Loren Opstedahl, a sheep shearer from Piedmont, S.D., took top honors at the Black Hills Stock Show National Sheep Shearing Competition last weekend in Rapid City, S.D.
There were 46 shearers from across the United States and Canada who met in Rapid City to compete for the coveted title of top sheep shearer. Junior, intermediate and professional shearers competed in initial heats with the qualifying contestants moving into the final rounds. The competition was action packed in blade shearing, machine shearing and wool handling throughout the day. Shearers were scored on both speed and quality of shearing, for an overall score.
Winners in the various divisions include: Blade Division - Kevin Ford (Mass.), first place; Doug Rathke (Minn.), second place; Loren Opstedahl (S.D.), third place; and Emily Chamelin (Md.), fourth place. Junior Division - Logan Crisp (S.D.), first place; Timothy Wright (Mich.), second place; Caleb Moser (Iowa), third place; and Phillip Feucht (Iowa), fourth place. Intermediate Division - Emily Chamelin (Md.), first place; Ben Fitzpatrick (Minn.), second place; Terrance Pelle (S.D.), third place; and Stephen Lusk (Idaho), fourth place. Profession Division - Loren Opstedahl (S.D), first place; Don Metheral, (Canada), second place; Mark Hoogendoorn (Iowa), third place; and Alex Moser (Iowa), fourth place.
This year a wool handling contest was added for wool handlers working the boards alongside the shearers. Speed, as well as accuracy in sorting wool and off sorts, was the primary factor in selecting the winners. Wool Handling Contest - Emily Chamelin (Md.), first place; Amanda Cantrell (Idaho), second place; Doug Rathke (Minn.), third place; and Leann Brimmer (Mont.), fourth place.