Two of the world's biggest shearing competitions kick off in Masterton this week.
This year, the World Championships will run alongside New Zealand's premier shearing event, the International Golden Shears, which has been held in the Wairarapa town since its inception in 1961.
Golden Shears Society president Mavis Mullins says entries in both events are at record levels, with more than 600 competitors in total.
About 8000 sheep will be shorn and an extra marquee is being set up at Masterton's War Memorial Stadium to cater for the expected 2000 spectators each day.
Mrs Mullins says international participation at the world champs has risen to 25 countries.
The four day shearing extravaganza starts on Wednesday with world championships events in machine shearing, woolhandling and blade shearing, running along side the normal Golden Shears programme.