Champion Hawke's Bay shearer and 2017 World champion John Kirkpatrick won his 13th Poverty Bay Shears Open title on Saturday, but won't be at the Royal New Zealand Show in Hastings this week trying to claim a fifth Great Raihania Shears Open title.
The 49-year-old defending Great Raihania champion now in his 27th season of competition shearing will miss a defence of his home-show title because of a clash with top Australian crossbred championship the Warrnambool Shears, in which he will be competing as a part of a Te Kuiti New Zealand Shears team.
Also in Warrnambool will be fellow regular Hawke's Bay show competitor and fellow former Warrnambool title-winner David Buick, of Pongaroa, who was runner-up on Saturday but who Kirkpatrick beat by a comfortable 2.4 points. Waipawa shearer and 2010 World champion Cam Ferguson was third.
Kirkpatrick is now thought to be New Zealand's second-most successful competition shearer, behind only Sir David Fagan who amassed 642 wins in 11 countries in a globetrotting career of 33 years at the top level.
With at least 180 Open final wins, including 162 in New Zealand and at least 18 overseas, mainly in the UK, Kirkpatrick said in Gisborne: "I felt more comfortable than I have for a long time. I'll do as many shows as I can, and just enjoy it."
Anaru Wakefield, from Porangahau, was runner-up in the Poverty Bay Senior shearing final won by Mangamahu Valley shearer Simon Goss, brother of women's rugby star Sarah Hirini (nee Goss) and Wairoa's Keith Swann was second in the Intermediate final won by Daniel Biggs, also of Mangamahu Valley, north of Whanganui.