Sights set high
Nhill shearer Josh Bone has sights high. The 24-year-old won selection in the Victorian open shearing team after a stellar performance at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo.
Mr Bone placed second in the open final at the show, earning a place in the state team alongside winner and Australian number-two ranked shearer Jason Wingfield.
He will now compete at the National Shearing Championships in Dubbo from November 28 to 30.
Mr Bone said he was determined to do his best at Dubbo. “You’ve got to aim for the stars,” he said. “I’ll be aiming for the final up in Dubbo, and then if I make the final I want to finish top three and get a spot in the Australian team.”
A national team berth would be a dream come true for Mr Bone, for whom shearing is a family affair.
He said his father was also a shearer and encouraged him to take up the sport. “My old man got me into shearing,” he said. “He was a shearer and that’s all I ever wanted to do – be like dad. “Then I wanted to be better than dad.” When asked if, having earned a place on the state shearing team, he had now surpassed his father, Mr Bone would not be drawn.
“He might say I’m better than him now, but I’d never say I was better than my old man,” he said.
Mr Bone said shearing had created a special bond between him and his family.
In addition to his father, Mr Bone’s two brothers and sister also toil alongside him in the shearing shed.
He said his partner and best friend were also part of the crew. “Shearing is a family affair for us,” he said. “It’s all a pretty close-knit family in the shed.” Mr Bone’s sister, Kirsty Pollock, competed in wool handling at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show, narrowly missing out on her own berth in the Victorian team.
Mr Bone said it was ‘bad luck’ his sister would be unable to compete alongside him.
He said he had learned to control his nerves while competing against Mr Wingfield, who has won 19 of the past 22 titles at Bendigo.
He said the experience would prove valuable when he competed at the national championships.
“I was pretty nervous going up against the number two in Australia, but you can’t let them worry you – you’ve got to worry them,” he said.
Mr Bone said between now and the championships he would simply continue to work on his craft.
“We’ve got shows in between, so hopefully I’ll win a few and keep my eye in,” he said.
“Then every other day will just be in the shed going to work. I just keep trying hard every day.”