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Fagan - Career full of World Champs Highlights

By Sir David Fagan

I was lucky enough to represent New Zealand at nine different World Championships during my career. Over that time, remarkably, I had nine different team mates.

I've always said, the hardest part about the World Championships is making the New Zealand team. Once you're in there, you've got a fair crack at it. This year is a great example of the depth in shearing in this country and it's been that way for the last 30 years.

It was the biggest buzz ever when I made the team for the 1986 Champs in Perth following my first Golden Shears win that year. My teammate Ricky Pivac who was a good mate and I finished second to Aussie Mark Conlan that year and we won the teams title.

By 1988 in Masterton I was getting a real appetite for winning. It was great to win my first World Individual title and defend the Teams title with Stephen Dodds from Riversdale.

In 1992 I focused on getting to England a few weeks early and getting my hand in on the different sheep breeds, different wool types and the different combs you had to use. I was able to do the double again, this time with Kevin Walsh.

1994 was a special year, shearing alongside my best mate since primary school, Alan MacDonald. Mickey had an exceptional shear in the final and tipped me over into second and we won my fourth successive World Team title. If I couldn't win the individual, Mickey was the one I wanted to see get it. We've had more battles over the years with big events and world records than I can remember.

The most unusual selection was in 1996 in Masterton. Colin King was the top qualifier in the circuit leading up World Champs and to join him in the New Zealand team you had to be the highest qualifier in the Open quarter finals held the night before the World Champs themselves. It was all to play for! I managed to take the spot and then backed up the next night to win my third World title.

Two years later we were off to Gorey Ireland. Paul Avery and I were at the top of our games so it was always going to be a real struggle. I managed to pip Paul to take the win and we won the team event.

2003 in Edinburgh was another special year. I teamed up with another Te Kuiti local in Dean Ball and had my brother John as team manager. To win the last of my five world titles and the teams event alongside family was a real highlight.

By the time I made my final appearance in Wales in 2010 I was starting to get on in years. But I was able to place second in the individual behind my team mate Cam Ferguson and together we took out the last of my seven team titles.

It has certainly been a special part of my career. A lot of people ask whether I would rather win the World Champs or the Golden Shears in Masterton or New Zealand Champs in Te Kuiti. I can't split them.

When I was going well you wanted to win them all and if you missed one you were disappointed. It's not being greedy. It's just being competitive.


Sir David Fagan has won 12 world titles, is the Chairman of Shearing Sports New Zealand and a member of the Organising Committee for the 2017 World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Invercargill from 8 to 11 February. Visit www.worldshearingchamps.com for full information.