Twenty seven year old Rowland Smith from Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand is the new World Champion Machine Sheep Shearer. Earlier this evening in Gorey, he fought off stiff competition from Scotland’s Gavin Mutch and Hamish Mitchell, who came second and third respectively. Gavin was the defending champion.
By common consent this week’s championships in Gorey have helped raise the profile of sheep shearing to a world-wide audience, given that 27 countries and 102 individual shearers took part.
Rowland was born on to a sheep farm, with the family enterprise extending to 1,500 breeding ewes. Twice a winner of the Golden Shears’ event in New Zealand, this was his first time competing in the world championships.
“I have been shearing since coming out of nappies,” Rowland told Agriland.
“And today’s victory is as much for my family back home as it is for me as an individual.”
Last year Rowland sheared 60,000 sheep in New Zealand. . .
Jamie Mackay interviewed Rowland on the Farming Show today.