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Media Releases - Winter 2012

Gavin Rowland new chairman for Shearing Sports NZ - August 14, 2012

National shearing industry training leader and Canterbury shearer and businessman Gavin Rowland is the new chairman of Shearing Sports New Zealand.

Mr Rowland, currently living at Rakaia where he and wife Sue farm about 90ac, was elected unopposed at the organisation's annual meeting in Auckland on August 8-9, following the late withdrawal from contention of Peter Taylor, of Palmerston North.

Previously the chairman of SSNZ's South Island Committee, and affectionately known as Swampy, he succeeds John Fagan, who stood down after nine years in the national body's chair to which he was first elected in 2003.

Mr Rowland has been in the shearing industry for more than 35 years, from shearer through to owner and director of national training organisation Tectra.

Within the shearing sports he was a competition shearer with "some success," representing the South Island and also being one of a trio who set a three-stand World record of 1593 ewes in nine hours in 1989.

He has also been a shearing competition judge, and for over 20 years has served on the committee of the Canterbury Shears, which stages the New Zealand Corriedale Championships at the Canterbury Show.

He has also led the establishment of electronic scoring at shearing competitions throughout the South Island.


A TRIBUTE: Outgoing chairman John Fagan (centre), flanked by new South Island chairman John Hough (left) and North Island chairman Bill Gaskill (right) after a presentation at the annual meeting in Auckland on August 9.

A FINE CREW: Delegates at the 20th annual general meeting of Shearing Sports New Zealand, held in Auckland on August 8-9, 2012.
Back row(from left): Warren Parker, Kelvyn Scott, John Hough (South Island chairman), Bill Gaskill (North Island chairman), Alistair Eckhoff, Philip Morrison, Paul Grainger, David Fagan, Michael Hogan, Tom Wilson.
Front row (from left): Rose Puha, Gail Carr (secretary), John Fagan (retiring chairman), Gavin Rowland (incoming chairman), Hugh McCarroll (life member), Colin Gibbs.

A major highlight came in 2008 when he managed the New Zealand team to the 14th Golden Shears World Championships in Bjerkreim, Norway, with the winning of four titles - the individual and teams honours in both machine shearing and woolhandling.

Mr Fagan's retirement from the position doesn't mean he'll be leaving the fraternity of which he has been an integral part since the late 1970s when he came to national prominence as a shearer through his World lambshearing records rivalry with Far North gun Hamahona 'Samson' Te Whata, during which became the first person to shear over 800 in nine hours, with a tally of 804.

He entered shearing competition administration in 1983 as a shearers representative to Shearing Sports New Zeasland's predecessor, the National Shearing Committee, even before his win in the Golden Shears Open final the following March in Masterton.

He and brother David founded the King Country Shears in 1985, soon establishing the event in Te Kuiti as the New Zealand Shearing Championships, with John it's society's president for its first decade.

In 1992 he was awarded the MBE for services to the sheep industry, and in 2003 he was elected chairman of Shearing Sports New Zealand.

A four-times winner of the National Fieldays Golden Pliers farm fencing title, he was a successful King Country sheep farmer, and now in addition to running a large sheep and cattle property at Raglan grows avocado and kiwifruit in the the Western Bay of Plenty where he lives with wife Cheryl in Waihi.

Mr Rowland is succeeded as South Island committee chairman by John Hough, also of Rakaia and also a fellow shearer in the 1989 tally record, while Bill Gaskill, of Opotiki, continues as the organisation's North Island committee.

He said he wants to carry-on from the legacy John Fagan had given the sports and the industry, working closely with the competitions around the country and encouraging more competitors into the action.

He had seen at close quarters the confidence developing among young shearers who had been on Modern Apprenticeship and encouraged to compete in the shows.

He encouraged shows themselves to be innovative, and believes more will be seen of instant prizegivings at which he wants shows to upgrade presentation to ensure there is value for sponsors who contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout the country.

Golden Shears and NZ Champs to decide 2014 World Champs shearers - August 14, 2012

The annual meeting of Shearing Sports New Zealand has decided the Golden Shears and the New Zealand Shearing Championships in 2014 will be used to find New Zealand's two shearers for that year's World Championships in Ireland.

Assuming the two Open titles maintain their history of being won only by New Zealanders, the team for the championships in Gorey, Co Wexford, in May 2014 will comprise the winner of the Golden Shears Open in Masterton and the New Zealand Open in Te Kuiti.

Should one shearer win both events, as did Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick this year, the vacant berth will go to the NZ Championships runner-up.

The selection method reverts to that used leading up to the 2003 championships in Edinurgh, Norway in 2008 and Wales in 2010.

Last season, shearers went through a strenuous series in both the North and South islands before a selection final at the Southern Shears in Gore, from which the winner and runner-up contested the 15th World Championships in Masterton in March.

The SSNZ meeting in Auckland last week decided to continued with a proven method of finding the championships' two woolhandling representatives, with the best in separate North and South island circuits contesting a series final at the Golden Shears.

Three Masters: Dion King, Cam Ferguson, Keryn Herbert - August 14, 2012

Two shearers and one woolhandler were accorded Master status at the annual meeting of Shearing Sports New Zealand in Auckland last week (August 8-9).

