Matt Smith follows brother as Kiwis win UK shearing titles

Doug Laing, Shearing Sports New Zealand., June 7, 2017

Matt Smith during his world shearing record attempt. Picture – AgriCamera

NEW Zealand shearers have taken two titles at the Royal Bath and West Show’s British Golden Shears in England.

Cornwall-based Matthew Smith, a Northlander who shore in Hawke’s Bay for several seasons before moving to the United Kingdom, won the glamour open title last Friday, which has twice previously been won by brother Rowland Smith.

The open blades shearing final at Bath was won by Allan Oldfield, from Geraldine and son of New Zealand 2017 World Championships representative Phil Oldfield.

Smith, who last July in England set a world record of 731 ewes in nine hours, relied mainly on speed to win Friday’s final, shearing the 20 sheep in 13 minutes 52 seconds, and finishing a sheep ahead of next-man-off, the Wales 2017 world championships representative Gwion Evans.

With the better quality, Evans claimed second place overall, third was 2016 winner Richard Jones, one of three Welshmen in the six-man final, and New Zealand shearer Jack Fagan was fourth. Marton shearers Jacob Moore and Jimmy Samuels had also reached the top-18 semi-finals, from a field of 31.

Oldfield had the biggest success of his career when he won a six-man blades final of five sheep each by almost 5 points from the England World Championships pair of veteran George Mudge and son and 2016 winner Andrew Mudge. The victory was 26-year-old Oldfield’s third win in the UK in the last month, the first at Fernhill and the second at the Devon County show a fortnight ago.

A year ago Oldfield achieved the unique treble of three wins in the UK – his first wins as an open class blade shearer, as a junior machine shearer, and as a novice wool handler.

At the Bath and West Show her also teamed with England-based form Dannevirke shearer Michael Churchhouse to win a teams match against the Wales and England World Championships teams.

Results from the British Golden Shears at the Royal Bath and West Show, England, on June 1-2:

Open machine shearing final (20 sheep): Matthew Smith (New Zealand) 13min 52sec, 53.65pts, 1; Gwion Evans (Wales) 14min 43sec, 55.1pts, 2; Richard Jones (Wales) 15min 15sec, 56.05pts, 3; Jack Fagan (New Zealand) 16min 9sec, 58.1pts, 4; Ian Jones (Wales)16min 12sec, 59.25pts, 5; Dean Nelmes (England) 16min 28sec, 66.85pts, 6.

Open blade shearing final (5 sheep): Allan Oldfield (New Zealand) 17min 18sec, 82.2pts, 1; George Mudge (England) 18min 28sec, 87.1pts, 2; Andrew Mudge (England) 18min 25sec, 87.35pts, 3; Elfed Jackson, (Wales) 18min 37sec, 91.55pts, 4; Danny Wilson (England) 21min 57sec, 101.65pts, 5; Clive Hamer (Wales) 20min 1sec, 107.35pts, 6.

Source: Shearing Sports New Zealand.


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