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Shearing record bid cancelled - January 31, 2011

A challenge to the World eight-hour lamb shearing record set last month by World champion Cam Ferguson has been called off with organisers unable to find enough suitable lambs at a late stage of the season.

The attempt was to have been made on Thursday by New Zealand-based Irish shearer and previous record-holder Ivan Scott, currently working for Rotorua contractor Jeff Dorset. World Sheep Shearing Records Society secretary Hugh McCarroll, of Tauranga, said that no further record attempts are expected in New Zealand this season, after a flurry of five bids which saw three records broken.

Hawke's Bay shearer Ferguson can focus on retaining his Golden Shears open crown in the knowledge his eight-hour lambs record of 742 shorn on January 10 is intact, King Country shearer Stacey Te Huia now holds the eight hour ewes record with 603 shorn on December 22, and brothers Doug and Rowland Smith, from Ruawai in the Far North, have a two-stand record of 1066 ewes in eight hours set in Hawke's Bay on January 11.

Change of date for shearing record - January 27, 2011

Irish shearer Ivan Scott's bid to regain the World eight-hour lambshearing record has been deferred for two days to ensure the sheep are up for the challenge.

Originally scheduled for next Tuesday, the attempt on the mark of 742 set by Golden Shears and World champion Cam Ferguson on January 10 will now be held next Thursday (Feb 3).

South Island-based and currently shearing for Rotorua contractor Jeff Dorset, the 29-year-old Scott previously held the record of 736, set in December 2008 at Onuku Trust Farm, Rerewhakaaitu, south of Rotorua.

His attempt next week will take place just east of Taupo, at the Opepe Trust Farm, where last month he pulled-out of a nine-hour record bid after shearing 343 lambs in 3hrs 45mins, and having 10 rejected by the four World Sheep Shearing Records Society judges. He will have to step-up the pace by at least a lamb an hour and eliminate the faults to regain the eight-hour record.

Big guns draw crowds to Tapawera show - January 25, 2011

The Tapawera Show near Nelson saw one of its biggest crowds in years when about 6000 people were estimated to have passed through the gates at the weekend, some attracted by the opportunity to see some of the best shearers in the World.

Two-times Golden Shears champion and 2008 World teams champion John Kirkpatrick was among them, and, coming from Napier, maintained his domineering form by winning a four-man Open final in which World and Golden Shears finalist Gavin Mutch, a Taranaki-based Scotsman, was runner-up, and former World champion Tom Wilson, also from Scotland but based in Darfield, was fourth.

It was Kirkpatrick's sixth win in six competitions this season, and his fourth in the South Island, highlighting a keenness to again win the South Island Shearer of the Year title.

Locals dominated the other events, including novice, junior and senior woolhandling, which helped boost the overall entry to about 40 competitors.

King Country guns rule in Tauranga shears - January 25, 2011

Shearing veterans David Fagan and Digger Balme kept the King Country flag aloft as they dominated two events in the Bay of Plenty on Saturday, shutting out two more young guns from Hawke's Bay.

The two were first and second respectively in a 15-lamb Open final at the Tauranga A and P Show Shears during the efternoon, and then repeated the result in a Speedshear at The Quarry Tavern, Te Puna, in the evening.

On both ocasions the chasers were led by Dannevirke shearer Adam Brausch, while fourth in the show final was Hawke's Bay-based Far North shearer Rowland Smith.

All four featured in a hectic race at the show where just over 19 seconds separated first from last, but it was still Fagan in front, finishing his 15 lambs in 12min 25.5sec, with Balme next off five seconds later.

With the show dispensing with on-board judging for the final, as part of a Shearing Sports New Zealand experiment to enhance the spectacle, judging took place solely in the pens, the placings still remaining the same as the order in which shearers had come off the board.

It was Fagan's 606th Open-class win, but his first since victories at the New Zealand Spring Championships in Waimate and the Poverty Bay Show in Gisborne a week apart in October.

World champion Cam Ferguson failed to make the final and was beaten in the Open Plate by Smith's brother, Mathew, but there was still success for Ferguson's home area of Central Hawke's Bay when 2010 New Zealand Intermediate champion Tysson Hema, of Waipukurau, won his first Senior title. The intermediate final was won by Sarah Goss, of Apiti, turning the tables on Gisborne shearer Henare Niania, by whom she had been beaten at Wairoa a week earlier, while the Junior final was won by Bryce Guy, of Kaeo, who had also won at Wairoa.

