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Blades shearer shines as World Champs heat-up in Ireland

Blades shearer shines as World Champs heat-up in Ireland

Blades master Tony Dobbs has produced the starring act for New Zealand in the opening rounds of the Golden Shears World Championships by beating the hotly-favoured defending champion South Africans in today’s first round heats in Gorey, Ireland.

Dobbs, a former champion and Fairlie farmer bouncing back after almost two decades off the competition scene until the start of the New Zealand season last October, posted the fastest time over three sheep and also had the equal-best quality points to go into tomorrow’s second round with a margin of more than one-and-a-half points over four-times champion Zeliwile Hans.

Dobbs’ teammate, Brian Thomson, of West Melton, having shared the best quality points, was in third place, just clear of second South African representative Mayenzeke Shweni.

Kiwi machine shearing hopes Rowland Smith and John Kirkpatrick are also well placed after the first round of their event.

Smith and Kirkpatrick, both from Hawke’s Bay, are in third and fifth positions respectively. Leading the 49 shearers through the first stage is New Zealand-based defending champion and Scottish shearer Gavin Mutch, half-a-point clear of Irish hope Ivan Scott, who has also been based in New Zealand each summer for more than 12 years.


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