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It’s got the “wow factor”
TE KUITI shearing legend Sir David Fagan
says this week’s World Shearing and Woolhand-
ling Championships has certainly “got the wow
The global event featuring the world’s best
shearers from 32 different countries began
at ILT Stadium in Southland yesterday
and finishes on Saturday.
Sir David, who as Shearing
Sports NZ chairman has played
a major role in co-ordinating the
event, expects the 4000-seat venue
to be at capacity on Friday and
Saturday nights as the top guns from
Ireland to Invercargill compete for the
world champion title.
“ The planning of the stage and all the main
signage has worked out better than we could
have ever imagined,” he says.
“Everyone that walks into the stadium is going
to be blown away because it’s got the wow factor
it really looks impressive.
“We’ve never had shearing in a huge sports
event centre like this before and it may never
happen again around the world so the venue is
really complimenting the event.
“And the atmosphere on Saturday night with
all the big finals – it will just about lift the roof
off I’d imagine.”
As for the competition itself, Sir David a five-
time world champion, believes the New Zealand
team, managed by Mike Barnett of Aria, will be
hard to beat.
The Kiwis are: John Kirkpatrick and Nathan
Stratford (machine shearers), Joel Henare and
Maryanne Baty (woolhandlers) and Tony Dobbs
and Phil Oldfield (blade shearers).
According to the TAB, Kirkpatrick ($2)
and Henare ($1.35) are both hot fa-
vourites to win while Dobbs is fourth
on the blade shearing list at $5.25
behind the much-fancied defending
world champion Mayenseke Shweni
of South Africa at $3.50.
“ The Kiwi team of John and Na-
than will be hard to beat and I hope they
can do the business,” says Sir David.
“But what I’m looking forward to most is the
public enjoying this event because it showcases
our sport and the shearing industry and it will
be by far the biggest venue we’ve ever hosted an
event like this in.
“I just want it all to go well and I think we’ve
got all the ingredients to make that happen.”
Although no North King Country competitors
are in the world title race, several locals are wav-
ing the flag during the All Nations Championship
which began yesterday.
They include: Jack, James and Neil Fagan,
Alan ‘Mickey’ MacDonald and Turi Edmonds
(shearing), Keryn Herbert (woolhandling) and
Todd Oliver (judging).
SIR David Fagan inside the ILT stadium at the 2017 World Championships in Invercargill which
began yesterday. The global event will feature the world’s best from 32 countries. PHOTO SUPPLIED
Completing North King Country’s involve-
ment, former world champ MacDonald played an
integral role with Alexandra shearing contractor
Dion Morrell of selecting close to 1000 full wool
Romney ewes, 2500 second shear Romney ewes
and 800 Romney lambs to cover the four days
Sir David says: “It’s a behind the scenes role,
but it is a vital role. Because even if we get ever-
ything right up front at the stadium, if we don’t
get the sheep right that’s what we’ll be remem-
“So the jobs Mickey and Dion are doing are
crucial because we want the best shearer to win,
not the luckiest shearer.”
Every minute of the 2017 World Champion-
ships will be streamed live via the event website
worldshearingchamps.com as well as via
broadcast partner Maori Television at – mao -
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