In the Speedshear a few hours later, Fagan collected $2000 for winning the Open title with a best time in the final of 21.52sec. But Masterton shearer Matenen Mason, 19, went three-tenths of a second faster to win the Senior title, his time of 21.2ec winning him just $1000.

It wasn't however the fastest of the night, being eclipsed by a scorching time of just over 19 seconds in the Open heats by Digger Balme, also from the King Country and who ultimately had to settle for second to Fagan in their final.

Surprise second record bid for Irish shearer - January 25, 2011

Irish shearer Ivan Scott will make a surprise bid to regain the World eight-hour lambs shearing record next Tuesday.

The 29-year-old South Island-based shearer's plans were confirmed with the World Sheep Shearing Records Society yesterday and he will attempt to break the record of 742 set on January 10 by World Champion and Hawke's Bay shearer Cam Ferguson, at Moketenui Station, between Te Kuiti and Bennydale.

Scott was the previous holder with a tally of 736 shorn in December 2008 at Onuku Trust Farm, near Rerewhakaaitu, Bay of Plenty.

The new attempt, organised by current employer and Rotorua contractor Jeff Dorsett, will take place at Opepe Trust Farm, just east of Taupo on State Highway 5 and where on January 14 Scott failed in a bid for the glamour nine-hour record of 866, abandoning the attempt well off the required pace and just 3hrs 45mins into the day.

The record attempt is expected to be staged from 7am to 5pm, with four two-hour runs separated by two smoko breaks of 30 minutes each and an hour for lunch. It will be the sixth record bid of the season, with new marks having been set in the solo and two-stand eight-hour ewe shearing categories.

Kirkpatrick flies south for two more winners - January 17, 2011

It may have been a thousand kilometres from home but Hawke's Bay shearer John Kirkpatrick was right at home as he cleaned-up the two major titles in the deep south at the weekend, for at least the fourth time.

Kirkpatrick won the Northern Southland Community Shears fullwool open title in Lumsden on Friday and the New Zealand Crossbred Lambs title at the Winton A and P Show on Saturday - the third time he has claimed the double since the lambs title was resurrected in 2009. He had also won the double the last time the lambs title was shorn before its recess, at Riversdale in 2003.

The two wins extended the 40-year-old 2002 and 2008 Golden Shears champion's record in New Zealand this season to five out of five, also including the NZ Corriedale Championship at the Canterbury Show in November, and the national lambshearing title at Raglan last week.

It was a close call in the 20 sheep fullwool final, in which Kirkpatrick was only third finished, a half-minute behind Darin Forde, the home-town hero who scored poorly in the pens, enabling the North Island raider to sneak home with a winning margin of 0.113pts.

Te Kuiti icon David Fagan and World champion Cam Ferguson, of Waipawa, both in the south to represent New Zealand against the United Kingdom in Winton, were third and fourth, Ferguson struggling with the bigger sheep just four days after shearing an eight-hour lambs record. he finished more than a sheep behind Forde.

Fagan was first finished in the lambs final, cutting out his pen of 20 in 14min 54sec, six seconds before Ferguso who just pipped Kirkpatrick, whiose better quality on the board and in the pens enabled him to beat Fagan by 0.9pts, with Ferguson just another five-hundredths of a point away in third place.

Ferguson was the top invididual as he and Fagan beat a United Kingdom team of Gavin Mutch and Ian Montgomery by almost 15 points on Saturday in the first match of a three-test series.

Jack Fagan wins the intermediate final at Winton, for two wins on lambs in a week.

FORDE THINKING: Starting young in the south was 10-year-old Katie Forde, in the junior woolhandling heats at Winton, with an expert to pass on a few tips, shearer Nathan Stratford.
Starting their tour with a provincial match the previous day at Lumsden, Mutch and Montgomery were beaten by Southland shearers Alton Devery and Chas Tohiariki. The best of the South Island shearers in the lambs final on Saturday was Jason Win, of Reefton, who was fourth. On the same day, his father, Sam, a 55-year-old who was the eldest competitor in last month's Pike River mine disaster charity speedshear in Reefton, won the Golden Bay A and P Show open final in Motueka.

Kirkpatrick was not the only shearer to score a double in Southland, with Masterton shearer Matene Mason, 19, winning both senior finals, while Krystal Wilson, of Hastings, scored the weekend's other double by winning both senior woolhandling finals.

