Shearing a family affair

Age is no barrier for Tim Kennedy and Jim Gibson.

The two octogenarians were competing again at the 53rd Waimate Spring Shears on Saturday, taking part in the father and son event.

The for-fun category was introduced at the 50th edition of the shears in 2017, with teams made up of fathers and sons shearing one sheep each. Mr Kennedy and Mr Gibson had been involved each time.

Mr Gibson (81), who started shearing when he was 17, said it was good to get on the stage and shear alongside his son James.

He had been to every edition of the Waimate Shears, firstly as a competitor and later a judge.

Tim Kennedy shearing in the father and son event. PHOTOS: GUS PATTERSON
Tim Kennedy shearing in the father and son event. PHOTOS: GUS PATTERSON

He had little trouble shearing his sheep, as he still kept his hand in by shearing his own sheep on his property near Oamaru.

Mr Kennedy (80) had a little more trouble with his, but he put that down to being set up for failure by his son Archie.

"He pulled the sheep from underneath me, and then when he shore he used his good handpiece," Mr Kennedy said.

"Next year I’ll bring my own gear.

"If all the old hands come back I’ll be here next year."

Another veteran, Tony Dobbs, of Fairlie, won the open blades title, his 100th blade shearing title.

He had first competed in the Waimate Spring Shears in 1979.

The main title was one by John Kirkpatrick, while Troy Pyper won the winter comb title which was held in Waimate for the first time this year.

Waimate Spring Shears president Warren White said a lot of other shows had been cancelled due to Covid-19, so a good crowd had enjoyed the chance for a day out.

The open event had attracted more than 40 entries, he said.

Jim Gibson takes off the top knot.
Jim Gibson takes off the top knot.

"It’s back to what it was in the [1980s], in the heyday," Mr White said.


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