President Macron told of Kiwi shearing prowess [fr]
France’s new President Emmanuel Macron has been briefed about New Zealand shearers’ skills by organisers of a world shearing championship in France.
During a visit to the Haute-Vienne town of Le Dorat on Saturday, President Macron met the organisation teams of the 2019 World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships, who told him New Zealanders were “world leaders” in shearing.
The Association pour le Mondial de Tonte de Moutons (AMTM) is preparing to hold the World Shearing and Woolhandling championships in Le Dorat, located in the Haute-Vienne department, in early July 2019.
President Macron was also given a demonstration of sheep shearing by AMTM president Christophe Riffaud. The President remarked on the calmness of the sheep during shearing, and AMTM secretary Julie Renard explained that Mr. Riffaud was using a New Zealand shearing technique.
Mr. Riffaud told President Macron French some shearers travelled to New Zealand to compete and improve their technique.
“[New Zealanders] are world leaders. If you’re following the best, you can only improve,” said Mr Riffaud, who stayed with top Kiwi shearer Sir David Fagan while touring New Zealand ahead of the 2017 championships in Invercargill from 8-11 February, where he successfully presented the French hosting bid alongside French Ambassador Florence Jeanblanc-Risler.
Presenting the French hosting bid in February, the Ambassador said hosting the championships would be a great opportunity to bring skilled rural people from both countries together and “showcase how central agriculture is to both local communities and our national economies”.
The Ambassador later picked up a handpiece herself, shearing at the Golden Shears in Masterton on March 4 to promote the 2019 championships.
Record shear planned
Mr Riffaud also told President Macron that he and fellow shearer Julien Dincq plan to set a French national shearing record on July 8, 2017. The pair aims to shear 1000 sheep in five runs totaling nine hours, between 6am and 6pm.