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Idol Showbiz At Shearing Champs

Idol Showbiz At Shearing Champs

New Zealand Idol judge Frankie Stevens is guest entertainer at this year’s New Zealand Shearing Championships, where legendary shearer David Fagan will compete for an unprecedented 16th title.

The 22nd annual Championships, to be held in Te Kuiti from March 30 to April 1, attract the largest number of shearers competing for the biggest prize pool on offer in the country.

President Jim Gibb says the Championships will again feature the ‘Sheep Run’, where more than 2000 sheep will be let loose to run down the length of Te Kuiti’s main street with the crowd of people acting as a natural barrier.

“We’ve managed to convince Frankie Stevens that he should ride on a 4-wheel motorbike ahead of the Sheep Run – sort of like the Pied Piper – and hope the sheep will follow him.

“In past years there has been chaos as the sheep have run in all different directions. It certainly makes for a great spectacle and is hugely entertaining for the crowds of people that flock to the championships.”

Mr Gibb says Fagan is the defending champion and undoubtedly the star attraction in the shearing competitions.

“Fagan is 44 years old now and as he is getting older, the competition is getting tighter. He is certainly not as invincible as he once was, although he will have home town support.”

He says a new shearing event on the programme this year is the Masters Event for shearers over 50 years of age. This has attracted new National MP and former shearer Colin King of Kaikoura to compete.

“The Masters Event will be an interesting competition as there will be a few old scores to settle,” Mr Gibbs says. King will come up against local favourite and Fagan’s older brother John Fagan in that competition.

The Championships are sponsored by FMG, Super Shear, Merial, DB, Otorohonda and Honda First.

Entries close on March 18.

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