New Zealand sheep shearer competes and holidays at Stampede

Mark Agnew like many sheep shearers lives, eats and sleeps sheep shearing, so while he is technically on holidays, he also didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to take part in this event at the Stampede.  He has been pretty impressed so far.

“I think this event is well put together, the sheep are well seasoned, well looked after, you know there are not a lot of places where you see them constantly giving them water and keeping them cool with the fans.  So it’s good to see that they got the farm husbandry on the level here,” says Agnew.

Agnew, who comes from dairy farm roots, says he got his start competing in New Zealand and Australia.

“I’ve been shearing in Australia for the past five years and I’ve probably done a few competitions there.  But between 2000 and 2005 I did probably every competition I could go to in New Zealand be it before I moved to Australia.   It was probably my biggest stretch of competitions anyway.” 

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He says the Stampede is a little different from the events he competes in Down Under. 

“Judging is probably a lot harsher here and there are a lot larger crowds here.   For a lot of the shows I go to in Australia, agriculture shows, the crowds are not as big, however they are twice as many shearers going at one time, like five or six. “ 

He says competing at the Stampede allows him to in get in a little R ‘N R at the same time, from a contract job he is currently working on in the U.S.