Wairarapa shearer and New Zealand representative David Buick has crossed the North Island to claim his third open title of the new shearing sports season.
He drove the 285km from Pongaroa to the Stratford A and P Show in about four hours before blazing through the 16-sheep Taranaki Shears open final in 13min 17 sec.
Pipping former Taranaki-based Scottish shearer and 2018 winner Gavin Mutch by five seconds in the race for time honours, Buick also had the best combination of board and pen points to have a clear victory by 2.741pts from eventual runner-up Jack Fagan, of Te Kuiti.
Mutch was third, followed in fourth by defending champion Mark Grainger, of Te Kuiti in his first competition shear for the season. Both Mutch and Grainger have shared the Stratford show open final wins since Sir David Fagan last won there in 2014.
Among the 16 in the heats, just missing a place in the final, was Southland shearer Brett Roberts, the only other shearer to have won two finals in the new season.
Buick now has 24 open final wins to his name, including four national lambs titles and two Australian crossbred Warrnambool Romney Shears titles.
Taihape teenager Reuben Alabaster had his second win of the season in claiming the senior title, with a margin of more than three points over runner-up and Taranaki rookie competitor Andrew Brown, with third place going to Daniel Biggs, of Mangamahu, in his first senior competition since ending last season as No 1-ranked intermediate nationwide.
Saturday's intermediate final was won by Clay Harris, of Piopio, and the junior final was won by newcomer Jessie Sullivan, of Fox Glacier.
It was the second-to-last competition of the pre-Christmas phase of the season, ahead of the new Whangarei A and P Show Shears next Saturday.
Results from the Taranaki Shears at the Stratford A and P Show on Saturday, November 28, 2020:
Open final (16 sheep): David Buick (Pongaroa) 13min 17sec, 47.4215pts, 1; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 13min 52sec, 50.1625pts, 2; Gavin Mutch (Scotland) 13min 34sec,50.575pts, 3; Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti ) 13min 46sec, 51.05pts, 4.
Senior final: Reuben Alabaster (Taihape) 33.12pts, 1; Andrew Brown (Inglewood) 36.3pts, 2; Daniel Biggs (Mangamahu) 40.37pts, 3; Brayden Clifford (Waikaka) 40.65pts, 4.
Intermediate final: Clay Harris (Piopio) 35.76pts, 1; Topia Barrowcliffe (Pioio) 39.01pts, 2; Matthew Smith (Otorohanga) 39.85pts, 3; Peggy Sue Tohengaroa (Aria) 49.41pts, 4.
Junior final: Jessie Sullivan (Fox Glacier) 25.91pts, 1; Josh Devane (Taihape) 27.31pts, 2; Keahrey Manson (Piopio) 31.2pts, 3; Renee Biggs (Mangamahu) 36.78pts, 4.
Novice: Shaun Rowe (Stratford) 1.