The acclaiming of Dion King and Cam Ferguson takes to 62 the number awarded Master Shearer status since the honour was first bestowed 37 years ago. Keryn Herbert becomes the 21st Master Woolhandler.

The 37-year-old King, from Flaxmere, near Hastings, won both the Golden Shears Open and PGG Wrightson National finals in the biggest night of his career in 2006. An Open-class shearer since 2001, his 40 wins include two North Island Shearer of the Year titles, the Otago and Southern Shears titles, and victories in the UK and Canada. He also holds the World nine-hour lambshearing record with a tally of 866 shorn in January 2007, while he also held the eight-hour record for a short time with a tally of 695 in November 2002.

Ferguson, from Waipawa and at 29 one of the youngest to achieve the honour, has won just 20 finals since entering the Open class in 2004 after a successful Intermediate and Senior career. But they include the Golden Shears Open in Masterton in 2010 and individual and teams titles at the World Championships in Wales later that year, and a second teams title this year in Masterton, where he was runner-up in his bids to repeat the treble. He also held the eight-hour lambs record for 12 months, with a tally of 742 shorn in January 2011.

Herbert, 33, from Te Awamutu but based in the King Country, has been competing since 1999, claiming 21 wins, including two South Island Circuit titles and one North Island Circuit tile. In 2008 she won a World teams title in Wales with individual champion Sheree Alabaster, and she has headed Shearing Sports New Zealand's Open woolhandling rankings for the last two seasons.

Shearing sports Master status was created by the National Shearing Committee in 1975 when it was conferred on 28 shearers at the Golden Shears in Masterton. They included such legends as Godfrey Bowen and brother and inaugural Golden Shears Open champion Ivan Bowen, and six-times champion Brian 'Snow' Quinn.

Cam Ferguson, Master Shearer, 2012

Dion King, Master Shearer, 2012

Keryn Herbert, Master Woolhandler, 2012

Joel Barton Smashes UK 9 Hour Lamb Shearing Record - August 7, 2012

English shearer Joel Barton has broken the UK's nine-hour lambshearing record with a little help from a lot of friends, including New Zealand shearer and instructor Chris Brearswho flew-in to lend a hand on the day.

But Brears was far from being the only Kiwi influence, for after the record of 537 on Saturday (August 4) at Walter House Farm, at Woodchurch, near Ashford in Kent, 26-year-old Barton also paid tribute to Hadfield Smityh, who gave him his first stand out of Mataura in 2005, and more recent bosses Willy McSkimming in the North Island and Darin Forde in the South.

From Heathfield in East Sussex and shearing the standard five-run 5am-5pm day, Barton opened with 119 in the two hours to breakfast, and successive 1hr 45min runs of 110, 106, 102, and 100 to beat the previous record of 521, shorn at Knockrobin, Co Wexford, Ireland on Augudst 27 last year by Roy Collier, who was on hand to watch his record fall.

Many of the lambs were supplied by former British Wool Marketing Board chairman Frank Langrish, and the attempt was overseen by British Isles Shearing Competitions Association (BISCA) officials George Graham, from Ireland, Arwen Jones, Wales, and Charles Fuggle, from East Sussex.

His support team of about 15 people came from around the UK, with Brears making a special trip from New Zealand to act as coach and expertly prepare the shearing gear.

Barton has been a fulltime shearer for seven years, trtavelling the globe to work each year in England, Scotland, Australia and in New Zealand, including last summer. He shears around 50,000 sheep a year. His personal best on ewes is 470 in a day.

He prepared for over a year, giving up alcohol, eating a strict diet and running or going to the gym after shearing. He said: "The idea is to shear at your maximum potential all day." Barton's first experience of shearing was as a student at Plumpton College, and initial shearing instructor Phil Hart, a Lecturer in Agriculture at the college, was present to witness the record.

A small crowd of friends, family and members of the farming community gathered to watch the event. The crowd cheered Joel on through the gruelling last hour. There was a countdown to the 500th lamb, shorn at 4..22pm and the record fell with 15 minutes remaining on the clock.

Scottish Blackface Open shearing championship final

Southland gun finally cuts it with the best in the UK - July 29, 2012

Anyone who said shearing should be at the Olympics can take a bow after the drama which heralded Invercargill gun Nathan Stratford's triumphant end to the Shearing Sports New Zealand team's tour at the Corwen Shears in North Wales on Saturday.

In an atmosphere said to be almost beyond belief, Stratford outpaced both teammate John Kirkpatrick and Kiwi icon David Fagan to win the 20-lambs Corwen Shears Open final.

It was payback time big-time for Stratford who shed the dejection of self-blame for New Zealand's defeat a short time beforehand in the last test of the tour, in which he'd cut his own finger and then hooked a flank.

Coaxed back into action by manager Willy Buick, and without a win in the otherwise New Zealand dominated Open finals on tour, Stratford put on a blistering display of pace to guarantee not only that it would be a Kiwi trifecta, but that it would also be himself who waltzed off with the major purse.

All previous seven Open finals on the tour were won by New Zealanders, Kirkpatrick finishing with a record of five wins and three seconds, while the other two were won by Fagan.

The test defeat resulted in a 2-all tied series with Wales, and an overall tour test match outcome of 4 wins and 3 losses, following a 1-1 result against Scotland and a single-test win over Ulster.