Mataura teenager Brett Roberts added the intermediate Lumsden title to the junior honours he won at the show last year, but yielded the accolades in the lambs final to Fagan's son, Jack, who had also won on the lambs at Raglan seven days earlier.

National representatives Joel Henare, of Gisborne, and Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu, shared the spoils in the open woolhandling finals. Henare was superior on the full wool fleeces at Lumsden, retaining the title he won last year. He won by 9pts from Herbert who reversed the placings at the Winton show the next day. Bernadette Forde, of Tuatapere, was third in both finals.

Krystal Wilson, of Hastings, showed particular versatility in winning both senior finals, and Jenna Holand won the junior final at Lumsden from Ebony Karipa, who then won the lambs title.

Darin Forde's daughters, Tessa and Katie, both took part in the junior heats, 10-year-old Katie being placed seventh in her competition debut.

The King reigns in Wairoa again - January 16, 2011

With several of his traditional rivals away in the South Island, Dion King was a clear favourite to regain the Wairoa Open title which he last won two years ago.

And he didn't disappoint the punters in a four-man final which was limited to 12-sheep each as the numbers in some events were culled to accommodate the large-than-expected entry, particularly in the senior and junior classes, each with 20 shearers. The Open attracted 24, and the intermediate 14.

But the final held plenty of other interest, notably with the presence of Rowland Smith who hadn't missed a beat since he and brother Doug set a two-stand World ewes record four days earlier.

He had been out on the board the day after the record finishing the remainder of the flock and put-in another two days' work before heading to the Wairoa show with Doug and third brother Matthew, mainly to support Wairoa organiser Bart Hadfield.

As it happened, Hadfield also made the final, a rather painful event as the catching pen door cracked into his foot going in for just the second sheep. He survived the event, but spent the rest of the day watching the foot balloon quite out of proportion to the rest of the limb.

The other finalist was Ian Kirkpatrick, the only survivor from last year's final and therefore having reached the Wairoa Open final in both of his two seasons since winning the Golden Shears and New Zealand senior titles in 2009.

King won the race in 10min 19.7sec, 18.5 seconds ahead of Smith who was next man off, and who was second overall, with King winning by almost 2.6pts.

Smith reckoned he had felt like he was still in "record" mode, but will hit the circuit of weekly competitons, including heading back to Northland for the Warkworth Shears as they are revived in new facilities next weekend.

Tipene Te Whata, from Tautoro in the Far North but shearing mainly around the Central North Island, won the senior final, but just 0.15pts separated the 2009 intermediate winner from Gisborne shearer Wi Ngarangione, who won the intermediate title last year.

Henare Niania, of Gisborne, won this year's intermediate final, in which female shearers Sarah Goss, of Apiti, and Pauline Bolay, of Pukekohe, were second and third, while Goss's brother, 14-year-old Simon, was third in the junior final won by another Northlander, Bryce Guy, of Kaeo.

Shears record not out of reach, says former holder - January 14, 2011

An Irishman's dream of becoming the World's fastest shearer in a woolshed near Taupo vanished in despair as he gave up early today.

But a former record holder who was his right-hand man believes he will come back, and the World record of 866 lambs in nine hours he hoped to beat will be broken, and possibly go over 900.

The vanquished today was 29-year-old Ivan Scott, who comes from Kilmacrennan in County Donegal, but who lives mainly in New Zealand..

Starting at 5am at Opepe Trust Farm, east of Taupo, he had managed just 333 in the two runs to morning smoko, totalling 3hrs 45mins. It was 33 down on the comparative tally of Hawke's Bay gun Dion King when he smashed the record at Moketenui, King Country, four years ago.

Scott had also had 10 lambs rejected by the World Sheep Shearing Records Society judges and been given two warnings about the quality.

Southern Hawke's Bay farmer Justin Bell, who had held the record from 2004 until King's triumph, said the early abandonment of two attempts at the record this season does not mean the ultimate shearing record is out of reach.

But to succeed, challengers had to have everything right on the day, he said. He believes Scott has the heart to "have another crack," and that the mark will some day go over 900, an average of 36 seconds per lamb.

King set a two-hour run record of 196 when he opened his record bid in January 2007, and today Scott was well off the pace from the outset, with 185 shorn by breakfast at 7am, and then losing three in the judging in the pens. As the pressure went on to catch up more mistakes followed and he was credited with just 151 in the 1hr 45min second run before the event was called-off.

It was the last of five record bids in New Zealand notified to the society this summer, and no others are likely.

