‘‘I’m going to give it all I’ve got,’’ the Gore woman representing New Zealand on the woolhandling world stage in Scotland later this year says.
Candi Hiri’s recent win at the World Woolhandling qualifying final in Masterton means she will go on to compete at the world championships in June, hosted by the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh.
Her father, brother and uncle, who all had shearing businesses of their own, were ‘‘blown away’’ by the news, she said.
‘‘They absolutely love it, especially my dad. He’s super super proud.
‘‘I’ve worked so hard to get here. That’s why they’re all so proud of me.’’
She had taken part in a circuit of competitions across the country just to get to the qualifying semifinal at the Golden Shears in Masterton.
Up against seven others, she scraped through in fourth place to the final, which she went on to win.
‘‘My next mission is to be the world champ and also hopefully New Zealand will win the teams.’’
Competing alongside her in the team event will be Ngaio Hanson, of Eketahuna, who was second in the qualifying final.
Ms Hiri said she had been taking part in woolhandling competitions for more than 15 years.
‘‘I love competing. I am up against the best.’’
She was often lending a hand to family and friends with their own shearing businesses.
‘‘Woolhandling was her fulltime job and something she had been doing since she was a teenager.
‘‘I’ve always worked in the shed,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s a real good physical job and I like to be busy. You’ve got to be really fit to do it. I absolutely love it.’’