, the adventure is just beginning…..

Since 2006 Freestyle MB plays loud and muddies the water: Batacuda? Rock Group? Street musicians? Theatre?  It’s all of that, my friend! A rock group which chooses to play Brazillian drums to make an impact in the street. The samba is the base for àn explosive cocktail, using many influential styles, generating off limits music, timeless and perpetually changing. 2016 saw the production of the first album “UP” as a balanced piece; the need to show the progression to a new decade, to develop a definingly different sound, and to make the performance more theatrical. More motivated than ever, this group of drummers loves to experiment, to create new music and share it. Ready to try this adventure ?

The Wool showcase

A specially designed space of 150m², in chestnut tones, will be dedicated to hundreds of wool products. The main aim is to illustrate the many uses of sheep’s wool in our times. And from this starting point, the exhibition hopes, not only to enhance the reputation of French wool, but also to raise some of the issues concerning its production.
Sheep, their fleeces and other by-products are the designated themes of this display created by Régine Bouyat.  At the outset, artisans, artists and associations were invited to tender for this showcase event.  They all had to provide details concerning their products: the origin of the wool: the breed, the farms, the water used for washing and all about where it was spun, knitted or felted. The aim was much more ambitious than to merely display socks and jumpers, but rather to give artists and artisans the opportunity to show how they work with wool: the challenges and limits of this materiel and how it can be incorporated with other fibres.
Many applications of a high standard were received, and a commission was organised to select the successful candidates.  90% of the projects were retained: 100 products from around 55 enterprises and associations.  Several different themes emerged: bedding, decoration, organisation, clothing, fashion, building materials and innovation. This project, associated with the world sheep shearing championships, highlights small businesses and groups of people who are committed to working with (and love) wool. Nowadays 90% of French wool is exported. France has wool but lacks the tools to exploit it. For example, there are only two places left in this country where wool can be washed, and this is clearly not enough. This exhibition is dedicated to the many useful properties of wool, its versatility and its potential.

Wooden sculptures by the association “Solid ‘art”

The association Solid ‘art is a group of sculptors who share the common goal of raising the profile of wooden sculptures and making this creative process more accessible. They take part in all kinds of events (fairs, concerts, symposiums…) all over France and Belgium. Their demonstration consists of “direct cutting” in front of the audience, making a work of art in the allotted time.
Their tools are rough tree trunks and although they mostly use chainsaws, they also use electrical equipment (grinders, sanders…) and hand tools (chisels and scissors).  One of the strengths of their show is their ability to exploit the theme of the event, which gives the works meaning and shows off a great diversity of styles and techniques.

Mini-farm, safety in shearing demonstrations, bright sheeps,  maréchalerie, ferronnerie, livestock exhibition : sheep, beef cattle…

Herd dog demonstrations
Throughout the world championships, you will be able to discover and rediscover how herds of sheep, cows and poultry are rounded up by dogs.  On Thursday morning the farmers who have learned these techniques on a course provided by ADUCT87, an association in the Haute Vienne will display their work. Between 2 and 4pm in the afternoon the teachers from the agricultural institution will briefly present the available courses in France, with Spanish and English translations, and share their experiences with those from other countries.  On Friday and Saturday more experienced agriculturalists will work alternately with geese and Limousin heifers.  And on Sunday these same teams will give a bigger show with sheep.

The Auvergne Lumberjack Association (ABA)
In 1990 a group of committed friends noticed that during inter-village encounters, the log-sawing event was always an eagerly awaited event. This inspired them to organise a more serious contest in this field, initially in the Puy de Dôme. Later, in 1994, the first official French association promoting cultural and sporting activities allied with old and new woodland crafts was born.  Today the association, with its fifteen or so members and its president, Olivier Perraud, also a high-level competitor, work together with 3 aims:

  • To Participate in at least 300 village fêtes
  • To Organise multi-disciplinary wood cutting contests for amateurs and keen beginners in the Auvergne, the Lot, the Creuse…The members of the association bring their own tools and share their skills to encourage new talent and discover future champions

To organise every year (as they have done for ten years) a national and international contest with top competitors from France and Europe: the Auverjack which is one of the most specialised and spectacular events in this field
During the world championships, these Auvergne lumberjacks will demonstrate their skills by allowing the public to try out these activities.

Draft Horses
This demonstration aims to share everything there is to know how about draft horses. Three different breeds of horses will be shown during the world championships: the Ardennais, the Comptois and the Percherons.  The display is divided into three parts, the first is about “traction”: pulling weighted sleds or dragging tree trunks around a course. The second part shows off driving skills with a carriage, in singles and pairs, showing manoeuvrability in either urban or sporting contexts. Finally, the horses are mounted, and the riders compete in activities like collecting and replacing objects or opening doors over different terrains.