Ewes record blitz in Hawke's Bay woolshed - January 12, 2011

A dicky back and a crook stomach were merely obstacles along the way as brothers Rowland and Doug Smith overcame some of the toughest sheep around to to continue Hawke's Bay's rewriting of the World sheep shearing records yesterday.

The pair shore a new two-stand strongwool ewes record of 1066 in eight hours in the challenging pumice country of Waitara Station north of Te Pohue, the toughness masked by the 80-sheep gap between their effort and the previous record of 986 which had stood for 11 years.

Rowland, a 24-year-old close to two metres tall and recovering from a back stress that forced him out of a record-bid a year ago, shore 562 - the third-highest tally shorn by any shearer in a ewes record bid. Doug, four years older, having turned his back on an engineering career and overcoming a gut-wretching start to the last of the four two-hour runs, came home with 13 in the last 12 minutes, better than his average pace for the day and taking him to 504, beating his own previous best by about 40.

Rowland's runs were 141, 142, 140 and 139 and Doug's were 127, 129, 126 and 122. In the previous record, near Marton in December 1999, Hayden Te Huia's then record solo tally of 495 comprised runs of 118, 122, 128 and 127 while Stacey Te Huia's runs were 117, 125, 127 and 122 for a tally of 491.

There were few complaints from the Judges, chief judge Tony Abbey, of Badgingara, West Australia, South Island representatives Don Morrison and John Hough, and North Island representatives Doug Oliver and John Fagan.

Among the first to congratulate the shearers was Stacey Te Huia, who in December shore a World solo record 603, and the previous holder of that record, third Smith brother Matthew, who had shorn 578 in the Waitara shed in January last year.

Rowland Smith (left) and brother Doug, after setting a new two-stand World eight-hour strongwool ewe shearing record at Waitara Station on Tuesday, January 11.

Rowland Smith

Uniquely, the brothers, who were raised in the Far North and went to school at Ruawai - although Rowland and Matthew were born in Napier - decided to do their records in Hawke's Bay against the odds.

In contrast the four other records held by Hawke's Bay shearers were all done at Moketenui in King Country, including Waipawa gun and World champion Cam Ferguson's eight-hour lambs record on Monday.

Numerous sponsors supported the event, a $US2700 fee to the World Sheep Shearing Records Society for the first multiple-stand challenge in New Zealand since Wairoa mother-and-daughter Marg and Ingrid Baynes set a women's record two years ago being only part of the cost.

It was a special moment for one representative. Gary Brooks, of Bayleys Hawke's Bay, who grew-up on Waitara Station, the road to which carries the family name. He owned and ran part of the property for 10 years.

Shearing gear company Heiniger New Zealand also played a major role and regional sales manager Peter Clendon said the company was "extremely proud" to have been involved in both records at Waitara Station, and supply the Evo shearing plant, the Icon handpieces, and new Calibre combs and Edge cutters.

"They handled the harsh conditions of pumice particularly well," he said.

The two were always well ahead of the required pace, despite the tough conditions. Having started at 6am, the broke the record at 3.23pm and shore through to the scheduled finish at 4pm.

Timekeeping for the two shearers were Weber farmer and former eight and nine hour lambs record holder Justin Bell and Wairoa shearer and former three-stand lambs record holder Bart Hadfield.

Justin Bell assumes the same role on Friday as New Zealand-based Irish shearer Ivan Scott tackles the nine-stand lambs record of 866 held for four years by Hawke's Bay shearer Dion King.

The woolhandlers yesterday were mother and daughter Denise and Aroha Whitiwhiti, Ngahina Transom, from Taihape, and teenager Tiani Rissetto, who work for Hastings contractors Woolqual (formerly Brannigan Shearing).

Jubilant shearers' father Alan Smith, who learned to shear in the area, casually offered some explanation as to why his sons had bucked the trend and done their records in Hawke's Bay.

"Ruawai is a dairy farming area, alot of kumera are grown there, and the numbers of sheep are dropping," he said. And then, as young boys, his sons talked not of how they would be All Blacks, but of how they were going to beat shearing icon David Fagan.

Last year Rowland, a former Golden Shears junior and senior champion, almost beat Fagan in the New Zealand Open final in Te Kuiti and won the Australian crossbred title in Warrnambool, and now sets his sights back on the competition circuit, including trying to make the Golden Shears open final for the first time, and contesting next season's World Championships team qualifying rounds.

"They've got an interesting sports shearing season ahead of them," their father said. Matthew said that while it wasn't clear, Rowland could be competing at the Wairoa A and P Show this weekend.

