World first for Canterbury shearer

Tony Dobbs is celebrating another success in his lengthy career. Photo: Supplied / Jills Angus...
Tony Dobbs is celebrating another success in his lengthy career. Photo: Supplied / Jills Angus Burney
A South Canterbury farmer has become the first person in the world to win 100 blade-shearing finals.

Tony Dobbs won the open blades title at the Waimate Shears Spring Championships last night, a competition he first competed at in 1979.

Dobbs won the title by shearing four sheep in 14 minutes and 48 seconds.

He beat the reigning individual world champion Allan Oldfield, who is also from South Canterbury.

In 1985 had the first of his now 13 wins in the Open event - two more than the championships' next most successful competitor, Sir David Fagan, who was among the audience in Waimate.

Dobbs, who farms near Fairlie, said he had barely shorn any sheep with the blade since he won his last title in France last year.

He expressed doubts that he had had anything like the right sort of preparation to win the first event of the season.

Another big winner at the was 2017 world champion John Kirkpatrick who won the open machine shearing final.

With a time of 15 minutes 18 seconds for 16 sheep, Kirkpatrick was the third to finish but had the best quality sheers overall to win by 2.3265 points.

Pagan Karauria, of Alexandra, successfully defended the Open woolhandling title she won for the first time last year, but had to settle for third in a South Island Circuit final in which Kelly MacDonald, of Lake Hawea, secured her first A-grade woolhandling title, to go with a Junior shearing title she won at Waimate six years ago.

A particular feature of the two-day championships, which attracted about 170 shearers and woolhandlers was an all-women, six-shearers

Novice shearing final, the first in New Zealand other than events run specifically for women. It was won by Emma Martin, of Gore.

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