New Zealand Shearing Championships
New Zealand Shearing
Champion shearer David Fagan gave his legion of fans one last stunning display with a come-from-behind victory over Dion King of Napier in the New Zealand open championship at Te Kuiti on Saturday night [1 Apr].
Shearing before a capacity crowd at the Waitomo Cultural and Arts Centre, home town hero Fagan downed King, the recently crowned Golden Shears champion, with a once-typical display of ruthless determination that has been missing from his repertoire all season.
By his own admission, Fagan described his overall season as the worst he’s had in many years but he saved the best for last to claim his 16th New Zealand championship since 1986 by 0.8 of a point from King, with Dean Ball of Te Kuiti in third place.
By the half-way stage of the 20-sheep shear, King had a clear lead over the field and was shearing with the sublime quality that has marked his performances in many major final this season. Gradually however, Fagan regained ground and the pair shore their last three sheep blow for blow. Fifteen hundred fans gave their man the boost he needed on the last to empty his pen in 13min 48 seconds, just three blows ahead of King, with Dig Balme of Te Kuiti and Ball also finishing fast.
Fagan hinted after the event that this was probably his last really serious shear, though he would continue “for the fun of it” for a season or two yet.
Fagan’s win gains him a place in the New Zealand team for a test series in Wales this winter and he will be partnered by Stratford’s Paul Avery, who won the multi-breed circuit final earlier in the evening. Dion King won the North Island Shear of the Year final on Friday night to ensure he didn’t go away from the championships empty-handed.
The inclusion of a Masters event in this year’s programme proved to be an outstanding success, with many champions of yesteryear up on the boards again demonstrating their skills. National MP for Kaikoura, Colin King, who won the Golden Shears and NZ titles in 1987, beat Russell Knight of Apiti and Colin Quinn of Aria for the title, much to the delight of National Party leader Don Brash, who was a guest at the Shears.
Sheree Alabaster of Taihape won the NZ open woolhandling title for the third year in succession, emulating the record of Sue Biddle (Dannevirke), who dominated the event in the late 1980s.
NEW ZEALAND CHAMPIONSHIPS, TE KUITI, 30/31 MAR/1 APR Supershear/Merial NZ Open (20 sheep): David Fagan, Te Kuiti, 47.30 1; Dion King, Napier, 48.18 2; Dean Ball, Te Kuiti, 48.96 3; Dig Balme, Te Kuiti, 51.23 4; John Kirkpatrick, Napier, 52.11 5; James Fagan, Te Kuiti, 52.45 6. NZ Championships circuit (15 multi-breed sheep): Paul Avery, Strafford, 55.39 1; Nathan Stratford, Invercargill, 55.97 2; James Fagan, Te Kuiti, 57.58 3; Dean Ball, Te Kuiti, 59.16 4; David Fagan, Te Kuiti, 60.45 5; Gavin Mutch, Whangamomona, 63.31 dq 6.
Tectra North Island Shearer of the Year (20 sheep): Dion King, Napier, 51.05 1; Dean Ball, Te Kuiti, 51.45 2; Paul Avery, Stratford, 51.62 3; David Fagan, Te Kuiti, 51.63 4; John Kirkpatrick, Napier, 54.29 5; James Fagan, Te Kuiti, 55.29 6.
PGG Wrightson Masters (six sheep): Colin King, Blenheim, 23.79 1; Russell Knight, Apiti, 25.20 2; Colin Quinn, Aria, 27.17 3; Koro Mullins, Dannevirke, 27.50 4; John Fagan, Te Kuiti, 28.04 5; Bill Birdsall, Urenui, 31.10 6.
Bayer NZ Senior (10 sheep): Troy Pyper, Invercargill, 33.25 1; Riki Chase, Taihape, 34.31 2; Ringa Paewai, Dannevirke, 34.34 3; Rowland Smith, Ruawai, 34.34 4; Michael Fabish, Stratford, 35.67 5; Hemi Keelan, Ruatoria, 39.95 6. Pfizer intermediate shearing (8 sheep): Tane Henderson, Kaiwaka, 33.42 1; Bevan Holm, Dannevirke, 35.03 2; Paul Lewis, Gisborne, 37.66 3; Jonathan Mason, Dannevirke, 40.86 4; Chris Kyle, Napier, 41.03 5; Jason Wardlaw, Australia, dq 6.
Supershear Junior (5 sheep): Peter Redhead, England, 29.84 1; Hone Broadbent, Taumarunui, 27.08 2; Mathew Evans, Wales, 27.26 3; Toa Henderson, Kaiwaka, 28.74 4; Lachie Baynes, Wairoa, 29.03 5; Aaron Haynes, Feilding, 31.09 6.
Novice (1 sheep): Haami Kerr, Kawhia, 14.37 1; Kelly McDonald, Lake Hawea, 16.38 2; Wiremu Jarrett, Kawhia, 19.51 3; Allan Rameka, Kawhia, 19.91 4; Tom Morehouse, Piopio, 22.42 5; Catherine Christey, Te Awamutu, 22.43 6.
NZ Shears vs Warrnambool (4 merinos, 4 crossbreds): Warrnambool (Beau Guelfi, Roger Misfud, Jason Wardlaw) 131.729 penalties, beat NZ Champs Te Kuiti (Gavin Mutch, Jason Win, Riki Chase) 138.067 penalties.
Inter-Island challenge (18 sheep): North Island (Paul Avery, Alan MacDonald, Dean Ball, Sheree Alabaster, Joanne Kumeroa, Keryn Herbert) 213.6 penalties, beat South Island (Nathan Stratford, Jason Win, Justin Meikle, Bernadette Forde, Angelique Gage, Yvonne Abraham) 242.02 penalties.
Woolhandling: Elders Primary Wool open (8 fleeces): Sheree Alabaster, Taihape, 78.65 1; Joanne Kumeroa, Wanganui, 83.50 2; Bernadette Forde, Tuatapere, 93.02 3; Anita Phillips, Taumarunui, 106.66 4; Lee Gray, Dannevirke, 118.52 5.
Elders Primary Wool Senior (6 fleeces): Tuma Mullins, Dannevirke, 94.30 1; Hanatia Tipene, Porangahau, 95.15 2; Jasmine Tipoki, Dannevirke, 97.42 3; Pagan Rimene, Masterton, 112.07 4; Ngawai Tau, Dannevirke, 128.30 5.
Merial Junior (4 fleeces): Talia Holm, Dannevirke, 73.96 1; Catherine Christey, Te Awamutu, 78.95 2; Martha Marshall, Pukekohe, 91.39 3; Marama Waitere, Dannevirke, 95.35 4; Karena Holt, Dannevirke, 111.42 5.
Woolpressing: NZ Shears singles: Jeremy Goodger, Masterton, 68.28 1; Kelly Brill, Te Awamutu, 117.80 2.
NZ Shears doubles: Jeremy and Warrick Goodger, Masterton, 46.90 1; James and Vinnie Goodger, Masterton, 49.04 2.