NZ shearers take out three of six world championship titles

Blades team winners Allan Oldfield, centre, watching Tony Dobbs shearing, at the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in France. - Photo: Shearing Sports NZ

New Zealand competitors have taken out three of the six titles at the 18th World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in France.

The competition ran from Monday to Sunday evening and brought together 300 shearers and woolhandlers from 35 countries.

Pagan Karauria of Alexandra and Sheree Alabaster of Taihape won the team woolhandling title.

Blade shearer Allan Oldfield was first in the open blade shearing competition and won the team woolhandling title alongside fellow Cantabrian Tony Dobbs.

Mr Dobbs said beating previous champions South Africa hadn't been easy.

"We were probably contending in 40 odd degrees on the [shearing] board - it's extremely hot over here - and the competition would have been just as hot.

"I said to my team mate Allan 'we're going to walk off this board with nothing left in the tank, that's the only way we're gonna get this'. And that's what we did."

Rowland Smith of Hawkes Bay was runner-up in the open machine shearing title and third in the team machine shearing event alongside Cam Ferguson, also of Hawke's Bay.

Team spokesperson Doug Laing said despite not taking as many titles as last year, New Zealand shearers and wool handlers remained top performers on the world stage.

"This is a sport a sport where each time the standard increases, [but] New Zealand has really led the way, so in the past anyone that really thinks they're a world championship contender... will probably do some shearing or wool handling in New Zealand along the way," he said.

Mr Laing said well over 5000 people crammed in to the steel-framed marquee stadium on the final day of the championships in the town of Le Dorat.

Scotland will host the next championships in Edinburgh in 2022.