For the 27th consecutive year, Oster Professional Products is sponsoring the International Open Sheep Shearing and Junior Sheep Shearing Contests.

The contests are scheduled at 9 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 14. The competition is held in the arena, on the lower level of the Stadium.

Contestants are judged on time, condition of fleece, absence of second cuts in the fleece, manner of handling sheep, absence of cuts on sheep and appearance of the shorn sheep. Each professional contestant shears four sheep and each junior shears three sheep. The international contest draws the top shearers from the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

The competition originated in Chicago, in the early 1940s, and moved to the National Western Stock Show, in 1975, from Indiana State Fair, where it had been held for several tears. Oster Professional Products has been the sponsor from the very beginning. Oster is the world's oldest and largest manufacturer of innovative, quality shearing machines, clippers, trimmers, blades and services for professional shearers and groomers. Oster also introduced the first sheep shearing machine in the United States, in the 1880s.

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