The New Zealand shearing legend David Fagan and reigning World Champion Cam Ferguson are both out of the Golden Shears national finals in Masterton.
Both were knocked out at the top 12 stage in the semi-finals, the pair slipping to the bottom of the pack and leaving the South Island a royal chance to extend its recent winning streak in the event.
The qualifiers were headed by Nathan Stratford of Invercargill, by a big margin of eight points from 2006 winner and Hawke's Bay shearer Dion King, and Tony Coster of Rakaia, going for a third win in a row.
Fagan was chasing a 10th win in the glamour event in the 30th anniversary of his first Golden Shears appearance, and to qualify for the final for the 25th time.
He first appeared at the Golden Shears when third in the Senior final in 1981, and has won a record 16 open titles since then.