18 Jan 2012

Farmers' group wants shearing at Olympics

1:50 pm on 18 January 2012

Federated Farmers has called for sheep shearing to become an Olympic sport, saying top wool-clippers are world-class athletes.

With the World Shearing Championships to be held in Masterton in March, federation spokesperson Jeanette Maxwell says shearing is now a bona fide sport that deserves international recognition.

Ms Maxwell says competitive shearers clip up to 700 sheep over an eight-hour period, in a feat that has been likened to running two marathons back-to-back.

The sport funding body, SPARC, already recognises shearing as a sport, providing grants to help run competitions.