Shearing sports has saluted the emergence of the next generation of Fagan champions.
Sean Fagan (16) won the novice shearing final on the second day of the New Zealand Shears in hometown Te Kuiti today.
On hand to witness the achievement in the Les Munro Centre was Sean's grandfather John Fagan who won the Shears' first open final in 1985, when it was known as the King Country Shears. This was a year after John won the Golden Shears Open final in Masterton.
Also in the crowd were John's brother, shearing legend Sir David Fagan, who won the open final 17 times, Sean's father and Te Kuiti shearing contractor Neil Fagan, his brother former national team member and open-class shearer James Fagan, and cousin and open-class shearer Jack Fagan, who won the NZ Shears Speed Shear on Thursday night.
Before the mid-afternoon final, John said he was incredibly proud to see his grandson make it from the field of 24, to the six set to shear two sheep each in the final.
Aged 26 when he first shore in competition and 34 when he won at the Golden Shears, John was the first in a family of multi-generation farmers to take up shearing, and one of the first to start following the competitions all over the country.
"I just loved it," he said.
The money wasn't the issue, he said, but there was more than a hint that the camaraderie and social nature of the game had a fair bit to do it with it.
However, all bets were off when it came to the competition board.
"I just wanted to kill my mates," he said.
After the final, John said he was most impressed to see the young shearers learning to shear with quality first, and to see his grandson already committed to shearing.
Neil was beaming as he welcomed his son's addition to the honour's board, with confirmation "he's got the bug" - the uniqueness of the shearing fraternity to have universal passion for the sport, the woolsheds and the industry, despite what townies might think of the sheeps***, pizzles and sweat that go along with the job.
Sean is just out of school and now in the woolsheds fulltime, woolpressing - yet to do a full day shearing - and mixing it with shepherding.
He has shorn in six competitions since making his debut at the historic Aria Waitangi Day Sports nine weeks ago, and proclaimed he was now "committed" to shearing.
He logged-up two wins along the way and while "still nervous" - with big moccasins to fill in front of the clan's shearing elite - was well primed to win again.
This showed that, while keeping a good rein on the quality, Sean could still show potential for the speed which turned John and David Fagan not only into champions, but also World Record-breakers.
Sean shore the two sheep in 5min 10.1sec, beaten to the finish only by first-time finalist Logan Blackburn, of Tikokino, who clocked 4min 45.67sec.
When all points were counted, Fagan had won by just 0.769pts from Northland shearer Tessa Berger, of Ahuroa, who took 8min 15.48sec but closed the game in the final count with markedly the best quality points.
"I just wanted to keep my job up (to standard)," Fagan said.
He admitted he was "desperate" to get out of woolpressing and get a stand on the shearing board and, when time allowed, start the travelling which made his near-forebears international names in the shearing world.
The novice final was the first and only shearing final of the daytime sessions of the second day, with junior and intermediate finals to be shorn in the evening, along with the women's final, and the North Island Shearer of the Year final, the first of a unique four open titles to be decided at the 2021 championships.
Results from the second day of the 2021 New Zealand Shearing Championships in Te Kuiti
Novice final (2 sheep): Sean Fagan (Te Kuiti) 5mn 10.1sec, 30.505pts, 1; Tessa Berger (Ahuroa) 8min 15.48sec, 31.274pts, 2; Harry Smith (Tikokino) 6muin 12.88sec, 32.144pts, 3; Cameron Artz (Raetihi) 5min 58.49sec, 35.425pts, 4; Logan Blackburn (Tikokino) 4min 54.67src, 36.724pts, 5; Casey Fergus (Cambridge) 9min 5-.94sec, 44.047pts, 6