Competitive shearing is in great heart in New Zealand, says a former champion who's been heading the Shearing Sports body for the past nine years.
John Fagan, who stepped down as chairman at the organisation's national meeting in Auckland this week, said a solid training base is one of the reasons shearing and wool handling are so strong in New Zealand.
"Part of their training is to go into competitions...that enhances the younger ones in the lower grades.
"You've really got to be shearing about 10 years before you get any good at it. In lots of ways, it's professional because you get paid to practice."
Fagan, who was Golden Shears open champion in 1984, is the older brother of shearing legend David Fagan.