Otherwise all-conquering Jack Fagan's season in the UK ended with a second placing to Welsh shearer Daffyd Jones in the Senior final, in which Masterton teenager David Gordon finished fifth, after placing third in the Intermediate final.

Another New Zealander to snare a cheque was Northlander Brya Harrison, who was fifth in the Junior final, in which she also achieved best quality points.

Filling out the day was an international relay in which Jack Fagan, Dannevirke's Paerata Abraham and Hawke's Bay-based Northlander and 2011 Corwen Open champion Matt Smith was third.

Results of the Corwen Shears:

International (20 sheep): Wales (Gareth Evans 11min 41sec, Richard Jones 13min 11sec) 95.4pts, beat New Zealand (John Kirkpatrick 12min 2sec, Nathan Stratford 13min 26sec), 99.7pts. The series was drawn 2-2.

All Nations Open final (20 sheep): Nathan Stratford (New Zealand) 11min 57sec, 42.1pts; John Kirkpatrick (New Zealand) 11min 15sec, 43.95pts, 2; David Fagan (New Zealand) 11min 46sec, 44.65pts, 3; Gareth Daniel (Machynlleth) 11min 46sec, 44.85pts, 4; Gareth Lloyd Evans (Bylchau) 11min 20sec, 45.3pts, 5; Owen Morgan (Brecon) 12min 51sec, 51.35pts, 6.

Welsh Open final (20 sheep): Gareth Daniel (Machynlleth) 12min 52sec, 48.4pts, 1; Richard Jones (Glyndyfrdwy) 13min 30sec, 49.85pts, 2; Gareth Lloyd Evans (Bylchau) 12min 54sec, 50.65pts, 3; Hywel Jones (Llangwm) 13min 22sec, 51.85pts, 4; Rhys Jones (Llanelidan) 14min 9sec, 53.3pts, 5; Ian Jones (Llandrindod Wells) 13min 29sec, 57pts, 6..

Senior final (10 sheep): Dafydd Jones (Llanelidan) 8min 57sec, 34.45pts, 1; Jack Fagan (New Zealand) 8min 45sec, 34.65pts, 2; Arwel Jones (Llansannan) 8min 54sec, 36.6pts, 3; Mathew Rees (Llandysul) 9min 17sec, 36.75pts, 4; David Gordon (New Zealand) 8min 37sec, 38.05pts, 5; Elgan Evans (Aberystwyth) 10min 37sec, 39.2pts, 6.

Intermediate final (6 sheep): Rhydian Thomas (Llandeilo) 6min 28sec, 26.73pts, 1; Alun Jones (Llangollen) 6min 27sec, 27.68pts, 2; David Gordon (New Zealand) 5min 38sec, 27.9pts, 3; Jeff Jenkins (Aberystwyth) 6min 59sec, 30.28pts, 4; Dewi Wyn Williams (Denbigh) 7min 39sec, 32.61pts, 5; Emyr Jones (Llansannan) 7min 28sec, 33.56pts, 6.

Junior final (5 sheep): Alun Jones (Llangollen) 8min 25sec, 24.443pts, 1; Bleddyn Pugh (Dinas Mawddwy) 7min 49sec, 28.433pts, 2; Iwan George (-) 9min 42sec, 30.8pts, 3; Rhys Williams (Denbigh) 9min 39sec, 31.3pts, 4; Brya Harrison (New Zealand) 8min 43sec, 32.033pts, 5; Alun Hedd Evans (Bala) 8min 52sec, 32.933pts, 6.

Novice southern lass at home on board in Wales - July 28, 2012

New Zealand's successes in the shearing and woolhandling season in the UK have been extended by a newcomer from Southland who has won two novice woolhandling titles in four days in Wales.

Emma Kate Rabbidge won at the Royal Welsh Show on Tuesday, and repeated the success early today NZT (Friday in the UK) on the first day of the Corwen Shears in North Wales.

The earlier victory was among a string of New Zealand triumphs in front of the Northern Hemisphere's biggest shearing audiences at Llanellwedd, Builth Wells, to where the Royal Welsh Show attracts well over 200,000 people each July.

They were highlighted by the Royal Welsh All Nations Open and Senior shearing finals, each featuring three New Zealanders and won respectively by Te Kuiti shearing legend David Fagan and son Jack.

Idolised by the shearing, show and sheep farming public of Wales, the 50-year-old David Fagan was recording his 13th win in the event and second victory in the UK in three weeks, taking his worldwide tally of wins in 30-years of Open-class shearing to 615, including more than 150 in Britain.

He first won the All Nations in 1988, and had most recently won in 2010, two days before being beaten by Kiwi teammate Cam Ferguson in the World Championships final on the same board.

The midweek win again interrupted the winning form of Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick who now has a record of five wins and two second-placings in seven competitions on tour as a member of the New Zealand team, with Invercargill shearer Nathan Stratford, who was fifth.

Jack Fagan is also fashioning a prolific record, his win at Llanellwedd being his eighth in the UK.

Kirkpatrick and Stratford beat Wales in a test match, taking a 3-1 into the final match of their series at Corwen early tomorrow New Zealand (Saturday in the UK).

