World Sheep Trimming Championship 0_o

5 Mar

15 sheep in 13+ mins.

Napier shearing gun John Kirkpatrick made an early push for a sixth consecutive season as New Zealand’s top-ranked shearer when he regained the Wairarapa Spring Shears Open title on Saturday.

With defending champion and fellow Hawke’s Bay shearer Adam Brausch eliminated in the semifinals, the three-times Golden Shears open champion was a comfortable winner of the four-man final at the Wairarapa A&P; Show at Clareville, near Carterton.

Pushed a little for time honours by Pongaroa farmer David Buick, Kirkpatrick shore his 15 sheep in 13min 41sec, beating Buick by six seconds, but proved demonstrably superior in the quality stakes and won by almost four points. Third was Hawke’s Bay-based Northland shearer Matthew Smith, enjoying another finals preparing for the World Championships New Zealand team selection series which starts at the Canterbury Show at the end of next week.

Having also won the Great Raihania Shears final in Hastings earlier this month, Saturday’s win pushed Kirkpatrick into an early lead in Shearing Sports New Zealand’s 2010-2011 national rankings.

Now in his 20th season of Open-class competition, Kirkpatrick first won the rankings’ Bowen Trophy in 2002, the season in which he ended King Country star David Fagan’s 12-year reign as Golden Shears champion, and has now headed the rankings each season since 2007. A prolific winner in the North and South islands, he’s an early favourite for the eight-round selection series that ends with a final in Gore in February and the naming of two machine shearers for the championships in Masterton.
Kirkpatrick won a World teams title with Taranaki farmer Paul Avery in Norway in 2008, but missed out on a place in the team for last year’s championships in Wales.

The Carterton event also brought important wins in the lower grades, with Kane Kapene, of Martinborough winning a senior final for the first time, Golden Shears junior champion Michael Rolston, of Levin, winning his first senior title and Manahi Fox, of Masterton, winning his first junior final.

The open woolhandling provided a similar success for woolhandler Choppy Patterson, of Alexandra, who claimed her first Open title.





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