Champ Cam slams lamb record in King Country heat - January 10, 2011

World champion shearer Cam Ferguson today logged another magic moment in an amazing 15 months of triumph when he set a new World shearing tally record in the heat of a King Country woolshed.

The 27-year-old from Waipawa, in Central Hawke's Bay, set an eight-hour lambshearing record of 742, after a horror start including a power cut in the first 20 minutes after the 7am start and three lambs being rejected by the judges in the first hour and a half.

The power cut put the record bid back an hour, and regaining his composure to hit steady half-hour tallies of 46-48 lambs, Ferguson set the record inside the last five minutes before the rescheduled finish time of 6pm.

On hand to congratulate him was New Zealand-based Irish shearer Ivan Scott who set the previous mark of 736 south of Rotorua in December 2008.

Ferguson's record came at Moketenui Station between Te Kuiti and Benneydale, four years to the day after fellow Hawke's Bay shearer Dion King, in the same shed, set a nine-hour record of 866, which Scott will be challenging on Friday at Opepe Trust, east of Taupo.

Needing an average of 184 for each of the four two-hour runs to equal the record, and hoping to get close to Scott's opening run of 192 two years ago, Ferguson opened with 183. But with 188 and 187 in the next two runs to afternoon smoko, he needed just 179 in the last two hours to break the record. He came home strongly in front of an ecstatic crowd of over 200 supporters to complete a final run of 184.

Ferguson, with partner Teresa Hall, daughter Kaylah, nan Hine Aramoana, dad Brian, mother Marion and assorted other whanau over from Hawke's Bay, added the record to a string of other successes since the start of the 2009-2010 season.

With only three wins in five seasons of Open-class competition since winning the Golden Shears senior title in 2004, he won the New Zealand Spring Championship in October 2009, and a number of other titles climaxing in the Golden Shears open title last March and the World title in Wales in July.

The efforts won him the Central Hawke's Bay and Ngati Kahungunu supreme sports awards, and a nomination for the Halberg Awards.

He also helped New Zealand to its first away transtasman series win over Australia eight years, and has won more than 60 competitions in the sport's short game, the Speedshears, usually won by the shearer with the fastest time for a single sheep.

He did not let his record preparation disrupt his love of "show shearing" and on Saturday he competed at Raglan and was third in the National Lamb Shearing Championship final.

On Friday he heads to Southland for two competitions, including shearing for New Zealand in a test against the UK with teammate, shearing icon and record bid manager David Fagan, the pair also being guests of honour at the Winton A and P Show.

The most significant loss may have been the 4kg he sweated from his frame today, from an effort which impressed chief judge Tony Abbey, from Badgingarra, West Australia.

"He's done it hard, and it's been a good effort," said Mr Abbey, one of four judges appointed by the World Sheep Shearing Records Society.

"It was a very trying start, he had to overcome that obstacle, and he did well to get quickly back into gear," he said. "It was a good effort to rise above it."

His 67-year-old Nan wept as her moko turned off the machine for the last time.

"I'm so proud," she said. "I've only been able to watch him twice - and the other time was at the pub in Waipawa. I just can't get around to see him...My moko."

"I look at the photo on the wall of his grandfather (who died in 1996), and I say: Be there for our grandson."

The shearer was parched speechless, having to wait several minutes while someone went to fetch some water, before someone else intervened with a beer.

"I'm buggered," he said, but was quick to thank all of his supporters. As well as Fagan the team included at least five other record holders, including Stacey Te Huia, from Te Kuiti, Ingrid Baynes, from Wairoa, and Rodney Sutton, from Porangahau, all holders of records set in the same shed.

Ferguson recalled the moment the power went off midway through his 28th lamb, which went back into the pen while everyone waited anxiously for power to return, initially limited and from a generator.

"Some people might have thought it made it easier with another break," he said. "No. I had to psych up and get going again."

The intensity showed in the faces of friend and timekeeper Harvey Pairama, also from Central Hawke's Bay, and penkeeper and shearing guru Digger Balme, of Te Kuiti, who kept Fagan up to his mark of a lamb every 30 seconds, his cutter changes every 15 minutes, and his refreshments.

It was the second time in three weeks that a record had been broken despite power failing in the woolshed. On December 22, Te Huia set a ewe record which was put back an hour by an afternoon smoko power cut.

