Two New Zealand shearers have made it safely through the first round of the world shearing and wool handling championships in Norway.
Current Golden Shears and New Zealand open champion, John Kirkpatrick, was in second place. Paul Avery was seventh.
Taranaki-based Gavin Mutch of Scotland is leading after the first heat.
However, reigning machine shearing world champion, Shannon Warnest from South Australia, was struggling in 10th place.
The New Zealand pair will be aiming to keep their places in the top 12 through the second round, to qualify for the semi-finals and win one of the six places in the final.
The machine shearing has attracted a record 50 competitors from 28 countries.
New Zealand is also competing in the blade-shearing and wool handling.