April 5, 2013
Shear speed triumph for Fagan
Veteran shearer David Fagan threw down the gauntlet to his rivals on the first night of the 29th New Zealand Shearing
Championships when he won the competition’s annual Speedshear in Te Kuiti last night.
The 51-year-old Fagan blasted the wool off his final sheep in 22.52 seconds to win the $1000 first prize in front of his
home crowd in the Waitomo Cultural and Arts Centre, where he’s been the star of the show since the Championships were
first held in Te Kuiti in 1985.
Hastings shearer Dion King, who had headed the 10 qualifiers after the heats, finished second in 23.1sec, while Digger
Balme, originally from Tuakau but based in Te Kuiti for many years, was third, in 24.26sec.
The senior Speedshear was won by Brett Roberts, of Mataura, shearing his sheep in 25.3sec, while Jack Fagan, of Te
Kuiti, was runner-up in 27.16sec, pipping Taumarunui’s Floyd Neil, who shore 27.48sec.
Fagan’s win was a prelude to the the real business, embarking on the heats of the Open championship in the morning, in
which he will be one of more then 60 shearers shearing 5 sheep each, in the first stage of qualifying leading-up to a
six-man, 20-sheep final tomorrow night (Saturday).
Later today, Fagan will shear in the first round of the North Island Shearer of the Year finals, hoping to qualify for a
six-man final on 10 lambs and 10 ewes tonight, while tomorrow he will shear the first round of the New Zealand Shears
Circuit finals, aiming to make another six-man final, over 5 merinos, 5 crossbred ewes and 5 lambs, also on Saturday
Over the years he’s dominated the events, with 17 New Zealand Open wins from 1986-2010, 17 shearer of the year victories
from 1985-2010, and 7 NZ Cirtcuit wins, from his first in 1989 to his most recent in 2007.