Meanwhile, a two-stand record in Hawke's Bay tomorrow (Tuesday) will go ahead after being threatened by rain, which delayed today's pre-record wool-weigh. The attempt is being made by brothers Doug and Rowland Smith who have to shear more than 986 ewes between them in eight hours at Waitara Station, between Napier and Taupo.

World champion shearer Cam Ferguson, of Waipawa, pictured druing his attempt on the World eight-hour strongwool lambshearing record today at Moketenui Station, between Te Kuiti and Benneydale. He has to shearer 736 to beat the record set by Canterbury-based Irish shearer Ivan Scott at Rerewhakaaitu, south of Rotorua, on December 19, 2008. PICTURE / DOUG LAING Shearing Sports New Zealand

Ivan Scott sits out the last minutes of his reign as World eight-hour lambs record holder

Cam Ferguson hugged by nan Hine Aramoana

Cam Ferguson's mum, Marion, and nan, Hine Aramoana, watch as their boy edges closer to a World lamb shearing record of 742 in eight hours at Moketenui, King Country, on January 10, 2011.

Shearing bagman Hugh McCarroll with judges (from left) Doug Oliver, Tony Abbey, John Hough and Ian Buchanan

Back-room boys: Digger Balme (left) and Adam Brausch (right) as Cam Ferguson's lambs record of 742 in eight hours is wrapped-up at Moketenui, King Country, on January 10, 2011

Tika Tonu, the Ngati Kahungunu haka, and the boys from Central Hawke's Bay and their tribute to Cam Ferguson after the eight-hour lambs record at Moketenui, King Country, on January 10, 2011.

Ivan Scott sits out the last minutes of his reign as World eight-hour lambs record holder

Big shears matches for Kiwi heartland - January 10, 2011

Some of New Zealand's smallest towns will get to see the best shearers in the World as two teams from Britain take-on New Zealand World champion guns Cam Ferguson and David Fagan over the next three months.

The British Isles Shearing Competition Association UK team and the Welsh team will each shear three tests against New Zealand, which won the World teams final in Wales last July, while Ferguson and Fagan were first and second in the individual championship.

The tours, which open with a UK team double-header in Southland this week - a provincial match at the Northern Southland Community Shears in Lumsden on Friday and a test match during the Southland Shears at the Winton A and P Show on Saturday - will include a unique tri-nations match involving all three teams during the Golden Shears international championships in Masterton in March.

The UK team's other test will be at the Southern Shears in Gore next month, while the Welsh team's other two tests will be at the Waimarino Shears in Raetihi in March and the New Zealand Championships in Te Kuiti (see itinerary below).

The UK team is Taranaki-based Scotsman and World Championships fifth-placegetter Gavin Mutch, and Northern Ireland shearer Ian Montgomery, who won the Golden Shears junior final in Masterton in 2003. Both competed at the national lambshearing championships in Raglan on Saturday.

The Welsh team is expected to be headed by Gareth Daniel, who was third to Ferguson and Fagan at the World championships, and Champion Shearer of Wales runner-up Hywel Jones.

Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman John Fagan said that the tests and also matches against regional selections at Lumsden, Reefton, Waitomo and Stratford give smaller communities great opportunities to be involved with international sport and show-off New Zealand's rural heartland on an international stage.

"This is where these men, New Zealanders and shearers from overseas, work and compete, day in and day out, in what is not only one of New Zealand's backbone industries but also an exciting sport," he said. "It's a good opportunity for people in the cities and bigger towns to go out into the country and see these champions."

"It's also important for the sport, to be able to maintain international competition in the season before the next World championships are staged in this country - in Masterton in March 2012."

Recognising the success by Ferguson and Fagan at the World Championships, the Winton A and P Society is making the pair guests of honour at their show next Saturday and in their breaks frm the shearing competition will appear in the Grand Parade and present prizes in other classes around the showgrounds.

The strength of shearing copetition at the show in addition to the test team members will be bolstered further by the return of 2008 World champion team member John Kirkpatrick, the Napier shearer who has dominated the Southland events in recent years. Unbeaten in three competitions this season, including his first national lambshearing title at Raglan on Saturday, he will be chasing his fourth double in the back-to-back events this week, including the national Crossbred lambs title.

Open finalists at Raglan (from left), winner John Kirkpatrick, runner-up Paul Avery, third-placed Cam Ferguson, David Fagan, fourth and James Fagan, fifth.

National lambs championships senior final (from left) Richard Waddell, of Acto Agriculture, and winner Wi Ngarangione, runner-up Tipene Te Whata, third-placed Bevan Guy, Matene Mason, who was fourth, and fifth-placed Shelford Wilcox.