Bread making
The associations “Animebattage” and “Les Volants Anciens” from Haut Limousin will have a themed exhibition “from the sheaf to the loaf” including threshing, sorting wheat, making flour, making and baking bread.

The program of the week from 1 to 7 July

Monday 1st July in Limoges
Free Entry
6.30 pm : Welcome to the delegations on the “Champ de Juillet” in the centre of Limoges, with a musical fanfare by the “Les Gueules Sèches”
6.45 pm : Opening address by Monsieur Émile-Roger Lombertie, Mayor of Limoges.
7.30 pm : Speed-Shear
8.30 pm : Prizes
9.00-11.30 pm : concert with the group Aloha

Tuesday 2 July

Wednesday 3 July 
(not open to public)
Meetings for judges, competitors and organisers
Training sessions for competitors : Tuesday 2 July
Organised visits for the delegations

Friday 5 July
7.00am – 1.00pm ALL NATIONS
7.00-9.30am : Machine Senior Heats
9.30am-12.15pm : Machine Open Heats
12.15pm-1.00pm : Machine Senior Semi-finals

Machine Open Semi-finals
1.30-2.00pm BREAK

Machine Shearing Round 1

Blade Shearing Final
4.30-5.00pm : Test Match France vs Spain
5.00-5.30pm : Woolhandling Final
5.30-6.00pm : Machine Open Final
6.00-6.30pm : Medal ceremony  for French Championship and Test Match

CONCERTS and live music on site
11.00am-2.00pm : Les Insupportables
8.30-10.00pm : Roger Brillantine
10.00-11.30pm : Les Spams
11.30pm-1.00am : Les Insupportables

Sunday 7 July
7.00am – 7.00pm WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
7.00 – 9.00am : Blade Shearing Round 2
9.00-11.00am : Woolhandling Round 2
11.00am-1.00pm : Machine Shearing Round 3
1.00-2.00pm BREAK
2.00-2.45pm : Blade Shearing Semi-finals
2.45-3.15pm : Woolhandling Semi-finals
3.15-3.45pm : Machine Shearing Semi-finals
3.45-4.30 : Blade Shearing Team Finals
4.30-5.00pm : Woolhandling Team Final
5.00-5.30pm : Machine Shearing Team Final
5.30-6.00pm : Blade Shearing Individual Final
6.00-6.30pm : Woolhandling Individual Final
6.30-7.00pm : Machine Individual Final
8.00-9.00pm : Medal Ceremony for World Championship

 CONCERTS and live music on site
10.00am -2.00pm : Bagad de Vannes
2.00-4.30pm / 9.00 -11.00pm : Les Insupportables
3.00pm-7.00pm : Freestyle MB
11.00pm-12.00am : Booze Brothers
12.00am-12.30am :  Fireworks
12.30am-3.00am : DJ

7.00-8.00pm : Closing Ceremony with a performance by the Fresque Historique de Bridiers
8.00-9.00pm : Medal Ceremony for the World Championship
9.00-9.30pm : Closing speeches


Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
9.30am-5.30pm : Merino ewes, Angora goats, beef cattle,
Limousin cows, Black-bottomed pigs (Cul Noir) and sheep breeds
Friday : 2.30-4.30pm : Sale of Suffolk breeding stock.


9.00am-6.00pm : Wool showcase, mini-farm, games for children, blacksmith, ironwork, herd dog demonstrations, mobile sawmill, working horses, Safety in shearing demonstrations.
Saturday and Sunday : demonstrations and competitions for logging and wood sculpture, bread-making workshop.

> Entrance fees on the site
– Full price – One day : 5€  tax included
– 4-Day Pass : 15€ tax included
– Children under 12 years old : Free
– Group (from 20 people) : 10% discount, exclusive of 4-Day Pass

The Association for the World Sheep
Shearing Championship
2 rue de l’Hozanne
87210 Le Dorat

Marie-Luce Bozom
+33 (0)6 15 15 63 20

Marie Galvaing
+33 (0)6 81 62 51 26
In english : Jennifer Read
+33 (0)7 78 43 76 05

Download the press kit here : Press Kit WORLD SHEEP SHEARING


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Les formulaires d'inscription sont en cours de maintenance, ne vous inquiétez pas, vous pourrez de nouveau vous inscrire mardi 22 janvier 2019 dès 9 heures !

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