Hold on to your woolly hats, folks! The shearing sensation from Te Kuiti, Jack Fagan, is gearing up to defend his crown at the New Zealand Corriedale Championships, and it's promising to be a shear spectacle of epic proportions.
Fresh off a victory at the Poverty Bay A&P Show in Gisborne, Jack Fagan, the maestro of the shearing world, is eyeing another triumph at the New Zealand Agricultural Show in Christchurch on Friday the 17th of November. But this isn't just any ordinary defence – Fagan clinched his first-ever southern title at last year's Corriedale Championships, marking a milestone in his illustrious career.
With contagious enthusiasm, Fagan, whose shearing skills are as sharp as his blades, shared his elation.
"I’ve been down to this show for the thick end of the past ten years and this is actually my first win in the South Island, so to do it on these Corriedales, which I’ve never shorn at work, I’ve only shorn them at shows, is very special."
But Fagan isn't just basking in the glory of one win; he's been making waves across the shearing scene. His triumph in Gisborne came hot on the heels of a runner-up finish in the New Zealand Winter Comb Championship and a solid sixth-place showing in the Waimate Spring Shears. Talk about staying on the cutting edge!
Corriedale Championships chairman, James Dwyer, is cranking up the excitement, assuring viewers that this year's open event will be a thrilling ride.
"We’re increasing the prize money this year, with a payout down to 12th place, which gives the top competitors more certainty about making some money."
And there's more than just the thrill of victory for spectators. Dwyer spilled the woolly beans on an "entertaining woollen package" for visitors, a showcase of the industry's magic.
"This year we’ve got a more rounded display of wool," he revealed.
"We’re centralising everything wool into one area so people can see the sheep being shorn, you can see the different breeds of sheep and all the things that wool can create, not just clothing but a whole range of new products."
But wait, there's sheer excitement on a global scale! Hugh de Lacy (snr), the Southern Series Events Manager, believes this year's Corriedale Championships are a giant leap toward establishing a truly global shearing circuit.
"Speed and quality are the key elements in shearing competitions, and the pursuit of both is what makes shearing such an exciting spectator event, as we’ll see on Friday at the show," he exclaimed.
As for the star-studded lineup, entries are still being finalized, but brace yourselves for a flock of talent. Former champion Nathan Stratford is making a comeback, joined by local hero Hugh de Lacy (jnr) and 2022 finalists David Gordon, Duncan Leslie, and Paerata Abraham.
So, mark your calendars, shearing enthusiasts! The New Zealand Corriedale Championships are about to unfold, and with Jack Fagan leading the charge, it's bound to be a sheer delight you won't want to miss. Get ready for a shearing showdown like never before – fleece, fun, and fame await!