A NEW Zealand shearing team has returned triumphant after a clean sweep of three events at leading Australian crossbred championship the Warrnambool Show’s Romney Shears in south-west Victoria.
The NZ team chosen at the New Zealand Shears in Te Kuiti in March had a comfortable trans-Tasman challenge victory over the Warrnambool team last Saturday, despite the inclusion of Merinos in the mix and home-team member Glen Stephens shearing the eight sheep in 13 minutes 27 seconds, a full 1 minute 21 seconds quicker than flying Scot-Kiwi Gavin Mutch.
The challenge-winning trio of open-class guns in John Kirkpatrick, of Pakipaki in Hawke’s Bay, David Buick, of Pongaroa, and Mutch, were then first, second and third in the Warrnambool Open final, in which fifth place went to fourth team member 2019 New Zealand senior champion David Gordon of Masterton.
Completing the clean sweep was a Warrnambool senior final win by 2019 New Zealand intermediate champion Kyle Mita, also of Masterton. It was his first senior win.
The win by Kirkpatrick was particularly significant, just three days before the 25th anniversary of the first of his at-least 182 open class wins, more than any other New Zealand shearer apart from the 642 of shearing legend Sir David Fagan.
Kirkpatrick has won one individual world title, three world team titles, four Golden Shears open titles, and three New Zealand open titles, at major circuits like the PGG Wrightson National (twice), NZ Shears Circuit (once), the North Island Shearer of the Year (twice) and the South Island Shears of the year (eight times).
His 21 overseas wins include five in the Warrnambool open final, and 17 in the United Kingdom. Other New Zealand-based shearers who have won at Warrnambool over the years include Buick (2014 and 2015) and Mutch (last year).
Kirkpatrick’s first open class win was on October 29, 1994, at the Wairarapa show, the 2019 version of which is on Friday-Saturday this week (November 1-3). It wasn’t clear on Thursday whether Kirkpatrick would be there for its Spring Shears on Saturday.
Results of major events at the Warrnambool Show’s Romney Shears in Australia on Saturday, October 27, 2019:
Trans-Tasman challenge (8 sheep – 4 merino, 4 crossbred): NZ Shears Te Kuiti 216.5 (Gavin Mutch 14min 48sec, 69.03pts John Kirkpatrick 14min 54sec, 69.08pts; David Buick 15min 53sec, 78.4pts) beat Warrnambool Shears 245.7pts (Glen Stephens 13min 27sec, 76.23pts; Corey Mifsud 17min 7sec, 82.6pts; Roger Mifsud 17min 15sec, 86.88pts) by 29.1pts.
Open final (20 sheep): John Kirkpatrick (Pakipaki, NZ) 18min 20sec., 63pts, 1; David Buick (Pongaroa, NZ) 18min 5sec, 63.95pts, 2; Gavin Mutch (Whangamomona, NZ) 19min 32sec, 66.1pts, 3; Glen Stephens (Heywood, Vic) 20min 53sec, 73.45pts, 4; David Gordon (Masterton, NZ) 21min 18sec, 74.8pts, 5; Roger Mifsud (Mortlake, Vic) 24min 20sec, 83.65pts, 6.
Senior final (10 sheep): Kyle Mita (Masterton) 13min 36sec, 51pts, 1; Micah Doecke (Adelaide, SA) 13min 29sec, 53.35pts, 2; Phil Edwards (Caramut, Vic) 13min 2sec, 58.1pts, 3; Nick Griffith (Masterton, NZ) 13min 24sec, 62.7pts, 4; Josh Nestler (-) 16min 29sec, 667.45pts, 5; Lachlan Bryant (Rokewood, Vic) 18min 25sec, 69.05pts, 6.
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