That’s just over one sheep per minute

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After previously winning every other major competition on the continent, Tony Troendle has finally laid claim to the Calgary Stampede North American Sheep Shearing Challenge championship.

Troendle, of Lead, South Dakota., knocked off fellow American Hilary Gietzen of Minot, South Dakota in the open-division final. “It’s indescribable. It feels really, really good to win Calgary,” said Troendle,, who began competing at the Stampede in 2006, and was runner-up in each of the past two years.

Troendle sheared six sheep in six minutes, 29 seconds, compared to Gietzen’s seven minutes and 39 seconds, and with the judged portion of the competition a virtual saw-off, came out ahead with a total of 46.95 points, compared to Gietzen’s 49.28.

Troendle takes home $2,000 and a Limited Edition Calgary Stampede Centennial Commemorative Pendleton Wool Blanket, while Gietzen collects $1,000.

In the intermediate final, Matt Breakey of Bragg Creek, defeated Clive Reynolds of Airdrie — shearing two sheep in four minutes, 11 seconds, compared to Reynolds’ time of 4:55, and coming out ahead with a total of 42.05 points to Reynolds’ 47.75.

The Australian team, consisting of Pora and Steve Mudford, won the International Team Challenge over second-place Canada and the third-place United States. Australia scored 87.81 points, while Canada totaled 111.82 and the U.S. ended up with 113.29.

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