Team manager Willie Buick, of Masterton, found himself a busy man at the show in his dual role as a competition judge, with several local judges taking at least a day off to tend to duties on their farms, taking advantage of a rare fine spell in one of the wettest summers on record in the UK.

He was compensated, managing the time to compete in the Veterans (over 60 years) shearing event, which he won. He failed to make it out of the heats in the Golden Shears 50th anniversary veterans event in 2010, but had since made top-three finishes with son David in a novelty father-and-son event at the New Zealand Championships in Te Kuiti.

Kirkpatrick takes a double shear in Wales - July 23, 2012

Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick continued his almosty invincible form in Open finals on tour with the Shearing Sports New Zealand team with two wins in successive days in Wales.

His wins at the Cothi Shears on Friday and the Lampeter Shears on Saturday took him to five wins in six competitions in which he's shorn in the last month.

He had also won the Royal Highland Show and Lochearnhead Shears titles in Scotland and Rickamore Shears in Northern Ireland, his only defeat being beaten by just 0.05pts by Te Kuiti shearing legend David Fagan in the Lakeland Shears in Cockermouth, Cumbria.

Kirkpatrick's teammate, Invercargill shearer Nathan Stratford, was fifth in both of the weekend's finals, but the opening tests of a series against the Welsh World Championships pairing of Gareth Daniel, of Machynlleth, and Richard Jones, of Llangollen, were shared, with a win to the Kiwis at Cothi and a Welsh win at Lampeter.

With a 1-1 drawn series against Scotland and a win over Ulster behind them, Kirkpatrick and Stratford take a 3-2 tour record into the last two competitions of the tour, midweek at the Royal Welsh Show at Llanellwedd, Builth Wells, and on Friday and Saturday at Corwen.

Fagan and son Jack continued their success in the UK this season, with David Fagan fourth to Kirkpatrick in the Lampeter Open, and Jack triumphing in the Senior final, his seventh Senior win in Britain.

A South Island shearer, Robert Hewitt, was fourth in the Lampeter junior final.

Cothi Shears, July 20:

International (20 lambs): New Zealand 103.6pts (John Kirkpatrick, Napier, 14min 11sec, 49.7pts; Nathan Stratford, Invercargill, 15min 19sec, 53 9pts) beat Wales 111.65pts (Richard Jones, Llangollen, 14min 22sec, 51.5pts; Gareth Daniel, Machynlleth, 14min 52sec, 60.15pts).

Open Final (20 lambs): John Kirkpatrick (Napier, NZ) 19min 9sec, 50.8pts, 1; Richard Jones (Lallangollen, Wales) 14min 29sec, 51.9pts, 2; Ian Jones (Builth Wells, Wales) 13min 57sec, 52.05pts, 3; Gareth Evans (Conwy, Wales), 13min 38sec, 54.15pts, 4; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill, NZ) 15min 10sec, 54.5pts, 5; Andrew Morris (Powys, Wales) 14min 57sec, 60.45pts, 6.

Senior Final (12 lambs): Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti, NZ) 11min 9sec, 41.7pts, 1; Gareth Hughes 11min 2sec, 42.1pts, 2; Dafydd Jones 10min 54sec, 43.533pts, 3; Neil Lawrence 12min 39sec, 48.2pts, 4; Mark Evans 13min 25sec, 50.333pts, 5; Ian O'Connor 12min 54sec, 52.2pts, 6.

Intermediate Final (8 lambs): Adrian Davies 9min 39sec, 39.95pts, 1; Dion Hughes 10min 41sec, 40.425pts, 2; Alun Jones 9min 59sec, 42.575pts, 3; David Bayliss 10min 50sec, 43pts, 4; Dewi Williams 11min 22sec, 45.35pts, 5; Oliver Jones 11min 5sec, 50.875pts, 6.

Junior Final (4 lambs): Dewi Williams 6min 7sec, 17.733pts, 1; Dylan Lewis 6min 11sec, 19.367pts, 2; Dion Hughes 7min 6sec, 20.45pts, 3; Daniel Rees 5min 58sec, 20.933pts, 4; Ynyr Pugh 7min 8sec, 21.767pts, 5; Paul Davies 6min 36sec, 22.2pts, 6.

Kiwi shearers dine out on Irish lamb - July 15, 2012

The New Zealand shearing team has again swept the major honours at a major contest in the UK with a pair of victories at the Rickamore Shears at Templepatrick, in Northern Ireland on Saturday.

John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, and Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, shearing their first lambs on tour after four weeks' shearing adult sheep, won a test match against All Ireland, and finished first and second respectively in the Rickamore Shears Open final, featuring five finalists all based in New Zealand..

Third was Te Kuiti shearing legend David Fagan, All-Ireland champion, while World eight-hour lambshearing record holder and South Island-based Irish World Championships representative Ivan Scott was fourth, and Hawke's Bay shearer Matt Smith was fifth.

The Ireland test team featured Scott and new representative Jack Robinson, this year's Golden Shears senior runner-up who at just 21 won the Irish Circuit final in his first season of Open shearing. Robinson, from Claudy, Northern Ireland, has shorn the last threde seasons in New Zealand for Hastings contractor Kerry Brannigan's WoolQual.

