2019 North American Sheep Shearing Challenge

This event has passed

Please see the up to date event schedule for current events

It’s a contest of the quick and the clean.  Two shearers side by side - who can shear sheep in the best time, but more importantly, with the most skill? Champions and challengers alike - sharpen up your gear and come win your share of Canada’s richest shearing purse!

Experienced shearers from around the world come to compete in this world-class competition. In our unique head-to-head duel format, prize money is awarded in each go-round. This is a timed and judged event, based on the international shearing rules and emphasizing the Calgary Stampede's commitment to safe animal handling practices.

Event Dates and Location

Event Date: July 12, 2019
Early Entry Date: April 15, 2019
Entry Closing Date: June 14, 2019 4:00 PM
Location: Northern Lights Arena




**New for 2019: Competition will be ONE day only. Competition has moved to the Northern Lights Arena.

Friday, July 12: Northern Lights Arena

  • Go 1: 11:30AM
  • Go 2: 2:30PM
  • Semi Finals & Finals: 6:30PM


Entry Fees

Entry and accreditation forms are due by June 14th, 2019 at 4:00PM MST. NO LATE ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED.

 Promptness of entry helps us determine sheep numbers, and prepare your competitor packages. An official exhibitor accreditation pass is required for park entry and must be purchased with your entry. 

Shearers are responsible for their own handpieces (worm drive), combs and cutters.  The Calgary Stampede Sheep Committee provides the Lister shearing motors, and flex or jointed drops.  Please check in early on the morning of the compeittion to help with sorting and crutching. 



  • Open Class (Shearers with experience) 

  • Intermediate Class (Less experienced shearers) 



  • The Intermediate Class entry fee is CAD$50 per person. 

  • The Open Class entry fee is CAD$100 per person. 

  • Entries close Friday, June 14th 2019 at 4:00 PM

All entries must be completed online and submitted through our online system. Entries will NOT be accepted over the phone, by email or by fax. If you require assistance with online entries please contact our entries office at 403-261-0336 or agriculture@calgarystampede.com and we will be happy to assist you!

**Please send completed Accreditation & Parking forms to agriculture@calgarystampede.com or fax (403)410-4549. Be sure to purchase the corresponding number of passes you require when you enter online. 


TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY please click on the following link: https://calgarytenday.fairmanager.com



Over $11,000 available in Total Purse & Special Awards. Prize money paid out in Canadian Funds. 

  • Open Champion - guaranteed $2500 payout.
  • Intermediate Champion - guaranteed $600 payout. 

OPEN DIVISION PAYOUT: *Payout subject to change pending entries

Placing 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Go Round $100 $95 $90 $85 $80 $75 $70 $65 $60 $55 $50 $45
Final Standings $2,500 $1,200 $900 $600 $400 $400 $300 $300 $200 $200 $100 $100


INTERMEDIATE DIVISION PAYOUT: *Payout subject to change pending entries

Placing 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Go Round $75 $70 $65 $60 $55 $50 $45 $40
Final Standings $600 $350 $250 $100 $100 $100 $100 $100



Anyone entering Canada must have a valid Passport.

Non-residents of Canada will be subject to a 15% withholding tax on all prize monies awarded as required by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Non-residents of Canada may apply to the CRA to have the 15% withholding tax returned.  To file a claim with the CRA, complete and submit the following information:

 Canada Revenue Agency Non Withholding Tax Return Information



Calgary Stampede General Rules & Guidelines:

