Kiwis claim victories at shearing champs

    New Zealand world shearing competitors Johnny Kirkpatrick (left), who won the world shearing individual title and Nathan Stratford, who joined with Kirkpatrick to win the world shearing team title. Photo: Corrina Jane Photography

    SOUTHLANDERS, national and international visitors converged on ILT Stadium Southland in huge numbers to support the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships held in Invercargill last week.

    ILT Stadium Southland was transformed into a multi-million dollar shearing shed last week to host the 40th World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships, in Invercargill over four days.

    New Zealand team members showed why Kiwis are considered the best in the world by winning the individual and team machine shearing and woolhandling titles, as well as placing second in the blade shearing team and individual events.

    New Zealand Police Southland area prevention manager, inspector Mike Bowman said roadside breath testing within the stadium vicinity on Friday, which saw more than 3000 visitors, and Saturday, which saw more than 4000 visitors, yielded three intoxicated drivers who were over the alcohol limit for both nights.

    He attributed the low number, which was still disappointing to police, to stadium staff, liquor licence managers and Invercargill Licensing Trust management, as well as the processes put in place to manage intoxicated levels at the event.

    “This event was particularly well run, we never like to have any intoxicated-drivers, it’s just unfortunate that we did,” he said.

    Meanwhile the three farmers who combined supplied more than 4500 sheep for the event, collectively said they were overwhelmed with the standard of shearing demonstrated and the top-notch or “beautiful” state sheep were upon returning to the farm.

    Carolynn Robertson, of Wyndham, said the quality sheep shearing was exceptional and the sheep looked

    Prime Minister Bill English took on shearing legend Sir David Fagan on Saturday in the lead-up to the finals.

    beautiful when they came home.

    Trevor Peters, of Millers Flat, said the stadium was the “best” venue and could not believe the different age groups and how many spectators supported the event.

    Allan Marshall, of Waikawa Valley, thought the event was very well run and fantastically well supported.

    “I feel very relaxed on the farm this week,” he said.


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