Ponytails For Export After Charity Shearing Head-shave
Shearing legend Sir David Fagan has taken to the handpiece again to shear pony tails for export.
The Friday-night moment was part of the entertainment during the North Island Speedshear Shearing Championship in hometown Te Kuiti on Friday night, when he used a crank-powered handpiece to shave the head of local and former England World championships woolhandling representative Natalie Crisp.
Her pony tails are now headed for the Little Princess Trust in the UK, which provides human hair wigs for child cancer sufferers who have lost their hair, while cash donations on the night and on a Givealitle page are destined for Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.
Crisp first came to New Zealand to shear about 17 years ago and has now been living in the country for about eight years with partner Nik Bryant.
She now enters the woolsheds only rarely, the fulltime job now being with Waitomo Honey, with even the boss Alice Woolston roped-in on Friday night. She had two roles, as a firefighter collecting at the door for the Te Kuiti Volunteer Fire Brigade, and as the grinder cranking the power for the head-shaving, which took place in front of a crowd of up to 200 at the Waitete Rugby Club, the club of late rugby great Sir Colin Meads.
Two Speedshear competitor singlets were also auctioned on the night, one raising $300 which went into the Breast Cancer collection, and the other $150 which went to the fire brigade.
It was the latest of several fundraising shearing events in recent times, including two back-to-back eight-hour “days” in a 7am-5am effort by Hawke’s Bay shearer Ariki Hawkins in support of a shearing mate who was injured in a quadbike rollover on a Southland farm, and a 24hr “Shearathon”by Taihape shearers Brad Anderson and Sam Mallalieu in support of Ronald McDonald House.
Sir David, who retired from competitive shearing in 2015 with 642 Open-class wins and multiple World, Golden Shears and New Zealand titles behind him, surprised even himself with the cleanness job on the head-shave, saying that the quality of most haircuts done with shearing handpieces usually requires finishing touches from a barber or hairdresser.
Crisp sat like a lamb as Sir David completed the job - almost. A tassle left behind at the end could have meant the red-light of disqualification had it been part of the actual Speedshear, but Sir David removed the final piece of outstanding growth soon afterwards.
But Crisp had had some experience, having her hair shorn once before for charity, at the Great Yorkshire Show in England in 2014, when the person on the cutting gear was a real hairdresser.