Stratford Win For David Buick
Wairarapa shearer and New Zealand representative David Buick has crossed the North Island to claim his third Open title of the new shearing sports season.
He travelled drove the 285km from Pongaroa to the Stratford A and P Show in about four hours before blazing through the 16-sheep Taranaki Shears Open final in 13min 17 sec.
Pipping former Taranaki-based Scottish shearer and 2018 winner Gavin Mutch by five seconds in the race for time honours, Buick also had the best combination of board and pen points to have a clear victory by 2.741pts from eventual runner-up Jack Fagan, of Te Kuiti.
Mutch was third and defending champion Mark Grainger, of Te Kuiti, fourth in his first competition shear for the season, the pair having shared the Stratford show Open-final wins since Sir David Fagan last won there in 2014.
Among the 16 in the heats, just missing a place in the final, was Southland shearer Brett Roberts, the only other shearer to have won two finals in the new season.
Buick now has 24 Open final wins to his name, including four national lambs titles and two Australian crossbred Warrnambool Romney Shears titles.
Taihape teenager Reuben Alabaster had his second win of the season in claiming the Senior title with a margin of more than three points over runner-up and Taranaki rookie competitor Andrew Brown, with rthird place going to Daniel Biggs, of Mangamahu, in his first Senior competition since ending last season as No 1-ranked Intermediate nationwide.
Saturday’s Intermediate final was won by Clay Harris, of Piopio, and the Junior final was won by newcomer Jessie Sullivan, of Fox Glacier.
It was the second-to-last competition of the pre-Christmas phase of the season, ahead of the new Whangarei A and P Show Shears next Saturday.