Quick go the shears at Kojonup Agricultural Show

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Boyup Brook shearer Floyde Neil won the open speed shears title at the Kojonup Agricultural Show.
Camera IconBoyup Brook shearer Floyde Neil won the open speed shears title at the Kojonup Agricultural Show. Credit: Claire Servaas

Two top guns of speed shearing battled it out on the boards at the Kojonup APEX Speed Shearing contest on Saturday with the winner, Floyde Neil, grabbing victory.

In the open final at the Kojonup Agricultural Show, Boyup Brook shearer Neil took on Bunbury shearer Lou Brown, who set a new world record last year in April shearing 497 Merino ewes in eight hours.

“It was my first win against Lou, after a few encounters,” Neil said.

“It’s always tough against Lou, it was an intense final.”

Neil, who learned to shear in New Zealand where he grew up, was planning his first world record attempt this year, until COVID-19 intervened. The pandemic has cancelled shearing comps across Australia since early this year.

Lou Brown and Floyde Neil battle on the boards during the Kojonup APEX Shearing open competition. BELOW: Mr Neil and the trophy.
Camera IconLou Brown and Floyde Neil battle on the boards during the Kojonup APEX Shearing open competition. BELOW: Mr Neil and the trophy. Credit: Claire Servaas/Claire Servaas

Neil contributed his Kojonup win to gained experience.

“I have always struggled with the right comb selection with Merinos,” he said. “But, I have worked that out since I’ve been in WA.”

The rivalry between Neil and Brown heated up in the three-sheep semifinals.

They were only a second apart in the five-sheep finals, when Neil stopped the clock at two minutes, 39 seconds, but Brown’s time would not count as he was disqualified for not meeting competition shearing guidelines, according to the judges.

“It was not the best way to win, but I am looking forward to a re-match at Katanning this Saturday,” he said.

“I have been busy shearing 30 days straight with my own (Shear Pride) contracting business.”

Brown, who works for Henderson Shearing contractor Mike Henderson, based at Dongara, said he was looking forward to the rematch.

“The last time I was in competition was at last year’s Katanning Show, which I won the open speed shears,” he said.

Neil said his last comp, before Kojonup, was at New Zealand’s premier show, the Golden Shears, in March, at Masterton, where he finished in 25th place in the open shearing heats, with 87 entries.

“I have competed previously in the Golden Shears open event four times with my best a 14th place quarterfinal finish,” he said.

Neil is also planning to raise funds for the Blue Tree Project on November 7 at the Lubcke family’s woolshed at Darkan.

“I will contribute three dollars for every sheep and plan to shear more than 500,” he said.

“It is important to me to raise awareness of mental health.”

APEX shearing coordinator Jayden Webb said the Kojonup speed shears event included 70 competitors.

“We cancelled the clean shears because we could not get judges. Our new Ma and Pa shearing event that had two people riding a bike to power the shears while a third member shore a sheep was a great success with 11 entries.”

The event was won by Andrew McFarlane, with his son Ben and daughter Channon.

OPEN

1st Floyde Neil

2nd Lou Brown

3rd Koen Black

4th Hura Edwards

5th Patrick McCarthy

6th Brandon Tidey

INTERMEDIATE

1st Chayde Terry

2nd Joey Cambell

3rd Amy blechynden

4th Paranihi Jones Tupara

5th Paora King

BEGINNER

1st Channon McFarlane

2nd Waimarama Manukau

3rd Korea Te Arab

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