National lambs championships intermediate final (from left) winner Jack Fagan, runner-up Damon Macdonald and his greatest supporter, third-placed Robert Davidson, Paki Waerea (fourth) and fifth placegetter Dean Nelmes.

Masterton teenager David Gordon after winning the junior title at Raglan, his biggest success since winning the novice final at the 50th anniversary Golden Shears.

The schedule for the Welsh and UK shearing teams' tours is:

January 14 (Friday) UK v Northern Southland Community Shears Selection, at Lumsden
January 15 (Saturday) UK v New Zealand (first test), Southland Shears, at Winton
February 5 (Saturday) UK v Reefton A and P Show Selection, at Reefton
February 18-19 (Fri-Sat) UK v New Zealand (second test), Southern Shears, at Gore
March 3-5(Thurs-Sat) UK v Wales v New Zealand three-way test, Golden Shears, at Masterton.
March 19 (Saturday) Wales v New Zealand (first test), at Raetihi.
March 26 (Saturday) Wales v Waitomo Caves Shears Selection, at Waitomo.
March 27 (Sunday) Wales v Taranaki Shears Selection, at Stratford
Mar 31-Apr 2 (Thurs-Sat) Wales v New Zealand (second test), at Te Kuiti

Lambshear Champs - January 09, 2011

New Year's resolution or not, Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick made a profound statement of his intentions for 2011 when he won his first New Zealand Lambshearing Championship at the Western Shears in Raglan yesterday [Saturday].

It was one of the few major titles the 40-year-old hadn't won, gave him an unbeaten record in three competitions this season, and wasn't good news for southern shearers who this week will try to break his domination of the Northern Southland Community Shears title in Lumsden and the National Crossbred Lambs Championship at the Winton A and P Show, a Friday-Saturday double he'll be out to win for a fourth time.

In November, Kirkpatrick made a short trip home from Australia where he has been working around Hamilton, Vic, to win another Friday-Saturday double, the NZ Corriedale title in Christchurch and the Central Hawke�s Bay Shears in Waipukurau.

Clearly elated to overcome his Raglan hoodoo, he said he still has no plans to do anything else in sport, other than chasing the shows, and watching the exploits of son and Super Rugby player Daniel and his two daughters.

"With the World championships in New Zealand next year, everyone will be going for it," he said.

Runner-up at Raglan last year he finally claimed the title on Saturday by turning the tables on 2008 World teams champion partner Paul Avery, whose training over the last nine months has been directed at his multi-sports debut in the Coast to Coast next month.

John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, adds his first national lambshearing title at Raglan on Saturday to a career tally of more than 140 open-class shearing wins. He's unbeaten in three competitions this season, and this week attempts to win a Friday and Saturday double in Southland for a fourth time.. PICTURE / DOUG LAING Shearing Sports New Zealand

New World champion Cam Ferguson, the youngest in the five-man final was third, just two days before a bid to break a World record of 736 lambs in eight hours at Moketenui, King Country, on Monday[jan 10].

There was disaster for shearing icon David Fagan who shore the last five sheep missing the bottom tooth of his second comb, and having to settle for fourth overall.

Nephew James Fagan was first to finish � his 14min 39sec for 20 lambs beating Kirkpatrick by 13 seconds � but suffered heavily in judging and was placed fifth.

There was still some silverware for the family to take back to Te Kuiti, with David Fagan�s son, Jack, winning the intermediate final, his biggest win to date and despite being last to finish his four-lamb final. His better quality enabled him to win from runner-up Damon Macdonald, of Coroglen, and Irish shearer Robert Davidson, who won the race but also lost the advantage in the judging pens.

The youngest shearer on the day, in which competitors ranged from 14 to 75, was Masterton schoolboy David Gordon who won the junior title, to go with his famed Golden Shears novice win last March. Heilin Thomas, from Lampeter in Wales, was second, and third was Natalie Crisp, who represented England in the World woolhandling championship in Wales in July.

The superior quality of Gisborne shearer Wi Ngarangione claimed him the senior final over 12 lambs, at the scene of one of his few defeats in the intermediate grade last season. He also won despite being last to finish. The Northland region scooped the best of the minor money, with Tipene Te Whata, of Tautoro in the Far North second, and Bevan uy, of Kaeo, third.