Kirkpatrick and Stratford earlier in the tour shared a test series 1-1 with Scotland, while Kirkpatrick's 600 pounds collect today was his third winning purse in four Open finals.

They now head to Wales for the final stage of their tour with the Cothi Shears on Friday, the Lampeter Shears the following day, the Royal Welsh Show on July 23-26, and the Corwen Shears in North Wales on July 27-28.

Meanwhile, Fagan's son, Jack, was runner-up to Irish shearer Sean Kerlin in Saturday's Senior final, and a few hours later David Fagan won a charity speedshear associated with the shears.


International (10 sheep): New Zealand 82.083pts (John Kirkpatrick 10min 1sec, 38.717pts; Nathan Stratford 11min 30sec, 43.367pts) beat Ulster 84.8pts (Ivan Scott 9min 54sec, 41.367pts; Jack Robinson 11.20sec, 43.433pts).

Rickamore Shears Open Final (20 sheep): John Kirkpatrick (Napier, NZ) 13min 40sec, 47.85pts, 1; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill, NZ) 14min 23sec, 50.95pts, 2; David Fagan (Te Kuiti, NZ) 13min 24sec, 50.95pts, 3; Ivan Scott (Kilmacrenan, Ireland) 13min 6sec, 52.1pts, 4; Matthew Smith (Hastings, NZ) 13min 32sec, 59.1pts, 5.

Kiwi shearers head for Ireland after Yorkshire washout - July 12, 2012

The New Zealand shearing team have packed their bags for Ireland after missing their latest competition because tof he unprecedented washout of the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate, England.

Weeks of rain culminated in a heavy downpour on Tuesday, making access to parking areas and many other parts of the showgrounds impossible and forcing a decision to call the show to an end after just one day - the first cancellation because of bad weather since the show was first held in 1838.

More than 12,000 entries had been received across the multiple classes of the show which was expected to attract over 130,000 people over its three days.

The Kiwi shearing team of John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, and Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, will next compete at the Rickamore Shears in Northern Ireland this weekend, ahead of four shows in Wales, including the Royal Welsh Show which is expected to attract well over 200,000 people.

Shears special: Fagans, make it a double, please - July 8, 2012

It may be almost 30 years since New Zealand shearing icon David Fagan first won an open shearing title, but there was still time for another dream to come true as he and son Jack both won at the Lakeland Shears in England on Saturday (early Sunday NZT).

Doing their best to uphold Te Kuiti's flagging reputation as home of the World's best shearers, 50-year-old David Fagan retained the Open title on the unique herdwick sheep of the show at Cockermouth in Cumbria, while 20-year-old Jack won the Senior final, going one better than when he was runner-up soon after entering Senior ranks 12 months ago.

With father Fagan having endured a long series of second and other placings since last winning at the New Zealand Spring Shears in Waimate just before hitting the big Five-O last October it was the first time the pair had enjoyed wins on the same day, a unique double they'd dreamed-of since Jack first shore in the Senior class.

David Fagan's victory, the 613th open title of his career, came in a thrilling 20-sheep final with victory by just five-hundredths of a point over event favourite, New Zealand team member, reigning Golden Shears and New Zealand Open champion, and Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick, winner of two titles in Scotland in the previous fortnight. Second NZ team member Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, was fifth.

It was the sixth time in a row that the Open final had been won by a New Zealand-based shearer, Kirkpatrick having won in 2010 and 2007, Fagan's nephew James in 2009, and Scotsman and Taranaki farmer Gavin Mutch in 2008.

Jack Fagan claimed his sixth Senior win in the UK by fending off the challenges of Cumbrian shearer Michael Salton and fellow-Kiwi Sean Mathieson, from Riverton, in Southland, who were second and third respectively.

"It was a unique win for us, because it doesn't happen very often," said David Fagan, who event organiser David Gillet said was a popular winner as a long-time supporter of the show.

Teenaged Masterton shearer David Gordon continued a run of finals form, finishing runner-up in the Intermediate event beind Scottish shearer Stuart Davidson.

There was no test match at Cockermouth for Kirkpatrick and Stratford, who, with a 1-1 shared series against Scotland behind them, head along with the Fagans and other non-team New Zealanders to shear on Wednesday at the Great Yorkshire Show, where David Fagan two years ago won the 600th title of his Open-class career. More than 150 have been in the UK.

But there was a test match for two of the Home Nations, the Welsh World Championships team of Gareth Daniel and Richard Jones having a comfortable win over new English pair Chris Herd and Ashley Storey.

The Yorkshire will be the last of the ewe-shearing competitions for the New Zealanders before a sequence of six lambshearing contests in Ireland and Wales.


Lakeland Open Final (20 sheep): David Fagan (Te Kuiti, NZ) 13min 38sec, 49.25pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier, NZ) 13min 55sec, 49.3pts, 2; Richard Jones (Corwen, Wales) 14min 6sec, 50.5pts, 3; Mark Fox (Cumbria, England) 13min 53sec, 51.9pts, 4; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill, NZ) 14min 45sec, 56.55pts, 5.

