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King pips Forde in Golden Shears Speedshear

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From Doug Laing, media officer, Shearing Sports New Zealand

February 27, 2014.

King pips Forde in Golden Shears Speedshear

Hastings shearer Dion King has drawn first-blood among the Open-class stars at the Golden Shears in Masterton by winning the event’s first in-stadium Speedshear tonight.

King, among the favourites to win the 20-sheep Golden Shears Open final on Saturday, tonight shore a two-tooth ewe carrying about 2.2kg of wool in 24.7 seconds, to beat fellow finalist Darin Forde, of Winton, by just four-hundredths of a second in the Speedshear final front of about 500 people in Masterton’s War Memorial Stadium.

The 2006 Golden Shears Open champion, he is the World nine-hour lambshearing record holder, with a tally of 866, shorn in 2007. Forde once set a nine-hour ewe-shearing record of 720, and the third placegetter, New Zealand-based Irish shearer Ivan Scott, holds the eight-hour lambshearing record, with a tally of 744, shorn in 2012.

King won $1000, Forde $600, Scott $400 and fourth semi-finalist John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, $200.

The big surprise was the quarterfinal elimination of veteran Te Kuiti shearer David Fagan who, having won about 10 other speedshears this summer, was more than three seconds quicker than the next-fastest in the heats, when his 27.6sec was the only time under 30 seconds.

Golden Shears Open championship favourite Rowland Smith, of Hastings, did not compete in the Speedshear, a short version of competition shearing most commonly seen as a pub sport.

Southland shearer Brett Roberts, of Mataura, won $500 as Senior Speedshear winner, with a final time of 29.1sec. Runner-up Kane Kapene, of Martinborough, shore 29.82sec in their showdown.  South Island-based Masterton shearer and first-year senior Ethan Pankhurst had his event’s fastest first-round time but was eliminated at the next stage.

The Speedshear was a warm-up to Friday’s real action, including the Golden Shears Open and Senior championship heats.

ENDS

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