Royal triumph for Taumarunui shearer A globe-trotting Taumarunui shearer has scored his first competition win in the Senior final at the Royal Highland Show in Scotland. Benefiting from 10 weeks shearing in the US and now working out of Stirling in Central Scotland, 24-year-old former Hamilton Boys High School pupil and Smedley Station farm cadet Guy Fraser (picture from Jack Fagan) was just fourth to finish the final in which all-but one of the six shearers cut their pens of eight sheep each in under eight minutes. But Fraser, whose best previous result was a second placing to fellow New Zealander Ethan Pankhurst in last year’s Lochearnhead Shears Senior final, also in Scotland, produced easily the best board and pen quality to win by a comfortable 2.475pts from runner-up Alister Shaw, of Saline, Fife, just pipping third placegetter Tom Perry, of Northern Ireland.
First off the board in the MacRobert Theatre at Ingliston, Edinburgh, was Brian Simpson, of Blairgrowrie, Scotland. He took 7min 5sec, pipping Perry by two seconds, but had to settle for fourth when all time and quality points were counted.
Extending the international flavour of the event, Marco Gitenaite, 22, from Ambierle, Rhone-Alpes and joining a growing number of French shearers making a mark in competitions around the World, reached a final in the UK for the first time and was sixth, after shearing his eight sheep in 8min 35sec.
Fraser’s win is the second by young New Zealand shearers in Scotland recently, with 21-year-old former Taratahi student Cologne McKinstry, of Kaitieke, near Taumarunui, winning the Junior shearing final at Lesmahagow, South Lanarkshire, three weeks ago. The 175th Royal Highland Show is expected to have attracted about 180,000 people by the time it ends tonight, with a capacity crowd expected as the shearing and woolhandling finishes with the Open shearing final.
The New Zealand team of Hastings shearer Dion King and Tony Coster, of Rakaia, arrives in Scotland midweek for a test match against Scotland at the Lochearnhead Shears, the first oof eight tests on this year’s UK tour.