David Fagan ended the visit to Raglan in style when he won the Te Mata Club Speedshear on Saturday night, with a $2000 prize for the fastest lamb, shorn in 18.24sec. Masterton-based Dannevirke shearer Paerata Abraham was second in 18.54sec, and Te Kuiti�s Digger Balme third in 19.22sec.

Masterton teenager Matene Mason, who was fourth in the 12-lamb senior championships final earlier in the day, won the Senior speedshear, having made the 10-man final only after judge�s upheld his appeal against disqualification in the preliminary round.

Early start for Raglan - January 4, 2011. 10pm

A top field of most of New Zealand's fastest lamb shearers is expected for the national lambshearing championships at Raglan on Saturday [January 8].

The championships start at 9am, with junior, intermediate and senior heats before the Open heats start at Midday, an hour earlier than in the past.

Organiser Warren Parker said an earlier start was being tried to allow more time between the finals in the afternoon and the popular Speedshear at the Te Mata Club in the evening.

World record bid preparations aren't disrupting the routine of World champion Cam Ferguson who will contest Saturday's events just two days before tackling Irish shearer Ivan Scott's World eight-hour lambs record of 736. Ferguson, the 27-year-old Hawke's Bay shearer who won the World Championship in Wales in July, says that while the record bid on Monday in the King Country is the priority he will still shear in Saturday's competitions, and probably also the Speedshear.

"I'm not going to give the Show a miss because of the record," said Ferguson, who is attempting a record for the first time. "I still do the shows. That's what I do."

Ferguson began his record build-up in earnest when he arrived at Moketenui Station, on Boxing Day, and has been working ever since, apart from a one-day trip back to Hawke's Bay to compete in Porangahau's Duke Of Edinburgh Hotel Speedshear.

A winner of more than 60 speedshears - the quick version of the sport - he showed good speed in that event, dominating the preliminaries and recording easily the best time for a lamb. But he was beaten in the final over three lambs by former nine-hour lambs record holder Rodney Sutton.

Back at work he's in good company this week, with new eight-hour ewes record holder Stacey Te Huia on one stand, and four-stand nine-hour lambs record shearing gang member James Fagan on another.

Ferguson hasn't qualified for the 20-lambs Raglan final since 2008, when he was fifth behind winner Dean Ball, the Te Kuiti veteran who this week confirmed he'd be back to start the buildup for "one more go" at the Golden Shears Open in March.

The enormity of Ferguson's record hopes is highlighted by the fact that his best tally to date in an eight-hour say is 680, four years ago at Whenuahou Station, Central Hawke's Bay. He needs to up the pace from his previous best by more than seven an hour to break Scott's record.

The heats of Saturday's championship are also an important hit-out, being the fourth of five qualifying rounds in the PGG Wrightson National, in which Fergsuon still needs some good points to qualify among the top 12 for the finals at the Golden Shears in Masterton in March. The series is currently led by multiple series winner and Te Kuiti shearer David Fagan, 2009 and 2010 seris winner Tony Coster, of Rakaia, is placed 4th, and Ferguson is 7th.

The lambshearing championships at Raglan's Rugby Grounds start at 9am on Saturday, with junior, intermediate and senior heats before the Open heats start at midday.

Two other shearing competitions are being held on Saturday as the Shearing Sports New Zealand season resumes after a six-week break for the busiest time of the year in the woolsheds. The other events are the Cooper-Wilson Kaikohe Championships in the Far North and the Peninsula Duvauchelle Show in Canterbury.

Leading points and placings in the PGG Wrightson National Shearing Championship after three of five qualifying rounds: David Fagan (Te Kuiti) 32pts, 1; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 30pts, 2; Grant Smith (Rakaia) 29pts, 3; Tony Coster (Rakaia) 22pts, 4; Angus Moore (Ward) 14pts, 5; Chris Jones (Renwick) 13pts, 6; Cam Ferguson (Waipawa) and Colin O'Neill (Alexandra) 12pts, 7eq; Adam Brausch (Dannevirke) and Alton Devery (Tuatapere) 10pts, 9eq; Eli Cummings (Pleasant Point) and Darin Forde (Winton) 9pts, 11eq; Dion Morrell (Alexandra) 8pts, 13; Abraham Paerata (Masterton) and Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 7pts, 14eq; Dion King (Hastings) 6pts, 16; Matt Tumohe (Kurow) and Charlie O'Neill (Alexandra) and Ringa Paewai (Dannevirke) and Gavin Rowland (Rakaia) 4pts, 17eq.

© Shearing Sports NZ 2011
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