Dorset young farmer scoops New Zealand shearing title

A young farmer from Dorset has won a major shearing competition in New Zealand – the first English competitor to claim the title in almost 30 years.

Having worked for six months over the summer in New Zealand, 20-year-old Henry Mayo was due to make the 12,000-mile journey home to the family farm in the village of Hermitage. 

But he postponed his flight to take part in the event held at the self-proclaimed “shearing capital of the world” – Te Kuiti on New Zealand’s North Island.

Super-fast shearer Henry managed to shear five sheep in just eight minutes 15.7 seconds – finishing nearly 50 seconds ahead of the second-placed competitor.

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It means the Dorset lad averaged one sheep every minute and 39 seconds – roughly the same time it takes to boil a kettle.

Henry becomes the first Englishman to take the shearing crown from the Kiwis on home turf since Andrew Devereall in 1991.

After the high of bagging the top shearing title, he plans to celebrate with friends in Thailand’s capital Bangkok for a few days as he makes his way back to the family farm later this week.