Jack Jordan is on top of the world, having won the Stihl World Champions Trophy 2022 in Vienna, Austria. He competed against 16 athletes from 13 countries and broke the NZ National record in the first round. Jack won the trophy by cutting 1 minute 3.83 seconds in the final against American competitor Jason Lentz.
The 26-year-old has won 10 world titles, 8 individual events and 2 in NZ Stihl TIMBERSPORTS® Team. Jack was first selected at age 14 to represent New Zealand as a U21 Axemen to compete against the Australian U21 team, which he was a member of until turning 21. He won his first Underhand World Title at the Rotorua A&P Show at age 17. Jack’s future goal is to win back the 375mm World Title Underhand Championship at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. He also wants to defend and win the World Trophy in 2023. Jack is a keen hunter outside of wood chopping, both pig hunting and stags. As a farmer, he manages a 4000-acre sheep and beef farm 45 min out of Taumarunui.
On January 13, 2021, in a woolshed near Gore, Megan Whitehead made history by setting a new world nine-hour solo women’s lamb shearing record of 661 – an average of over 73 lambs per hour. This record was even more impressive as it was achieved under the unique Covid-19 restrictions, where one of the judges had to monitor the event from Australia online. Megan is a rare breed, as few women have attempted a nine-hour day shearing, let alone breaking a world record. Shearing sports play a significant role in New Zealand’s economy. The 26-year-old has already made a name for herself in the shearing sports community, setting a world women’s nine-hours four-stands record of 2066 in January 2020 at Waihi-Pukawa Station, Turangi. Her future goal is to become the first woman to shear 700 lambs in a day. When the Gore local is not shearing, she is farming, which she finds just as enjoyable as her passion for shearing sports. With her impressive achievements and future aspirations, we can’t wait to see what she will accomplish next in this highly competitive industry.
Cameron Leslie MNZM | Ngāpuhi, is a paralympic swimmer, a Wheel Black and a nominee for the Laureus World Sports Awards. He is the world record holder and three-time Paralympic gold medalist in the Men’s Individual Medley 150m SM4. He recently competed in the 2022 Para World Championships in Portugal. Despite having to miss the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics due to Covid and the birth of his second child, Cameron made a strong comeback at the World Championships. He won one gold and three silvers, breaking multiple New Zealand, Oceania, and World Records in the process. Cameron broke the world record in the 50 Freestyle heat and coming close to a gold medal in both the 50 Freestyle and 50 Backstroke. Born with a quadruple limb deficiency, Cameron walks on prosthetics with adapted arm mobility. He is the National Para Swimming Development Coordinator at Swimming New Zealand and during his down time he manages his lifestyle block near Tutukaka, where he is hands-on with his cows and sheep.
is a 19-year-old shearer from Taihape. He was a part of a five-stand World record in December 2021 and set a new solo eight-hour record of 746 lambs in December 2022. On December 23, 2021, he shore 774 strongwool lambs in an officially-controlled World five-stand nine-hours lambshearing record tally of 2740, at Te Pa Station, near Raetihi. His personal tally was the second highest of the day, and the highest-ever by anyone aged under 20 years – almost none have tried.
He has won five Senior finals on the Shearing Sports New Zealand circuit and was runner-up in four others, including the New Zealand Shears Senior Shearing Championship. Yet to shear in an Open-class competition, Reuben’s overall goal is to win the Golden Shears Open final.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZMu9QuXKiE&list=PLD5tckUE6W8xvZXoXqTishiM8rdaw2Y3O&index=40
is a shining star in the world of shearing. Her boundless passion for shearing and her commitment to her community make her a true standout. At 67 years old, Eileen is the energetic secretary and executive officer of the Waimate Spring Shears, a two-day event that takes place annually in South Canterbury and draws 150 competitors. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, she held the event successfully in 2021. Eileen also plays an active role in shearing sports at the regional and national levels, serving as secretary for the Shearing Sports New Zealand South Island committee and the National Shearing Circuit committee. Not only has Eileen contributed greatly to the sport of shearing, but she has also helped raise funds for a new multi-purpose venue. Her goal is to continue to drive the growth and success of the Waimate Spring Shears for years to come.
Deirdre Bartlett is a true legend in the world of sheepdog trials. With her deep knowledge of breeding and her dedication to accuracy, she’s the perfect person to serve as the Keeper of the Stud Register. At 68 years old, Deirdre has a lifetime of experience in the sport and has been a competitive triallist since 1974. She’s also won four Wairarapa Top Dog awards! In 2001, the Opaki local took over the job of Stud Register and transformed it from a print register to a digital one. She created a spreadsheet of championship results dating back to 1911 and is now working on making the stud register available on a mobile app. This is just one example of her commitment to the sport and her dedication to making sheepdog trials better for everyone involved. In recognition of her hard work and achievements, Deidre was awarded Life Membership of the New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Association in 2021. When she’s not busy with sheepdog trials, Deirdre is also a talented Endurance horse racer. With all these accomplishments and more, it’s easy to see why Deirdre is such a beloved and respected figure in the world of sheepdog trials!
