500 flock to speed shears event

<iframe src='https://players.brightcove.net/4915776650001/rJepAGlOg_default/index.htm... shears has been a crowd-pleaser at the Southern Field Days.

About 500 people watched the event on Friday afternoon which included the standard event for shearers and two novelty performances.

In the first novelty event, Gore District Mayor Ben Bell, helped by New Zealand Golden Shears multiple winner Sir David Fagan, bested The Country radio show host Jamie McKay.

In the second, Megan Whitehead and Jack Fagan went up against their fathers Quentin and Sir David, all of Gore, and beat them.

Gore shearer Megan Whitehead won the women’s event at the Southern Field Days Waimumu speed...
Gore shearer Megan Whitehead won the women’s event at the Southern Field Days Waimumu speed shears. PHOTOS: SANDY EGGLESTON
The open final was won by Chris Dickson, of Masterton, in a time of 19.7 seconds, the senior by Jim Wilson in 24.7 seconds and the women’s by Miss Whitehead.

Shears co-ordinator Mr Whitehead said speed shear events were growing in popularity.

"It’s short and sharp and it’s quite exciting.

"It is a great spectacle."

There was a strong field at the event which included international shearers from Wales and Australia — "probably some of the best speed shearers in the world."

Gore shearer Quentin Whitehead shears his sheep during a shear-off between him and Sir David...
Gore shearer Quentin Whitehead shears his sheep during a shear-off between him and Sir David Fagan, Sir David’s son Jack and Mr Whitehead’s daughter Megan.
Thirty-five shearers entered the open and 23 in the senior.

The novelty shear-offs were "bit of a hoot".

Mr Bell said it was the first time he had shorn a sheep.

"I was a tad nervous."

While he did not know what time he shore it in, he "must’ve been close to a world record".

Mataura shearer Dre Roberts takes part in the senior event of the speed shears.
Mataura shearer Dre Roberts takes part in the senior event of the speed shears.
He enjoyed the experience.

"It was a great event.

"[The] sun was shining, [the] crowd was full.

"Everyone was a great sport."

sandy.eggleston@theensign.co.nz