Fleecing the Competition
New Zealand took home four of the six titles at the 13th Golden Shears World Championships held in Bjerkrheim, Norway, with Stratford farmer Paul Avery, 41 and Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick, 38, coming first and second respectively in the machine-shearing final. Avery told the crowd after his victory: “I’ve waited 10 years for this.” The contingent also won the individual and team events in wool handling. Around 100 sheep shearers from a record 28 countries, including Australia, Montenegro, France, the United States and New Zealand, displayed their skills in the four-day competition, the first time the event was held in a non-English speaking country. Taihape schoolteacher Sheree Alabaster, 32, won the wool handling title.