Champ still shearing strong

By Doug Laing

Champion Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick proved there's still a bit more to shearing than winning competitions and the daily grind of taking the wool from a sheep's back when he posted his best-ever tally during a day of even tougher yakka in a Southland woolshed yesterday.

Golden Shears and New Zealand open champion Kirkpatrick, who has won more than 200 show competitions in almost 20 years at the top level, shore 650 lambs in eight hours, heading off three other shearers in the Heiniger four-stand eight-hour Lambshearing World Record Challenge at Centre Hill, northwest of Mossburn.

The four's combined tally of 2556 became the World Sheep Shearing Records Society standard for the four-stand category in an eight-hour day.

Southern Hawke's Bay shearer James Mack, of Weber, shore 643, while Southland shearers Leon Samuels, of Invercargill, and Eru Weeds, of Ohai, shore 648 and 615 respectively.

Starting at 7am, the cold weather, with snow showing on Mt Hamilton and some sheep still damp after being caught in rain before being shedded-up the previous day, meant the shearers were unlikely to reach individual goals of 700, nor a combined tally of more than 2700.

Kirkpatrick shore safely at 120 for each of the first two-hour runs, upping the pace to 164 after lunch and, with wife Raylene in the woolshed which became standing-room-only heading towards the 5pm knock-off, finished with 166.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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