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The extra mile counts as Fagan wins again, and again

The extra mile counts as Fagan wins again, and again

Veteran champion shearer David Fagan showed he was again prepared to go more than the extra mile in a day-long journey which reaped two more victories at the weekend.

The 52-year-old from Te Kuiti won the Duvauchelle A and P Show’s 15-sheep Open final and single-lamb Speedshear on Bank’s Peninsula in a round-trip which started when he got up at 3.30am on Saturday and ended when he rolled back up the drive-way about midnight.

The effort mightily impressed competition organiser Phil Bremner, who went to the Canterbury Show in November to ask Fagan to be the special guest at Duvauchelle, marking a century of shows at the venue.

Fagan agreed, despite being unable to get a suitable flight out of Hamilton and having to drive more than two hours, a distance of about 185km, to Auckland to fly to Christchurch, and a further hour’s drive to the showgrounds at the head of Akaroa Harbour.

“It’s the first time I’ve been there,” said Fagan, who scored his third Open win in a row, having won the last two North Island shows before Christmas, at Stratford, for the first time since 1994, and his first Manawatu show victory.

Shearing the 15 sheep in 14min 51.03sec, he finished more than a sheep and a half ahead of Rakaia shearer Grant Smith, who had to settle for second place in his attempt to win the Duvauchelle title for a third year in a row.

Fagan also produced marginally the better quality, and claimed victory by a comfortable 5.23 points, his 623rd Open win since he first shore in the top class in the Spring of 1981.

Ignoring the temptation to hit the road as soon as the formalities were out of the way, Fagan then won his seventh Speedshear final in a row this season. But it was a much closer call as he peeled his lamb in 27 seconds, just pipping Ashburton shearer Jock Barrett, who had earlier won the Show’s eight-sheep Senior final.

Mr Bremner was sure Fagan’s presence contributed to the success of the show, with the biggest crowd in years, most taking the chance to watch the shearing which had its biggest entry for years.

There were more than 50 shearers across the four classes, including 19 in the Open class and 18 in the Junior class, which produced the fourth win of the season for Oamaru shearer and national Junior rankings leader Joel Richards.

The Intermediate event attracted a quality but small field of seven, with the first two placings filled by Lyall Windleburn, of Waiau, and Joseph Stephens, of Ireland, currently second and third respectively in national Intermediate rankings.

ENDS

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