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Kirkpatrick bounces back in Royal Highland open

Kirkpatrick bounces back in Royal Highland open

Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick has had a confidence-boosting win reclaiming the Royal Highland Show Open title in Scotland at the weekend.

It was his first outing since the World Championships in Ireland four weeks ago, when the Scottish team of Gavin Mutch and Hamish Mitchell ended New Zealand’s reign as World teams champions, and where Kirkpatrick was beaten by both Scots in an individual final won by Kiwi teammate and fellow Hawke’s Bay shearer Rowland Smith.

Mutch, the 2013 Royal Highland winner, was absent at the weekend, having returned to his home in New Zealand, but Kirkpatrick still had to beat the flying World final pacemaker Mitchell, and Ireland representative Ivan Scott.

It was Scott who won the race, finishing the 20-sheep in 14min 21sec, but Kirkpatrick was just a blow or two behind and made-up the small time-points deficit by recording the best quality to beat Scott by 0.4pts, reclaiming a title Kirkpatrick won two years ago.

Mitchell was third, followed next by fellow Scots Callum Shaw and Ritchie Robinson, with 2012 Senior winner and Te Kuiti shearer Jack Fagan claiming the sixth place.

Kirkpatrick will later this week be joined by Fagan’s father, legendary shearer David Fagan, for the Elders Primary Wool UK tour which opens with a test against the new Scotland team of Mitchell and Simon Bedwell during the Scottish Blackface Championships at the Lochearnhead Shears on Friday and Saturday.

It’s almost 30 years since David Fagan first represented New Zealand as an Open-class shearer while son Jack had a taste of international match shearing in the Islington pavilion in Edinburgh today when he and Gisborne shearer Tom Spence were beaten in an invitation NZ v Scotland match by home country shearer Callum Shaw and Scott Wilson.

Meanwhile, Masterton's Kiwi-Aussie shearer, Dylan McGruddy, continued his good form with top-three finishes and best quality points in both the Intermediate and Senior finals. Runner-up in the Intermediate event, he was third in the Senior final, beating fellow Wairarapa shearer Ethan Pankhurst


Royal Highland Open shearing final (20 sheep): John Kirkpatrick (Napier, NZ) 14min 23sec, 53.65pts, 1; Ivan Scott (Kilmacrennan, Ireland) 14min 21sec, 54.05pts, 2; Hamish Mitchell (Lochearnhead, Scotland) 14min 32sec, 55.4pts, 3; Callum Shaw (Saline, Scotland) 15min 41sec, 59.5pts, 4; Ritchie Robinson (Stirling, Scotland) 16min 35sec, 63.2pts, 5; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti, NZ) 18min, 66.5pts, 6.

Senior final (9 sheep): Alister Shaw 8min 43sec, 37.595pts, 1; Dafydd Jones 9min 45sec, 41.25pts, 2; Dylan McGruddy (New Zealand) 10min 12sec, 41.378pts, 3; Ethan Pankhurst (New Zealand) 9min 52sec, 42.156pts, 4; Stuart Davidson 10min 20sec, 45.666pts, 5; Sean Cusiter 10min 34sec, 47.7pts, 6.

Intermediate final (6 sheep): Charlie McCombe 6min 39sec, 38.617pts, 1; Dylan McGruddy 7min 36sec, 38.8pts, 2; James Perry 6min 49sec, 42.45pts, 3; David Gibson 5min 46sec, 44.467pts, 4; Sean Cusiter 7min 41sec, 45.383pts, 5; David Brown 7min 51sec, 51.383pts, 6..

Junior (4 sheep): Stephen Morgan 7min 32sec, 23.317pts, 1; Emily Te Kapa 7min 15sec, 23.75pts, 2; Chris Duncan 7min 51sec, 26.45pts, 3; Chris Coulter 7min 5sec, 27.667pts, 4; Andrew Tullie 7min 2sec, 32.317pts, 5; Tom Dun 8min 42sec, 38.4pts, 6


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