HB shearers snick into top spot as favourites

By Doug Laing

Hawke's Bay shearers Rowland Smith and John Kirkpatrick are expected to be TAB favourites for the Golden Shears Open title next week after a unique weekend double quinella - in Gore on Saturday and Pukekohe on Sunday.

They finished first and second, respectively, in the 20-sheep Open finals at the Southern Shears on Saturday and flew to Auckland the next morning to repeat the results at the Counties Shears in Pukekohe on Sunday.

It was Smith's seventh Open final win since resuming competition at the Wairoa A&P; Show after a short break, and he is likely to be made outright Golden Shears favourite despite being yet to win the title.

Kirkpatrick, who won the South Island Shearer of the Year series final in Gore, is the defending Golden Shears champion and will be shooting for his fifth win in the prestigious event.

Waipawa shearer Cam Ferguson, the 2010 Golden Shears and World champion, is likely to also be among the favourites, after finishing fourth in the Southern Shears final.

The Counties Shears also provided some success for Smith's wife of seven weeks, fellow record-breaker Ingrid.

Although no longer regularly shearing, and putting a university degree to good use as a representative with Ravensdown in Hastings, she is preparing for a women's invitation event at the Golden Shears and was fourth in the Senior final on Sunday, in which brother Lachie Baynes, of Wairoa, was third.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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