Golden oldie still makes the cut

By Gary Caffell


One of Wairarapa's most celebrated sporting identities will be strutting his stuff in Masterton this week.

To be strictly truthful, he's not exactly from Wairarapa but the impact he has made here means we can surely claim him as one of our own.

Well, for a few days each year at the very least.

David Fagan has won the premier shearing title at the Golden Shears on 16 occasions.

There are no words which can properly label the magnitude of that achievement.

Remarkable, stunning, phenomenal - none of them do justice to a feat which basically defies description.

The Golden Shears is no ordinary meet remember. It might be slightly parochial to rate the premier - or open - title there as the most sought after on the planet when you do have a world championship but ask any shearer and they will tell you it is a toss up between the two.

And if you don't believe me, think back to last year when the Golden Shears and the world championships were held in Masterton at the same time.

If you went on the enthusiasm of the crowd you could have been forgiven for thinking the world title was well and truly secondary to the local crown.

It is amazing to think that David Fagan's name could be up in lights again in 2013.

Now into his 50s, he is competing against high calibre shearers who in some cases are probably about half his age yet the TAB, an organisation which never bases anything on sentiment, has him third favourite for the open title, behind only the very much in-form Rowland Smith (who by the way is 26) and defending champion John Kirkpatrick.

Regardless of this year's result, however, there is no question David Fagan has done more than any person on earth to promote all the good things about New Zealand shearing, both as a competitor and an ambassador away from the competitive arena.

Surely the day will come - and sooner rather than later - when David Fagan joins the likes of Brian Lochore, Colin Meads and Richard Hadlee, men who have reached the very pinnacles of their sporting pursuits and been knighted for their efforts.

Sir David Fagan has a nice ring about it, doesn't it?

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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