South Canterbury shearer Allan Oldfield has wrapped up a season in the UK with an emphatic win in the blade shearing final at the Corwen Shears in North Wales on Saturday (NZDT).
The winner of the Royal Welsh Show blade shearing final earlier in the week, Oldfield, of Geraldine, won by almost ten points from runner-up and Welsh shearer Rheinallt Hughes. The 2017 Welsh Wales World Championships representatives Elfed Jackson and Gareth Owen were third and fourth respectively.
It ended a near complete domination of blade shearing during the hot UK summer, with Oldfield winning eight finals, including three of the big four - the Royal Ulster in Belfast, the Royal Highland in Edinburgh, and last Monday's triumph at Builth Wells.
Other wins were at Connacht, Llysfasi, Killin, and Lochearnhead, while he was also runner-up in a title defence in the fourth of the big four, the Royal Bath and West Show in Somerset, England. He also reached two lower grade machine shearing finals.
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Oldfield's latest win was built around pace as he sheared the six sheep in 13min 32sec, an average of 2min 15sec a sheep and a clear 2min 33sec ahead of next-man-off Jackson, worth more than seven points at a point for every 20 seconds. He was, however, just over 4pts in arrears of Hughes on quality points.
Oldfield is now off to the Falkland Islands for four weeks of blade shearing starting next Sunday. He will then head home for the New Zealand Spring Shears at Waimate in early September.
Then Oldfield will take on the rest of New Zealand's 2019 World Championships blade shearers' selection series, which ends at the Canterbury Show in November. A leading opponent there is 2017 World Championships placegetter Phil Oldfield, who also happens to be Allan's father.
Hughes and Jackson will represent Wales at the World Championships in Le Dorat, France, on July 1-7 next year.
The Corwen Shears end tonight, with the CP Wool New Zealand machine shearing team of Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, and David Buick, of Pongaroa, out to end their tour with a win after being beaten in all five previous tests.
Corwen Shears Open blade-shearing final (6 sheep): Allan Oldfield (New Zealand) 13min 32sec, 79.266pts, 1; Rheinallt Hughes (Wales) 18min 10sec, 89.084pts, 2; Elfed Jackson (Wales) 15min 55sec, 90pts, 3; Gareth Owen (Wales) 17min 19sec, 91.033pts, 4; Richard Till (Wales) 19min 43sec, 107.15pts, 5; Mark Armstrong (Scotland) 22min 17sec, 110.6pts, 6.