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On the 1st of March 2008, Jen and Andy went to the Wairarapa town of Masterton to watch part of the annual Golden Shears competition. The Golden Shears is an annual event featuring sheep management competitions. The most famous of these are the Shearing events, where competitors from all over New Zealand turn up in order to show off their shearing skills and hope to with the Golden Shears in the open event. The most successful competitor in recent years is David Fagan, who competed once again in this year's event; finishing a disappointing fifth.
The stage within the hall. Interestingly, the hall is called 'The World War 11 hall' from the outside. Built a little bit in advance one thinks!

Another event is the woolhandling, where competitors have to expertly and quickly handle a fresh fleece to make it perfect for use.

Sheep are handled roughly and need to be held firmly in place to be shawn. There's a tremendous amount of strength and stamina required, and the work is hard on the back. At the end of each event, the competitors are literally dripping with sweat.

Stewart Smith frantically shears a sheep. Participants are judged on accuracy and penalised for damaging the fleece. Its not all about speed.

The full stage in view of the senior shearing final. A list of the competitors can be seen.