General Rules

Health Regulations

IAFE code of ethics

Animal Care Codes of Practice



1. A referee will be appointed.
2. A judge has the right to stop any competitor whose work or conduct on the board is detrimental to the image of the shearing competition and Calgary Stampede.
3. It is to be at the discretion of the judge, if blood from a competitor's wound is visible, to have the right to stop that competitor.
4. Approved Hand Held Counters may be used at this competition.
5. Competitor's have the right to reject any substandard sheep/fleece before shearing commences, provided the referee agrees.
6. Heats and stands will be drawn prior to the start of the event. Finalists shall draw for stands as they take the board.
7. A competitor is allowed 1 helper in the catch pen. No unauthorized persons are permitted in the catching pen and no officials are permitted to assist a competitor in any way except where safety is a concern.
8. Competitors in competition must be suitably attired and this will include footwear (i.e. sandals or open toe shoes are prohibited). The referee will administer ruling.
9. Any competitor who is not present for the presentation of prizes will not receive the prize unless reasonable grounds for being absent are presented to the Organizing Committee before the prize giving.
10. Any disputes will be taken to a disputes committee of which the referee shall be Chairman. A written protest must be lodged within 30 minutes of completion of an event. Any unresolved dispute must be forwarded in writing to the Calgary Stampede Sheep Shearing committee within 2 hours of completion of an event.
11. In any tie the highest quality points wins.
12. One spare stopwatch and timekeeper will be available to time any stoppages and if necessary these will be deducted from the competitor's total time.
13. All competitors compete at their own risk.
14. Shearers will be allowed two loaded handpieces. No time will be allotted for stoppages caused by gear, handpieces or sheep getting away from the shearer on the board. A time allowance or re-run may be considered at the referees/committees decision if any stoppage is caused through another competitor's sheep escaping or a fault occurring with the machine or downtube.
15. Each Shearer must:

  • (a) Start and stop his/her own machine
  • (b) Open pen door and collect his//her own sheep which shall be in a standing position
  • (c) Put each sheep out the porthole

16. Preparation of competition sheep must be kept to a uniform standard to ensure the safety of teats, vulva and sheath on a wether.
17. Competitors may not present their own sheep for outside judges but may be required to present sheep from other heats or competitors and may be penalized if they fail to do so.
18. Each shearer will have a separate timekeeper and a stopwatch or other suitable timing device and will be taken from "GO" until the machine is switched off after completing final sheep. Where electronic timing is to be used, it is the shearer's responsibility to stop their time. Shearers must wait on the board with one hand on the closed door to wait for "GO".

Shearing Penalties:
1. One penalty stroke for not throwing the belly clear

2. One penalty stroke for a cleared belly where it interferes with another competitor

3. Up to 2 strokes for obvious belly or brisket wool not removed, excluding side fringes

4. a) One penalty stroke for not breaking the neck wool b) One penalty stroke for deliberately breaking of the fleece on the first hind leg of fullwool sheep.

5. Up to four penalty strokes per leg for failing to remove socks (referees discretion)

6. Skin cuts where the flesh is exposed or broken will incur a minimum of 5 strokes

7. A competitor is automatically penalized by the addition of 3 whole points per offence added to their normal penalties on which they: a. Cut a teat and impair the breeding ability of the ewe b. Cuts and seriously damages the sheath on a wether c. Cuts a hamstring d. Cuts any sheep to the extent that it requires surgical attention. (Referee may require a minor cut to be stitched without imposing the above penalty)

8. Up to 20 penalties for rough handling sheep

9. 2 Penalty strokes per offence for:

  • a) Plucking before and after time (applies to shearer and pen assistant)
  • b) Not putting sheep out the porthole




Judging Criteria

Shearing Points Calculation Time Points: One penalty for each 20 seconds, multiple minutes by 3, divide seconds by 20

Board Penalties: Divide judges strokes by sheep shorn

Pen: Divide averaged judges' strokes by sheep shorn

Results: Add time penalty to board and pen penalties to get total Least penalties wins



An official accreditation pass is required by all agriculture exhibitors and competitors, for purchase in addition to the event entry fee.  The accreditation pass grants Park access during the 2019 Stampede and the photo accreditation will indicate which restricted areas each person can enter based on individual requirements. Accreditation is year specific, and a new pass will be issued each year.

The Agriculture Accreditation pass gives you access to the Grandstand Rush areas for the Rodeo, Chuckwagons, and Evening Show.  The pass must be purchased on the entry application for a fee of $35.00 (G.S.T. included). These badges are a priviledge of the exhibitors, and will be limited. Exhibitors are responsible for lost or forgotten badges.


Karen Jones ( Sub-Committee Chair), Pam Barker (1st Vice Chair), Garth Lockwood, (Past Chair), Mackenzie Argent (Agriculture Programming Manager), Erin Ashbacher, Pam Barker, Marlene Bruneau, Heather Campbell, Sharyn Dickson, Tim Hamm, Gwen Haynes, Kevin Hogg, Roxana Ile, Steve Jones, Leah Kemppainen, Al Lennox, Geoff Matticks, Heather Mills, Kurt Paskal, Clarence Paterson, John Pears, Gloria Williams, Paul Williamson, Terry Zajac, Ray Nolan, Wendy Konschuk, Tracy Jarrett