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The 21st New Zealand Shearing Championships

The 21st New Zealand Shearing Championships

Venue: Civic Centre, Te Kuiti Date: Thursday March 31 - Saturday 2 April

That's one sheep, two, three . . . .zzzzzzzzzz

Counting sheep is usually associated with trying to get to sleep - but if anyone can guess the exact number of sheep in the world-famous "NZ Shears Running of the Sheep" in Te Kuiti this weekend - they can win $2000 in cash.

Organisers will only say around a "couple of thousand" sheep will partake in the two kilometre dash down Te Kuiti's main street this Saturday, April 2, at 1pm, along with former All Black Colin Meads, Pop Star Joe Cotton and Bushman Billy Black.

While the NZ Shears Running of the Sheep is just one of the fun events surrounding the 21st New Zealand Shearing Championships, there will be serious action at the championships as defending national champion, and five times World Champion, David Fagan faces stiff competition to retain his national title from Stratford's Paul Avery and Napier's John Kirkpatrick.

Despite Fagan having won the national title 14 times, both challenging shearers have beaten Fagan in recent events - Avery at the Golden Shears in Masterton earlier this month and Kirkpatrick in major open titles this season.

The 250 competitors at this year's event include the country's top shearers, a shearing team from Warrnambool in Australia, and shearers from around the United Kingdom.

Running from Thursday, March 31 to Saturday, April 2, the three-day event will be held at Te Kuiti's Civic Centre, and will attract thousands of supporters to watch competitions covering major areas of the sheep shearing process from Wool Handling, to Wool Pressing, to Speed Shearing - where champion shearers can shear a sheep in just 21 seconds.


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