Despite a good run beforehand, New Zealand’s shearers did not make the cut at the weekend.

For the first time since the championships began in 1977, New Zealand did not win a single title at the 19th Golden Shears World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships, which were held in Scotland at the weekend.

Roxburgh shearer Leon Samuels, competing at his first world championships, and team-mate Rowland Smith, of Hawke’s Bay, were eliminated in the semifinals of the machine shearing. The title was taken by Wales.

In a day of stunning reversals, New Zealand, winner of four times as many titles as any other nation in machine shearing, blade shearing and woolhandling, achieved just one top-three placing. The biggest surprise in possibly the history of the championships was that for the first time New Zealand was not represented in either the machine shearing or woolhandling individual finals.

The closest the Wools of New Zealand shearing sports team came to a title was the blades final second placing of defending champions South Canterbury shearers Allan Oldfield and Tony Dobbs. They were beaten by rookieinternational South Africa pair Bonile Rabela and Zwelamakhosi Mbuweni in a relay decided on quality points after the New Zealanders won the race by two seconds with each side averaging about 2min 20sec a sheep through the 10 in each pen.

In the individual blades final defending champion Oldfield was eliminated in the semifinals. Rabela took the title with Dobbs finishing fourth.

New Zealand will hold the 20th Golden Shears world shearing and woolhandling championships in Masterton in 2026.

Results from the 2023 Golden Shears World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships at the Royal Highland Show, Ingliston, Edinburgh.

Machine shearing Individual: Gwion Evans (Wales) 1, Richard Jones (Wales) 2, Calum Shaw (Scotland) 3, Denis O’Sullivan (Ireland) 4, Ivan Scott (Ireland) 5, Adam Berry (England)

Machine shearing teams:

Gwion Evans, Richard Jones (Wales) 1, Adam Berry, Matthew Smith (England) 2, Hamish Mitchell, Calum Shaw (Scotland) 3, Denis O’Sullivan, Ivan Scott (Ireland) 4, Northern Graeme Davidson, Jack Robinson (Northern Ireland) 5, Leon Samuels, Rowland Smith (New Zealand) 6.

Woolhandling Individual: Rosie Keenan (Scotland) 1, Audrey Aiken (Scotland) 2, Lucie Grancher (France) 3, Hilary Bond-Harding (England) 4, Adele Lemercier (France) 5, Keryn Herbert (Cook Islands) 6.

Woolhandling Teams: Fion Jones, Sarah Rees (Wales) 1, Lucie Grancher, Adele Lemercier (France) 2, Audrey Aiken (Scotland) 3, Ngaio Hanson, Candy Hiri (New Zealand) 4, Hilary Bond-Harding, Alice Derryman (England) 5, Mark Purcell, Racheal Hutchinson (Australia)


Blade shearing Individual: Bonile Rabela (South Africa) 1, Zwelamakhosi Mbuweni (South Africa) 2, Andrew Mudge (England) 3, Tony Dobbs (New Zealand) 4, Johnathon Dalla (Australia) 5, Elfed Jackson (Wales) 6.

Blade shearing teams: Bonile Rabela, Zwelamakhosi Mbuweni (South Africa) 1, Tony Dobbs, Allan Oldfield (New Zealand) 2, Elfed Jackson, Gareth Owen (Wales) 3, Johnathon Dalla, Andrew Murray (Australia) 4, Andrew Mudge, George Mudge (England) 5, Peter Heraty, James Hopkins (Ireland) 6.