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NZ Shearers Gunning It In Oz - One Outguns Them All

Floyd Neil, from Taumarunui, after his win in the World's richest speed shear on Saturday at Oberon, NSW, with $A20,000 prize for the 20.65sec it took to shear a single sheep in the final. Photo / Oberon Quick Shears

An Australia-based Taumarunui shearer and shearing contractor has won the richest speed shear prize in the World with a time of 20.65sec for a single sheep in a six-man final which featured five New Zealanders in New South Wales.

Floyd Neil, who in Australia has shorn World record tallies on both merino lambs and merino ewes in the last 14 months, runs shearing contracting firm Shear Pride from Boyup Brook, West Australia, but had been shearing in New Zealand and flew back to Australia for the event on Australian crossbreds on Saturday at Oberon, 180km west of Sydney.

He won the Oberon Quick Shear first prize of $A20,000, the runner-up was Australia-based Tipene Te Whata, from Northland, third place went to Southland veteran Darin Forde, fourth place went to Stacey Te Huia, a North Island shearer now based in Southland and Otago, fifth was only Australian finalist Warwick McMaster, and sixth was Masterton shearer Paerata Abraham.

Defending champion Jimmy Samuels, of Marton, who shore 20.78sec to win last year’s final, was eliminated in the heats, while World eight-hour strongwool lambshearing record-holder and prolific speed shear winner Jack Fagan, of Te Kuiti, and Australia-based Jovan Taiki, originally from Porangahau, who won the $A10,000 first prize in 2022, were eliminated in the semi-finals.

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Neil was heading back to New Zealand for events including the Golden Shears in Masterton on February 29-March 2, and the New Zealand Shears on Te Kuiti on April 4-6, both of which include speed shear events.

There is also a series of speed shears around the Southern Shears shearing and woolhandling championships which will be held in Gore on Friday and Saturday, including the Southern Fieldays Speed Shear at Waimumu on Friday.

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