25 Jun 2009

NZ shearing champion favoured for Royal Highland championships

12:49 pm on 25 June 2009

New Zealand shearing champion John Kirkpatrick is expected to start as a favourite to win the Royal Highland championships in Edinburgh this weekend.

He was just beaten in the South of Scotland championships by an up-and-coming Scots shearer, Simon Bedwell, in the race for time honours.

However, Kirkpatrick won on points with a cleaner shear, typical of the form which won him 18 titles in New Zealand last season.

Kirkpatrick is in Britain to prepare for a series of up to eight shearing Tests with teammate James Fagan, of Te Kuiti.

They are aiming to continue the form shown by Kirkpatrick and Taranaki shearer Paul Avery in a clean sweep of Tests in Britain last year.