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Fagan lines up another big win at Golden Shears

February 24, 2014

Fagan lines up another big win at Golden Shears

Shearing icon David Fagan is lining-up a 10th victory in one of New Zealand’s toughest shearing events after heading the qualifiers for the PGG Wrightson National Circuit finals to be shorn in Masterton this week.

Fagan, the 52-year-old Te Kuiti shearer who first won the event in 1986, scored the maximum 12pts in the final qualifying round, the heats of the second-shear Pahiatua Shears yesterday.He had opened the competition in October with maximum points on full-wooled merino sheep at Alexandra.

The competition, for the McSkimming Memorial Triple Crown, which was first presented in 1973, extends over five qualifying rounds on different wools, also including the full crossbred fleece at Waimate in October, coarse-wooled corriedale at the Canterbury Show in November, and lambs at Marton earlier this month.

The top 12, based on points for their placings at each stage, shear the semi-finals at the Golden Shears on Saturday morning, the top six qualifying for the final that night, on sheep of all five types.

Fagan already has his name on the crown for 1986, 1988, 1992, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2008, among 625 Open-class wins, which also include 16 wins in the Golden Shears Open championship, for which he is again among the favourites.

The TAB was quick to react today, making him a $2.50 favourite to win the Triple Crown again, but with tough competition from the next three qualifiers – Invercargill shearer Nathan Stratford, defending champion John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, and Darren Forde, the Southlander who won the event four times from 1999 to 2004.

They were all quoted at $5, with three-times winner Tony Coster, of Rakaia, at $6 and the rest at $25 or more.

Among them are fellow Mid-Canterbury shearers Gavin Rowland and Norm Harraway, who have been competing this season in the Last Stand tour, a testimonial to long time shearing and judging identity John Hough, who is retiring this season.

The 12 qualifiers in order, with total qualifying points, are:

David Fagan (Te Kuiti) 55pts, 1; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 42pts, 2; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 41pts, 3; Daren Forde (Winton) 38pts, 4; Axle Reid (Taihape) 31pts, 5; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 30pts, 6; Tony Coster (Rakaia) 28pts, 7; Grant Smith (Rakaia) 22pts, 8; Norm Harraway (Rakaia) 16pts, 9; Tipene Te Whata (Tautoro) 15pts, 10; Gavin Rowland (Dunsandel) and Doug Smith (Ruawai) 14pts, 11eq.

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