10 Feb 2017

Accuracy wins out in world shearing champs

7:34 am on 10 February 2017

The son of champion shearer Sir David Fagan has taken out the world speed shearing title despite his rival pipping him by one second.

Over 1000 people flocked to ILT Stadium Southland last night to witness the world's best shearers battle it out for the Open Speed Shearing title.

The world shearing and wool handling championships kicked off in Invercargill on Wednesday, drawing in 116 competitors from 32 different countries.

At Thursday night's speed shearing competition the final came down to two shearers, Paerata Abraham and Jack Fagan.

Despite Mr Abraham being one second faster he was dropped to second place for not taking enough wool off.

So it was a surprise win for his friend Jack Fagan, Sir David Fagan's son, who shore the two lambs in 48.2 seconds - compared to Mr Abraham, who did the job in 47.025.

Mr Fagan said it was a satisfying win.

"It all comes down to quality and not just speed, so you do have to take all the wool off. Unfortunately Paerata didn't take quite enough off which is why he got the red light," he said.

"This happens in speed shears, it's sport. He's one of my good mates and we do this all over the country - more often that not I come second to him so to come out on top is a really good feeling."

Mr Abraham took his second place on the chin.

"It's called speed shearing for a reason and you've got to throw caution to the wind - and sometimes it doesn't go your way."

There were six titles up for grabs on Saturday night - team and individual machine shearing, team and individual blade shearing, and team and individual woolhandling.

With most tickets sold, the stadium will be packed with over 4000 people.

Shearer Johnny Kirkpatrick from Napier is picked to win the main event, opening with $4.50 at the TAB.

Mr Kirkpatrick is a four-times Golden Shears Open champion and is entering his fourth World Championship.

While he has two World Teams titles to his name, the individual title has eluded him with second, third and fifth-placed finishes in his three appearances to date.

The captain of the Australian team, Shannon Warnest, has been crowned the World Shearing Champion twice before and is back for another shot.

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