Geraldine Shearer Finishes UK Stint On A High
New Zealand shearer Allan Oldfield has rounded-off a successful season in the UK with victory in the Royal High Highland Show blade shearing final in Edinburgh early today (NZ time).
From Geraldine and son of 2017 World Championships placegetter Phil Oldfield, he returns home this week after 14 months in the Northern Hemisphere, which last year provided his first win, a unique and possibly unprecedented series of wins in blade shearing, junior machine shearing and novice woolhandling.
It culminated in the last last few months in which with wins in blade shearing finals at the Fernhill Blades Tournament and the Devon County Show before the first of his two biggest triumphs when he won the Royal Bath and West Show title in Somerset last month.
Shearing a six-man final of six full-wooled Scottish breed mules each, Oldfield today had a comfortable win by over seven points from runner-up and Norway-based Scotland World Championships team member Wilson Wyllie, while especially pleasing for Oldfield was the third-placing of England-based Dannevirke competiutor Michael Churchouse. The other three finalists have also represented Scotland.
It was the Southern Hawke’s Bay man’s best performance, following three months working with and learning from Oldfield in the UK.
On Saturday, Oldfield had also finished third in the intermediate machine shearing final.
While today’s final was missing such regular opposition as England father-and-son pair and World Championships representatives George and Andrew Mudge and the top Welsh shearers, it was a tough day.
“Some of the sheep had a bit of cotty wool around the necks,” Oldfield said. “They were tough sheep for competition, especially with the blades. That’s why our times were fairly slow.”
Oldfield will have nly a short stop at home before heading to the Falkand Islands in August, to shear more sheep, with Argentina and Australia also on the itinerary for the rest of the year.
“It’s been a great way to travel around the World and meet genuine people everywhere I go,” he said. “I’m really happy to have met so many great people. I’m already looking forward to coming back to the UK again next year.”
Royal Highland Show:
Blade shearing final (6 sheep): Allan Oldfield (Geraldine, NZ) 21min 4sec, 94.533pts, 1; Wilson Wyllie (Scotland) 25min 32sec, 102.766, 2; Michael Churchouse (Dannevirke, NZ) 21min 42sec, 110.767pts, 3; William Craig (Scotland) 26min 25sec, 111.917pts, 4; Mark Armstrong (Scotland) 26min 1sec, 113.05pts, 5; Jimmy Wright (Scotland) 19min 56sec, 114.3pts, 6.