The world's premier shearing event has kicked off in Masterton on Thursday.
The country's sheep shearers, wool handlers and wool pressers will compete at the 54th annual Golden Shears over the next three days.
Shearing Sports media officer Doug Laing says everyone from novice shearers to household names like David Fagan will be taking part.
He says more than 20 events will be held, including trans-Tasman events between New Zealand and Australia, but the Golden Shears Open will be the biggest drawcard - and this year the competition will be as fierce as ever.
Mr Laing says that while many people throw a favouritism blanket over the top two or three shearers, there are eight or nine contenders who could take out the title on Saturday night.