Elizabeth Mortland is a true champion in the world of gumboot throwing! Her tireless efforts and enthusiasm for the sport have made a lasting impact and helped it grow and thrive in New Zealand. She has been the driving force behind the NZ Boot-throwing Association since 2009 and has been instrumental in organizing and coordinating various competitions and events. In 2014, Elizabeth established the New Zealand Boot-throwing Association as an Incorporated Society and has been serving on its board ever since. Under her leadership, the NZBTA became the 10th member country of the International Boot-throwing Association in 2015 and she was elected as its President in 2018, a position she still holds with grace and determination. Not only is Elizabeth dedicated to promoting gumboot throwing, but she’s also quite the thrower herself, having won silver and gold medals at World Championships in Italy, Finland, and Taihape. Elizabeth has been a key player in establishing the annual North Island, South Island, and New Zealand Championships, and she even played a role in getting Skellerup boots designated as the “official” gumboots for competitions. When she’s not throwing gumboots, Elizabeth enjoys gardening, kayaking, and giving back to her community through involvement in various committees.
Patsy Shirley and her family are true champions of the wool industry, with a passion for shearing sports that spans a lifetime. They established the Northern Southland Community Shears in Lumsden in 2009, with a mission to keep the NZ Longwool Shearing and Wool Handling Championships thriving in Southland. Through Patsy’s tireless efforts, the event has grown into a two-day celebration, attracting over 200 entries each year, despite four changes of venue. The Lumsden local is the glue that holds it all together, a true “rock” who tirelessly works to make the Northern Southland Community Shears a success. Her dedication to her rural community and shearing is unwavering, and her future goals are simply “to retire, or if not, to keep going.” At 76 years young, Patsy Shirley is an inspiration to us all.
Jason Wynyard hails from Kawakawa and is a true icon in the wood-chopping world. Jason has been dominating the sport for over 30 years with a remarkable 230 Championships under his belt. This Kiwi champion started young, encouraged by his father, and has been unstoppable ever since. In 2017, the Queen acknowledged his incredible achievements and awarded him the New Zealand Order of Merit. At the Stihl Timbersport World Championships, Jason competes against the best woodchoppers worldwide, including Australia, France, and the USA. In 2022, he clinched the New Zealand Stihl Championship and placed 5th at the individual world championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. Jason’s success speaks volumes about his love for the sport and unwavering dedication to excellence. In 2023, Jason sets his sights on the ultimate goal: winning the Stihl TIMBERSPORTS® World Championship in Stuttgart, Germany. He enjoys exploring the great outdoors, fishing, and diving when he’s not competing. Jason’s achievements inspire and motivate others to strive for excellence, and his impact on wood chopping is legendary.
Reuben de Jong is an all-around athletic powerhouse! With a background in both Highland Games and Strongman competitions, Reuben has racked up an impressive collection of titles and achievements. In Strongman, Reuben is a two-time NZ Strongest Man champion and holds multiple national records in stone lifting, Farmers Walk, and Conan’s Wheel. He even came in second in the NZ Strongest Man competition in 2017 after a 13-year gap. In Highland Games, Reuben shines as a two-time Oceania Highland Games champion and a three-time winner of the NZ Rural Games. He’s got the skills and the strength to stand tall on the podium and holds the NZ record for the 56lb weight for height at an impressive 17 feet. Reuben’s not just a strongman – he’s a versatile athlete. He’s won numerous titles in Mixed Martial Arts and professional wrestling and even appeared in films, TV shows, and commercials, showcasing his acting talent. Despite facing stiff competition from world-class athletes, Reuben continues to shine and inspire others. His drive, talent, and diverse background make him a true all-around athlete, and he’s not slowing down anytime soon!
Dr Luk Chin is a true legend in harness racing! With over four decades of experience, he’s still going strong at the age of 80 and continues to inspire many in the sport. Dr Chin has dedicated his life to both his work as an anaesthesiologist and his love for horses and harness racing. He trains and races all his horses, bred by him, in Tamahere near Cambridge. He’s never bought a horse and has never stopped being involved in harness racing. In 2021 and 2022, Dr Chin’s horses made a big impact, with two running in the Harness Jewels and three winning within 24 hours. He competes against the best in the country and specializes in trotters that he has bred and trained himself. With over 100 wins as both a driver and trainer, Dr Chin had his best season in 2022 at the age of 79. Although his work in the health field and his harness racing commitments keep him busy, Dr Chin still manages to pursue other interests. He was instrumental in starting the Anglesea clinic in Hamilton and is currently involved in developing health hubs in Cambridge and Pukekohe. With his future goal to breed, own, train, and drive a Group 1 winner, Dr Luk Chin remains a true inspiration in harness racing.
Olympic champion and double medallist, a three-time world champion and 2019 world champion in both the coxless pair and the women’s eight. Kerri was born in Raetihi and attended school in Marton. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFI8chTXgOM&list=PLD5tckUE6W8xvZXoXqTishiM8rdaw2Y3O&index=37