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New World champ Smith backs-up with big UK shears win

New World champ Smith backs-up with big UK shears win

New Zealand shearer Rowland Smith has produced winning form again by taking the 50th anniversary UK Golden Shears open title at the Royal Bath and West Show in England just five days after winning the World Championship in Ireland.

The 27-year-old from Hawke’s Bay and who grew-up in Northland, won by a point from 52-year-old Te Kuiti shearing great David Fagan, who won the title at Shepton Mallet 12 times between 1986 and 2003.

Third was Taranaki farmer and Scottish shearer Gavin Mutch, who was second in the World final in Gorey in the Republic of Ireland last Sunday, defending the title he won in 2012.

Smith attends brother and fellow shearer Matthew’s wedding on a Cornwall farm over the weekend and then returns home to Hastings where wife and fellow record-breaking shearer Ingrid is expecting their first child.

Fagan is also heading home, but returns to Britain in three weeks’ time to compete at the Lochearnhead Shears in Scotland, as one of two Shearing Sports New Zealand team members on the annual Elders Primary Wool UK tour.

Among those watching Smith’s latest triumph was Ian “Scotty” Stewart, a Scotsman who won the original UK title in 1964 and who has lived for more than 50 years in Wairarapa as one of the longest-serving officials and servants of the Golden Shears International Championships in Masterton, where the Golden Shears brand was launched in 1961.

Also in today’s final were Welsh shearers Richard and Ian Jones, and English World Championships representative Adam Berry, who worked for Mutch in New Zealand last summer and who today also won the England National title for the first time.

Cam Hicks, of Marton, was sixth in the Senior final won by Rhodri Jones, of Wales.

Jack Fagan, who also shore in the Open competition heats, commented after his father was beaten by Smith in the final: “Rowly was showing his World class.”


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