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These days Mr Hore and his partner Amanda Howell are wiping sweat off their brows and have become rather proficient at loading lambs into a docking chute and pushing sheep on to a conveyor.
In October last year Mr Hore and Ms Howell decided to take a leap of faith into the world of self-employment, and launched Maniototo Sheep Handling.
Mr Hore said he has worked in a couple of sales jobs over the years and was ready to ‘‘have a crack’’ at running his own business.
‘‘It’s been really good so far. We have been well-supported by the local farming community and we seem to be getting asked back, so that’s always a good sign.’’
Ms Howell has also enjoyed the change of pace. ‘‘I just had a few small jobs cleaning houses before we purchased the business, so I have really enjoyed getting stuck in being busy. It’s a different view every day. I’m just absolutely loving it,’’ she said.
Mr Hore said the early starts have not been too hard to get used to, and Ms Howell has taken on the book-keeping side of the business.
‘‘I’ve lost 8kg since we started, which hasn’t been a bad thing,’’ he said, laughing.
Before his sale jobs, Mr Hore worked as a farm manager at Esk Valley Station. He is also a keen rodeo enthusiast and was chairman of the Maniototo Rodeo Club.
A background in animal health has been quite useful with the sheep handling business, Mr Hore said.
‘‘A lot of farmers can get a bit wary of conveyor work if the job’s not done properly. It’s all about slowing the conveyor right down and making sure the administering is done properly. Quality, not quantity is key.’’
The contacts he has made with animal health suppliers have made it easy to arrange training for his staff, he said.
Mr Hore and Ms Howell employ up to 14 casual staff, which at times includes their children, Cody (19), Zac (18), Zona (15) and McKenzie (12).
‘‘They have all become very familiar with the inside of a Prattley pen, picking up lambs,’’ Ms Howell said.
-By Alice Scott