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First Open final win in NZ for Jack Fagan

First Open final win in NZ for Jack Fagan

Te Kuiti shearer and former Royal Welsh Open winner Jack Fagan scored his first Open final win in New Zealand yesterday at the Wairarapa A and P Show’s Spring Shears at Clareville, near Carterton.

Fagan, son of shearing legend Sir David Fagan, who included six Wairarapa wins in a career total of 642 worldwide, capitalised on the absence of the country’s shearing elite in Australia for the weekend, and emerged from a field of just nine entries, among whom only he and 2016 New Zealand Spring Shears winner Murray Henderson had ever won in Open competition.

Despite the absence of such shearers as first-three 2016 placegetters Rowland Smith, John Kirkpatrick and David Buick, there was still plenty to entertain the punters, with those on the board including Fagan and Masterton shearer Paerata Abraham, the finalists in the Southland All Nations Speedshear won by Fagan during the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Invercargill last February.

It was Abraham who took charge, shearing on Stand No 3 and dispatching his pen of 15 full-wooled sheep in 13min 49sec, 42 seconds clear of next-man-off Murray Henderson, of Halcomb.

Finishing 1min 20sec after Abraham, Fagan made-up the time points deficit with the better quality, ultimately winning by 1.21pts, from runner-up Henderson, with Abraham having to settle for third ahead of King Country-based former Hawke’s Bay shearer James Ritchie.

Fagan’s father won the Wairarapa final four times in succession in 1985-88, and again in 1990 and 2012, when Jack Fagan won the Senior final.
Jack Fagan won the Royal Welsh Open final in 2015, and this year won the French championships’ All Nations Open final, but in his fifth season of Open class shearing in New Zealand had shorn in 10 Open finals without victory until yesterday. On October 14 he won the Open Plate at the New Zealand Spring Shears in Waimate.

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The Open woolhandling final yesterday was won by former World champion and multiple New Zealand champion Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape, having previously won at Clareville in 2013.

Monica Potae, of Milton, continued good early-season form, which had included only her second Open-class win, at the Royal Show in Hastings on October 20, and was runner-up. Third was Keryn Herbert, of Te Kuiti, who had won the title in 2012 and 2014, after winning a World teams title with Alabaster in Wales in 2010.
Napier husband-and-wife Ricci and Angela Stevens scored a double in the Senior events, Ricci Stevens winning the shearing title, his third in a Senior career that got under way promisingly with a Manawatu dhow win and a NZ Corriedales Championships title in the first two months of last season, while Angela Stevens claimed her second win of the season and sixth in Senior woolhandling, headed for Open-class next season.

Woodville’s Daniel Seed added the Intermediate shearing title to that he won at the Hawke’s Bay show eight days earlier, Jonathan Painter, from Palmerson North, had his first win in the Junior final, and the Junior woolhandling final was won by Sarah Davis, of Rotorua.

The Wairarapa Shears attracted 57 competitors, comprising 32 shearers (Open 7, Senior 10, Intermediate 6, Junior 9) and 25 woolhandlers (Open 9, Senior 7, Junior 9).
Results from the Wairarapa Spring Shears at the Wairarapa A and P Show, Clareville, Carterton, on Saturday, October 28, 2017:
Open final (15 sheep): Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 15min 9sec, 57.64pts, 1; Murray Henderson (Halcomb) 14min 31sec, 58.85pts, 2; Paerata Abraham (Masterton) 13min 49sec, 61.05pts, 3; James Ritchie (Napier/Pio Pio) 16min 13sec, 64.38pts, 4.
Senior final (10 sheep): Ricci Stevens (Napier) 11min 59sec, 47.15pts, 1; Tegwyn Bradley (Woodville) 11min 5sec, 47.85pts, 2; Lionel Taumata (Taumarunui/Gore) 11min 40sec, 49.2pts, 3; Laura Bradley (Woodville) 13min 55sec, 52.65pts, 4.
Intermediate final (4 sheep): Daniel Seed (Woodville) 8min 27sec, 43.75pts, 1; Callum Pritchard (Pongaroa) 8min 35sec, 44.35pts, 2; Tawera Brown (Masterton) 8min 15sec, 46.55pts, 3; Carmen Smith (Pongaroa) 8min 15sec, 62.35pts, 4.
Junior final (3 sheep): Jonathan Painter (Palmerston North/Mangatainoka) 8min 19sec, 39.94pts, 1; Madison Bright (Takapau) 6min 12sec, 40.26pts, 2; Manahi Fox (Masterton) 7min 21sec, 48.38pts, 3; Joseph Gordon (Masterton) 7min 26sec, 59.29pts, 4.
Novice: Mapu Wittone (-) 45.4pts, 1; Samantha Pritchard (Pongaroa) 54.15pts, 2; Jazz Kenrick (-) 82.8pts, 3.
Open final: Sheree Alabaster (Taihape) 92.894pts, 1; Monica Potae (Milton) 113.268pts, 2; Keryn Herbert (Te Kuiti) 119.896pts, 3.
Senior final: Angela Stevens (Napier) 73.16pts, 1; Bianca Hawea (Masterton) 93.67pts, 2; Nicole Petuha (Masterton) 98.12pts, 3.
Junior final: Sarah Davis (Rotorua) 78.106pts, 1; Summer Pritchard (Pongaroa) 91.8pts, 2; Samantha Pritchard (Pongaroa) 97pts, 3.
Novice: Dina Hana (-) 81.4pts, 1; Laura Bradley (Woodville) 108pts, 2.

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