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Not for the sheepish ... or is it?
January 18, 2012 10:31 AM   Subscribe

New Zealand produces some of the world's best shearers and its national championship, the Golden Shears, receives substantial media coverage; but the IOC is unlikely to be persuaded that it should be an Olympic demonstration sport.

The decisions to include a sport as a demonstration are made — at minimum — 6 years in advance, so you won't see Ivan Scott of Ireland or Kerri-Jo Te Huia of New Zealand showing off their mad shearing skills in London or Rio. Ivan set a world eight-hour solo lamb record by shearing 749 lambs (one lamb every 38.8 seconds!), while Kerri-Jo smashed the women's equivalent record by 37 by shearing 507 lambs (57.6 seconds per lamb). [via Sportsfilter]
posted by Hey, Zeus! (23 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
A video of competitive shearing, in case you were wondering what it looks like.
posted by jedicus at 10:37 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


NEW ZEALAND: EWE SHOULD COME
posted by Johnny Assay at 10:41 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think shearing should be allowed as a demonstration sport, but only if everyone involved agrees that making a sheep pun of any kind is punishable by immediate decapitation.
posted by theodolite at 10:47 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think shearing should be allowed as a demonstration sport, but only if everyone involved agrees that making a sheep pun of any kind is punishable by immediate decapitation.

Oh ewe!

(Whishk!

Thud...splatch...splatch...splatch.

Gush

Gush

Gush

Trickle)
posted by yoink at 10:51 AM on January 18, 2012


Is the wool in a usable state after that or have they sheared it wrong for real use? Wait...I think I'm thinking of skinning. Probably wool doesn't matter too much how many pieces it's in as long as the fibers are long enough.
posted by DU at 10:54 AM on January 18, 2012


Actually, shearing is done to make sure the staple length is short. Most fiber mills can't handle long staple lengths. The wool will definitely be used after the competitions.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 10:57 AM on January 18, 2012


And if the sheep refuse?
posted by steef at 10:59 AM on January 18, 2012


Another video of sheep sheering NSFW (yeah, now you're interested...)
posted by LordSludge at 11:00 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


What I love about the sheep shearing video is that this is apparently taking place in a bar with people drinking.

As they should be.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:01 AM on January 18, 2012


Let's talk about getting herding at the Olypmics.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:07 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Actually, shearing is done to make sure the staple length is short.

But doesn't that make for itchy wool? I was under the impression that a long staple made for a smooth yarn.
posted by Foam Pants at 11:26 AM on January 18, 2012


Actually, shearing is done to make sure the staple length is short.

That doesn't sound right at all. The whole point of these shearing competitions is to shear the sheep in the fewest possible number of passes--which means cutting off the longest lengths of wool possible.
posted by yoink at 11:32 AM on January 18, 2012


That's not to say that staple length isn't regulated, but it's regulated by shearing-interval, not by the way the shearers work.
posted by yoink at 11:34 AM on January 18, 2012


Saying shearing isn't a legitimate sport for the Olympics is just splitting hairs.
posted by TedW at 11:41 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry, can't resist...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:57 AM on January 18, 2012


What I meant, yoink, is that if the staple length is too long it difficult to process, so I would assume the competitions will choose lambs that are at the maximum allowable length for the mills that will be used.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 12:27 PM on January 18, 2012


I was driving in the NZ countryside when I stopped to answer an urgent call of nature.
As I stood micturating, I looked up to the hills and saw a farmer with his trousers dropped, standing behind a sheep, thrusting his pelvis back and forth with some gusto.
Perplexed, I shouted up to him, "Excuse me sir, are you shearing that sheep?"
To which he replied "No.... get your own".
posted by lalochezia at 12:44 PM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


If dressage can be an Olympic sport, I can't see any reason why shearing shouldn't be. Or golf. Or eating contests, or rally driving, or playing minecraft.
posted by klanawa at 1:03 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


What about animal-annoying events that regular folk can get in on, like trimming nails or forcing pills down throats?
posted by orme at 1:16 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Let's talk about getting herding at the Olypmics.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:07 AM on January 18


eponsyterical
posted by Metro Gnome at 1:48 PM on January 18, 2012


Watching a herding dog work is awesome.
posted by BlueHorse at 2:19 PM on January 18, 2012


I downloaded this year's One Man and His Dog, the BBC's perennial broadcast of sheep dog trialling and was amused to see they use the sort of computer-effect tactics chalkboard you get on football shows to illustrate exactly how Lassie was going to make her run-out for the lift and drive. But I am a country boy and I do love me rural skills - shearing, dog trials, a ploughing match; I'd watch competitive hedge-laying (we said no puns!).
posted by Abiezer at 2:51 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I'm not shearing her with anyone!"
posted by moorooka at 12:47 AM on January 19, 2012


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