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Big night for speedshear at Mangawhai

Big night for speedshear at Mangawhai

Sporting tragics wanting to get away from a World Cup final without the All Blacks have the ideal chance to see something different when the second Mangawhai Hotel Speedshear is held north of Auckland on Saturday.

Attracting some of the fastest shearers, the Open-class offers a first prize of $5000, the biggest prize in the sport in New Zealand.

Among them will be Te Kuiti shearer Jack Fagan, who last Saturday in Mt Gambier, South Australia, nailed the biggest speedshear prize in Australia, $AUD7000, a fortnight after winning $AUD4000 at Mt Moriac, Vic.

Before leaving New Zealand for the Aussie raid, Fagan had won a speedshear at the Spring Shears in Waimate, just pipping Hawke’s Bay shearer Cam Ferguson, who 22 hours earlier had won another speedshear in the area, and who earlier this year won the New Zealand Rural Games Speedshear in Palmerston North.

Also the winner of the All Nations Speedshear in the French city of Limoges, a prelude to the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in nearby Le Dorat over the following week, Fagan is expected to be up against inaugural Mangawhai winner and on-song Hawke’s Bay gun Dion King.

From Flaxmere, King returned to winning show-competition form at the Great Raihania Shears in Hastings on November 25 and then won a hotel speedshear at countryside hotel Puketapu.

One not expected, however, is Manawatu shearer Jimmy Samuels, who was runner-up to Fagan at Mt Gambier after winning the previous night at Mortlake, Vic.

Samuels said last weekend he’s buckling down to some work in South Australia, and a break from travelling. Two weeks ago he was throwing a different sort of steel, in an international darts tournament in a Las Vegas casino.

At Mangawhai, about 100km north of central Auckland, Saturday’s speedshear has Open, Senior and Local competitions, with a total prize pool worth over $10,000. Heats start at 4pm, followed by finals expected to start about 6pm.


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