Kiwi blade shearer rounds off UK tour with Royal Highland Show victory

Doug Laing, Shearing Sports New Zealand. June 26, 2017

Allan Oldfield in the Royal Highland Show blade shearing final. Picture – Shearing Sports New Zealand.

NEW Zealand shearer Allan Oldfield has rounded-off a successful season in the United Kingdom with victory in the Royal Highland Show blade shearing final in Edinburgh yesterday.

The Geraldine shearer, son of 2017 world championship placegetter Phil Oldfield, returns home this week after 14 months in the Northern Hemisphere.

The trip has generated for Oldfield a unique and possibly unprecedented series of wins in blade shearing, junior machine shearing and novice wool handling.

It culminated in the last few months with wins in blade shearing finals at the Fernhill Blades Tournament and the Devon County Show before the first of his two biggest triumphs, when he won the Royal Bath and West Show title in Somerset last month.

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In the Royal Highland Show’s six-man blade final yesterday, Oldfield shore his six full-wool Scottish breed mules for a comfortable win by over seven points from Norway-based Scotland world championship team member Wilson Wyllie. Especially pleasing for Oldfield was the third-placing of England-based Dannevirke competitor Michael Churchouse, originally from Southern Hawke’s Bay on NZ’s North Island. It was Churchouse’s best performance, following three months working with and learning from Oldfield in the UK. The other three finalists have also represented Scotland.

On Saturday, Oldfield also finished third in the intermediate machine shearing final. While Sunday’s blade shearing final was missing such regular opposition as England father-and-son pair and World Championships representatives George and Andrew Mudge and the top Welsh shearers, it was a tough day for the finalists.

“Some of the sheep had a bit of cotty wool around the necks,” Oldfield said.

“They were tough sheep for competition, especially with the blades.

“That’s why our times were fairly slow.”

Oldfield will have only a short stop at home before heading to the Falkand Islands in August, to shear more sheep, with Argentina and Australia also on the itinerary for the rest of the year.

“It’s been a great way to travel around the World and meet genuine people everywhere I go,” he said.

“I’m really happy to have met so many great people. I’m already looking forward to coming back to the UK again next year.”

Royal Highland Show blade shearing final results: Allan Oldfield (Geraldine, NZ) 21min 4sec, 94.533pts, 1; Wilson Wyllie (Scotland) 25min 32sec, 102.766, 2; Michael Churchouse (Dannevirke, NZ) 21min 42sec, 110.767pts, 3; William Craig (Scotland) 26min 25sec, 111.917pts, 4; Mark Armstrong (Scotland) 26min 1sec, 113.05pts, 5; Jimmy Wright (Scotland) 19min 56sec, 114.3pts, 6.

Source: Shearing Sports New Zealand.


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