Lakeland Senior Final (8 sheep): Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti, NZ) 7min 38sec, 32.4pts, 1; Michael Salton (Cumbria, England) 8min 6sec, 34.18pts, 2; Sean Mathieson (Riverton, NZ) 7min 24sxec, 35.45pts, 3; Aled Jones (Cothi, Wales) 7min 38sec, 36.9pts, 4; Stephen Tudor (Cynwyd, Wales) 8min 4sec, 39.33pts, 5.

Lakeland Intermediate Final (5 sheep): Stuart Davidson (Lanarkshire, Scotland) 5min 19sec, 23.45pts, 1; David Gordon (Masterton) 5min 14sec, 25.6pts, 2; Ifan Elliss (Wales) 5min 29sec, 30.85pts, 2; Alister Shaw (Saline, Scotland) 6min 14sec, 32pts, 4; Llion Wyn Jones (Wales) 6min 14sec, 32.8pts, 5.

Lakeland Junior Final (4 sheep): Dylan Wyn Jones (Wales) 7min 31sec, 24.28pts, 1; James Penney (Straid, Northern Ireland) 7min 40sec, 25.96pts, 2; Owain James (Wales) 6min 33sec, 26.48pts, 3; Llyr James (Wales) 7min 18sec, 28.73pts, 4; Richard Carter (-) 6min 4sec, 30.51pts, 5.

International (20 sheep): Wales 110.95pts (Gareth Daniels 14min 51sec, 55.3pts; Richard Jones 15min 46sec, 55.65pts) beat England 119.7pts (Chris Herd 16min 32sec, 59.45pts; Ashley Storey 15min 50sec, 60.25pts).

Kirkpatrick triumphs again in Scotland, but test series drawn - July 3 2012

Golden Shears and New Zealand shearing champion John Kirkpatrick has won his second scottish blackface Open title at the 20th Lochearnhead Shears in Scotland.

Beaten in the race for time honours as Scotsman Simon Bedwell was first to finish the 17-sheep final in 11 minutes 49 seconds early yesterday New Zealand time, the Napier gun claimed the better quality points to repeat a triumph he had on the same stage in 2004.

He had also been runner-up in 2008, and third in 2002, and it also made it two-from-two on the Shearing Sports New Zealand team tour after his win in the Royal Highland Open in Edinburgh seven days earlier.

Bedwell took second money, heading up-and-coming fellow countryman and new Scottish international Calum Shaw and the fourth finalist, Kiwi icon and five-times winner David Fagan, of Te Kuiti.

Scottish World Championshsips team member and defending champion Hamish Mitchell, going for a third blackies win in four years, was a surprise absentee from the final, after leading the qualifiers for the semi-finals.

In the second of two test matches against Scotland, Kirkpatrick and Shearing Sports New Zealand teammate Nathan Stratford were unable to repeat their win of a week earlier and had to settle for a squared series against the Scottish pairing of Mitchell, from Lochearnhead, and up-and-coming Calum Shaw.

The latter proved to be a promising replacement for new World champion Gavin Mutch, the Aberdeenshire gun who has remained at home on his farm in Taranaki for the Southern Hemisphere winter.

Kirkpatrick was first off the board and scored the best quality points in the 15-sheep match, which he shore in 11min 18sec, heading Mitchell by 10 seconds. But with Stratford less familiar with the local sheep, Scotland was able to claim its third win over New Zealand at Lochearnhead in three years.

Meanwhile, Fagan's son, Jack, won the scottish blackface Senior title, his third big win in the UK this season, and Masterton shearer David Gordon was runner-up in the intermediate final, won by young Scottish shearer Scott Wilson.

David Fagan, Dannevirke shearer Paerata Abraham and Open-class rookie Ant Frew, from North Otago, shore together in an Invitation Relay, finishing second to the Scottish trio of former World champion and New Zealand-based shearing instructor Tom Wilson, Bedwell, and Grant Lundie.

Inclement weather for days prior to the show was a worry, but the sunshine and breeze on Saturday morning was very welcome to dry the Blackface hoggs for the weekend event.

Despite wide international representation, the Kiwis joined by others from such countries as France, Spain and Germany, as well as the Home Nations, entries were down slightly, as the event clashed with the Irish Circuit finals.

Scottish international Stacey Mundell retained her woolhandling title in an all-Scotland final. The next big test for Kirkpatrick and Stratford is at the Lakelands Shears in Cumbria on Saturday, and dates for the rest of the tour are: July 11, Great Yorkshire Show; July 14, Rickamore Shears, Northern Ireland; July 20, Cothi Shears, Wales; July 21, Lampeter Shears, Wales; July 23-26, Royal Welsh Show; July 28, Corwen Shears, North Wales.

Results from the Lochearnhead Shears on Saturday and Sunday:

Second Test (15 sheep): Scotland 88.4pts (Calum Shaw 11min 28sec, 44.1pts; Hamish Mitchell 11min 22sec, 44.3pts) beat New Zealand 89.9pts (John Kirkpatrick 11min 18sec, 42.6pts; Nathan Stratford 12min 43sec, 47.3pts). The series was tied 1-1.

