Sheep shearing could be the next big Olympic sport, according to a New Zealand farming lobby group.
Federated Farmers thinks shearing has the potential to become a demonstration sport at the Commonwealth Games, or even the Olympics.
The group’s meat and fibre chairwoman Jeanette Maxwell says shearing requires both skill and physical effort.
Newly-crowned world record shearers Ivan Scott and Kerri-Jo Te Huia demonstrate the sport’s athletic prowess, she said.
‘People like Ivan Scott, Kerri-Jo Te Huia and our world championships team are athletes who take it to another level.’
Earlier this month, Mr Scott sheared 749 lambs in eight hours to beat the previous solo lamb shearing world record, while Ms Te Huia sheared 507 lambs in the same time to claim the women’s world record.
Ms Maxwell says if shearing gets a shot as a demonstration sport, it would elevate the status of shearing and shearers on the world stage.
The idea was first mooted by Sports Shear Australia in 2008.
The shearing world championships will be held in Masterton in March.