2 Apr 2012

Kirkpatrick again ranks as nation's top shearer

6:46 am on 2 April 2012

Golden Shears open champion, John Kirkpatrick, notched up another win at Te Kuiti during the weekend when he added the New Zealand open shearing title to his impressive list of wins this season.

He headed off Dion King and defending national champion, Rowland Smith, to take the title for the third time. He also hangs onto the Bowen Trophy for a sixth consecutive year as the nation's top-ranked shearer.

It was also a big night for Southland shearer Nathan Stratford who won the New Zealand Shears Circuit, and a place with Kirkpatrick in the New Zealand team to tour the UK in June and July.

He's the first South Island shearer to make the team in 11 years.

In the wool-handling, former world champion Sheree Alabaster defended her New Zealand open wool-handling title, her sixth win in the event.

Her win was a narrow one over Ronnie Goss, and the current world title-holder, Joel Henare.