Invitation Relay (12 sheep): Scotland (Simon Bedwell, Grant Lundie, Tom Wilson) 10min 17sec, 39.1pts, 1; New Zealand (David Fagan, Ant Frew, Paerata Abraham) 10min 47sec, 42.6pts, 2; Southern Counties (Rhys Jones, Robin Roberts, Mark Fox) 11min 3osec, 44.3pts, 3; Rest of the World (Luis Sorossal, Stefan Bourne, Stewart Pullin) 12min 15sec, 49.6pts, 4

Scottish Blackface Open final (17 sheep): John Kirkpatrick (Napier NZ) 12min 14sec, 45.17pts, 1; Simon Bedwell (Garve, Scotland) 11min 49sec, 46.33pts, 2; Calum Shaw (Saline, Scotland) 13min 10sec, 47.79pts, 3; David Fagan (Te Kuiti, NZ) 13min 18sec, 50.61pts, 4.

Scottish Blackface Senior final (10 sheep): Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti, NZ) 10min 39sec,41.65pts, 1; Brian Simpson (Blairgowrie, Scotland) 9min 51sec, 41.85pts, 2; Stewart Kennedy (Aberfeldy, Scotland) 10min 55sec, 42.65pts, 3; Dafydd Jones (Corwen, Wales) 10min 24sec, 43.6pts, 4.

Scottish Blackface Intermediate final (6 sheep): Scott Wilson (Broughton, Scotland) 7min 11sec, 29.72pts, 1; David Gordon (Masterton, NZ) 7min 14sec, 31.03pts, 2; Stuart Davidson (Blyth Bridge, Scotland) l7min 13sec, 34.65pts, 3; Alister Shaw (Saline, Scotland) 8min 1sec, 36.22pts, 4.

Scottish Blackface Junior final (5 sheep): Lewis Harkness (Dumfries, Scotland) 9min 15sec, 31.6pts, 1; David Keane (Newport, Republic of Ireland) 10min 15sec, 33.5pts, 2; Fulton Ronald (Crianlarich, Scotland) 6min 27sec, 32.9pts, 3; Jack Cartmell (Keswick, Scotland) 7min 8sec, 39.37pts, 4.

Open woolhandling final: Stacey Mundell (Fintry, Scotland) 26pts, 1 Leanne Bertram (Lanarkshire, Scotland) 26.46pts, 2; Kirsty Donald (Edzell, Scotland) 27.86pts, 3; Dawn MacKinnon (Bathgate, Scotland) 37.2pts, 4.

Scottish Blackface Open shearing championship final
The lineup after the final of the Scottish Blackface Open shearing championship final at the Lochearnhead Shears, from left Simon Bedwell, winner John Kirkpatrick, former Stirling provost (Mayor) Bailey Fergus Wood, Calum Shaw and David Fagan.

Mark Patrick Conlan - August 13, 1953 - June 24, 2012

Former World shearing champion Mark Conlan died on Sunday, June 24, in Bendigo, Vic, aged 58. Widely regarded as one of the greatest shearers Australia has ever produced, he won the World Championship at the Perth Royal Show in 1986, beating future New Zealand great David Fagan, who was then in the infancy of a career which has since yielded five World individual titles.

The 1986 event was staged with the approval of the Golden Shears World Council to coincide with Australia's defence of the Americas Cup in the yachting regatta off Fremantle, and Conlan's win came despite a trade union ban on shearers from the eastern states shearing in West Australia. Among other titles he won were the last four Australian Golden Shears Open Championships at Euroa, Vic., from 1981-1984, and the South African Open in 1990.

His best result in New Zealand was runner-up to Kiwi shearer Mana Te Whata in the New Zealand Merino Championship final in Alexandra, Central Otago, in 1993.

He shore seven of the Sunbeam Transtaman Tests alternating between Euroa and the home of the Golden Shears in Masterton, NZ, featuring in three home wins and four away.

Obituary on Aussie shearing great Mark Conlan
Obituary on Aussie shearing great Mark Conlan

In his first at Euroa in October 1980, he was joined by older brother John and NSW shearer Ray Anderson in a four-point victory over a New Zealand team including the great Brian 'Snow' Quinn, who earlier in the year had returned to the Golden Shears stage after an absence of eight years to win the second World Championships final.

Conlan's last test was at Euroa four years later when, with his brother again in the team, Australia won the last test before the abandonment of the series' because of conflict between Australian and New Zealand workers in the shearing towns of southwest Victoria.

He returned to Masterton in 1987 to finish fourth in a Transtasman Invitation event, sponsored by Sunbeam, for whom he was to tour Europe demonstrating and promoting shearing and the company's machinery.

The highlight of his career, the World Championships win came in a near invincible stage of his life when even his brother had to settle for the minor money on numerous occasions.

"I think he'd won about 30 in a row at the time," he said in Kyneton, Vic., where Mark was born and where the two were raised on a farm by parents John and Mabel Conlan.

Learning their trade at Longreach in Queensland, their father's doubts of shearing capability ringing in their ears after Mark decided at the age of 14 that school was no longer for him, the brothers were to team in one of the greatest days in an Australian woolshed in December 1979 when they shore a World eight-hour-day, narrow-combs, strongwool lambs record of 852.

They could have added close to another hundred to the tally at Cobaw Ranges, near Lanceville, Vic., had they not run out of sheep with 45 minutes to go. With the phasing-out of the narrow comb, the record is unlikely to be beaten.

