THE Falkland Islands Shearing and Wool Handling team has been practicing hard in a variety of competitions in New Zealand in the build up to World Championships in Masterton, beginning February 29.
Accompanying the team Martha Molkenbuhr told Penguin News this week: "The team competed in competitions all through the weekend. In each show they gained in experience and all crept up the score boards gaining a better place each time. They are all happy with their individual performances."
The team includes top Falklands' shearers Lee Molkenbuhr and Evan Jones, plus top Wool Handlers Viki Lee and Sammy Hirtle.
Also accompanying the team, Daniel Ford has competed in an Intermediate Class: "Again he has moved up the score board at each show and on two occasions was only a couple of places out of going in to the semi-finals," said Martha.
"Islander Stefan Clarke also has been shearing in the Senior Class. This class I think is especially hard as a lot of the overseas competitors who travel here to work, shear in this class, but in other countries would be in Open Classes; so he has had tough competition but shore really well."
Stefan was placed third out of 28 in the speed shear.
In an Open Class Lee shore his first lamb in 22.5 seconds and his second in 23.7: "So he was a bit disappointed in his second go but I say good effort by both," said Martha.
The winner David Fagan shore in 22.2 with Dion King on 22.2: "David ended up the champion after Dion got a kicker with a time of 23.1."
The group has also been practicing on farm sheep in order to be ready for the main competitions.
They were part of parade around Masterton, prior to the opening of the Championships.