Wool Processing

New Zealand shearers fly in hoping for a $20,000 quickie

Doug Laing, Shearing Sports New Zealand, February 9, 2024

New Zealand shearer Jimmy Samuels shearing in the open final in Marton on Saturday. Tomorrow he defends the Oberon QuickShear title, vying for the $A20,000 first prize. Photo – SSNZ

FOUR of New Zealand’s fastest shearers are making a flying trip to Australia that could end up with one of them winning $A20,000 for barely a minute’s work at the Oberon QuickShear in New South Wales tomorrow.

Jimmy Samuels, of Marton, Jack Fagan, of Te Kuiti, Paerata Abraham, of Masterton, and Floyd Neil, from Taumarunui, but who also operates out of Boyup Brook, West Australia, will all be competing in the Oberon event, about 180km west of Sydney.

A total of about $A45,000 is at stake in the competition, including the $A20,000 in the open final. Samuels, who has also been a nationally-ranked darts player, is the defending champion, having won last year’s single-sheep final in 20.78 seconds.

The 2023 Oberon victory was his 60th win in quick shear or speed shear events, and he warmed-up for another bid with a rare show final placing over 20 sheep at Marton in New Zealand last Saturday and a third place in the Aria Cosi Club Speed Shear final in southern King Country on Monday night.

Oberon QuickShear co-organiser Aaron Booth said the event is dominated by the New Zealanders flying in and expatriates already in Australia. Entrants also include former finalists Western Australian-based shearer Koen Black, Josh Clayton, George Blyth and Aidan Copp.

“It’s starting to get a pretty good following; this our third year with record-breaking prizemoney so it is starting to build momentum.”

About 100 shearers have nominated for the different classes in the Oberon event, he said.

Back in New Zealand on Saturday, the shearing sports focus will be on the Otago Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in a woolshed near Balclutha and shearing-only events at the Northern Wairoa A and P Show at Arapohue and the Te Puke A and P Show in Bay of Plenty.

Check out the Oberon QuickShear Facebook page for updates and possibly a livestream link.

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