Battle of Wool
Te Kuiti’s David Fagan, 48, and Cam Ferguson, 26, from Waipawa have won the teams machine shearing title at the 14th Golden Shears World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Wales, with Ferguson taking out the prestigious individual machine shearing category and Fagan runner-up. Ferguson shore 856 sheep in a nine-hour blow-out at Ohineumeri, near Waipukurau last December, and after his success in Wales, was still not discounting a challenge for the woolshed record. “We can talk about that,” he said in the din of the pavilion where he and New Zealand-based Scottish hope Gavin Mutch each shore 2 lambs in 11 minutes 45 seconds to finish seven seconds ahead of shearing icon Fagan. Twenty eight countries took part in the two-day shearing contest, which also saw the woolhandling teams title go to Taihape schoolteacher Sheree Alabaster and Te Awamutu’s Keryn Herbert. There were also podium finishes for blades shearers Brian Thomson and Allen Gemmell third in the teams event while Thomson was third in the individual blades final. Competitors sheared about 5 animals in pursuit of the top prize. Fagan has won the New Zealand Golden Shears contest a record 16 times.