Amidst travelling many countries, the brothers established a shearing competition in Kyneton in the late 1980s, to which Mark's wife, Joanne, added a woolhandling competition. The events are now regarded as the birthplace of Sports Shear Australia, the unifying organisation now heading the sport across Australia.

Mark Conlan also ran a successful shearing business from the town, employing about 50 people at peak, and in the tradition of goal-setting for which he was renowned, he and Joanne established a farm at Elmore, regularly topping the markets with prime lambs, and producing the heaviest bullock ever at the local meatworks.

Golden Shears World Council life member and former Euroa Shearing Association chairman Bernie Walker said: "There is no doubt Mark Conlan was the outstanding Australian competition shearer of the 1980's and almost certainly the best all-round shearer in the world at that time."

But he said the gun's career was "unfortunately" disrupted and his opportunities limited by an AWU ban imposed on him, and others, after Perth, and he added: "In the minds of many, Mark was a true champion in every way."

Conlan's abilities and contribution to shearing were also acknowledged by Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman John Fagan, who was at the height of his competitive career also in the mid-1980s.

"Mark was one of the greats," he said. "He is remembered for the real quality of his shearing. He was Australia's first World champion, and he was certainly well respected on both sides of the Tasman. Our sympathies and condolences go out to his family."

Diagnosed with cancer about 18 months ago, Mark is survived by wife Joanne and daughters Stacey, Jessica and Sophie. A private burial was held held on Friday, June 29, and a memorial service the following day at the Public Hall in Taradale, Vic., just northwest of Kyneton.

Kiwi shearers on top in UK tour opener - June 25, 2012

The New Zealand shearing team of John Kirkpatrick and Nathan Stratford have opened their 2012 UK tour with winning form at the Royal Highland Show.

The pair beat the Scottish team of Hamish Mitchell and Callum Shaw in the first test of the tour, while four-times Golden Shears champion Kirkpatrick also won the final of the Royal Highland Open Championship, with Mitchell second and Stratford third.

The events were shorn earlier today (NZT) and were not the only successes for New Zealand shearers in front of the sizeable crowd at the show at Ingliston, Ediburgh.

Te Kuiti prodigy Jack Fagan added the Royal Highland Open senior title to a victory in the South of Scotland senior final at Dumfries a fortnight ago, while Golden Shears 50th anniversary novice champion David Gordon, of Masterton, was third in the Intermediate final and led an invitation team to victory in a ground-breaking Intermediate-class international against Scotland and Wales.

Kirkpatrick, of Napier, and Stratford, from Invercargill, claimed their places in the New Zealand team with wins in the New Zealand Open Championship and New Zealand Circuit finals respectively at Te Kuiti in April. Their next test is at the Lochearnhead Shears, also in Scotland, next weekend, and the pair compete at least once a week through to the end of the tour at the Corwen Shears in Wales at the end of next month.

Other New Zealanders at the shows are competing as individuals while working in the UK.

International (15 Sheep): New Zealand 88.32pts (John Kirkpatrick 11min 33sec, 43.05pts; Nathan Stratford 12min 28sec, 45.27pts) beat Scotland 90pts (Hamish Mitchell 10min 45sec, 41.67pts; Callum Shaw 12min 32sec, 48.33pts).

Royal Highland Open Championship (15 Sheep): John Kirkpatrick (Napier, New Zealand) 11min 38sec, 44.23pts, 1; Hamish Mitchell (Lochearnhead, Scotland) 11min 27sec, 46.15pts, 2; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill, New Zealand) 13min 1sec, 49.98pts, 3; Simon Bedwell (Ross-shire, Scotland) 12min 7sec, 51.55pts, 4; Callum Shaw (Saline, Scotland) 13min 30sec, 52.77pts, 5; Tom Wilson (Kelso, Scotland) 13min 18sec, 53.7pts, 5.

Royal Highland Open Championship (6 Sheep): Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti, New Zealand) 13min 31sec, 51.3pts, 1; Steven Dunlop (Ayr, Scotland) 13min 43sec, 55.07pts, 2; John Struthers (Carluke, Scotland) 13min 55sec, 55.33pts, 3; Simon Lindsey 14min 42sec, 60.43pts, 4; Mark Lyttle (Cookstown, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland) 16min 12sec, 67.6pts, 5; Sean Curister (Orkney, Scotland) 14min 16sec, 64.63pts, 6.

Royal Scotland Intermediate Championship (4 sheep): Gareth Jones (Wales) 10min 43sec, 45.4pts, 1; Scott Wilson (Lanarkshire, Scotland) 10min 42sec, 45.85pts, 2; David Gordon (Masterton, New Zealand) 11min 3sec, 45.03pts, 3; Dion Hughes (Ty Cerrig, Llangwm, Wales) 11min 3sec, 47.53pts, 4; Alun Jones (North Wales) 11.3sec, 48.78pts, 5; Graeme Davidson (Gleno Valley, Northern Ireland) 12min 21sec, 57.93pts, 6.

Scotland Team
Teams at the first test the the Royal Highland Show, from left, Scotland's team of Callum Shaw and Hamish Mitchell and manager Tommy Wilson, New Zealand manager Willie Buick and his team of John Kirkpatrick and Nathan Stratford. PHOTO/Eilidh MacPherson

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