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Fagan claims Speed Shear

It was the luckiest break of all, and the winner felt the pain.

That was the case in the World shearing and woolhandling championships Open Speedshear final won tonight in Invercargill by Te Kuiti shearer Jack Fagan, son of shearing legend and Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman Sir David Fagan.

The 24-year-old claimed the title and $1200 winning cheque despite being beaten by Masterton shearer Paerata Abraham, who was then disqualified for exceeding the quality benchmark in the mad-dash final shear over two sheep each.

The speedshear at the end of the second day of the four-day championships in ILT Stadium Southland attracted 59 Open competitors, and 41 in the Senior event won by Hugh de Lacy, of North Canterbury, the first winner decided at the championships.

Fagan said he felt the pain experienced by Abraham who shore his two sheep in the final in front of about 1600 spectators in 53.944sec.

"We've all been there," said Fagan, whose first two speedshear wins were in Wales, a "small" one at the Builth Wells town market and a much bigger result during the Royal Welsh Show.

Abraham, who has won more Speedshear titles and who also was first to the finish in his first 20-sheep Golden Shears Open final in Masterton last year, took it in his stride, saying "it happens."

Fagan didn't come to Invercargill just to shear a few sheep however, spending many hours in the commentary box with a team of shearing luminaries putting the event into plain but upbeat language for the thousands attending the event.

Irish shearer Ivan Scott, who last July set a World record of 867 lambs in a nine –hour day (average under 37.4sec a lamb, all day) was eliminated in the semi-final and claimed third place.

De Lacy, son of noted agricultural journalist Hugh De Lacy snr, shore his two final sheep in 1min 1.981sec, but simply regarded it as a privilege to be at the event.

In the speedshear, each shearer shore a single sheep in the heats, then quarterfinals and semi-finals, but two in the finals. Pictured are the two in the final, Abraham on the left, Fagan on the right, and Nick Greaves and Hugh De Lacy at the end of their Senior final.

Results:

Open Speedshear: Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 1, Paerata Abraham (Masterton) 2, Ivan Scott (Ireland) 3, Darin Forde (Lorneville) 4, Ryan Miller (Gore) 5, Brett Roberts (Mataura) 6, Gwion Evans (Wales) 7, Jack Robinson (Northern Ireland) 8.

Senior Speedshear: Hugh De Lacy (Parnassus) 1, Nick Greaves (England) 2, Aaron Bell (Waipawa) 3, Lee Harris (Hamilton, Vic.) 4, Jake Maguire (Winton) 5, Raehana Hokiana (Longreach, Qld) 6, Josef Winders (Tussock Creek) 7, Tom Brewer (Naracoorte, South Australia) 8.