Johnny Kirkpatrick wins World Shearing Championships title
Napier shearer Johnny Kirkpatrick has finally won the elusive world machine shearing title.
The World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships were on at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill on Saturday night..
The 46-year-old had competed at the world championships three times prior to this year's competition and said it was a hard final.
"I finally won here in New Zealand, it's the biggest moment in my life"
Kirkpatrick scored 61.554 points ahead of Scottish shearer Gavin Mutch who came in second with 62.907 points, while hometown hero Nathan Stratford placed third with 63.818 points.
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Kirkpatrick also received the Golden Shears World Council Chairman's Perpetual Challenge Trophy, judged on the lowest penalty points.
He thanked his family for supporting him throughout his entire career.
"Sometimes I think they love shearing more than I do."
He has also won the open championship at the Golden Shears in Masterton four times in 2002, 2008, 2011 and 2012.
The last championships were held in Gorey, Ireland in 2014. Hawke's Bay shearer Rowland Smith won the machine shearing title, but the title was up for grabs this year after he failed to qualify for the New Zealand team late last year.
New Zealand woolhandler Joel Henare, of Gisborne, secured a comfortable 50 point win ahead of team mate Mary-Anne Baty, of Gisborne, and Mataura-based Cook Islands representative Tina Elers who came second and third respectively.
"This is a lifelong dream to become a world champion."
He dedicated his award to mentor Joanne Kumeroa, who died in 2015.
Henare scored 107.82 points, Baty scored 152.47 and Elers scored 205.28.
Defending world champion blade shearer Mayenseke Shweni, of South Africa, held on to his title for another two years beating New Zealanders Tony Dobbs and Phil Oldfield who came second and third respectively.
Shweni scored 74.189 points, ahead of Dobbs' 75.992.
The shearers and woolhandlers were working on romney sheep with a mix of full fleece, second shear and lambs.
Defending machine shearing team Scotland consisting of Gavin Mutch and Hamish Mitchell were bested by New Zealand's team of Kirkpatrick and Stratford by 66.373 points to 67.083.
New Zealand took out the team woolhandling with Henare and Baty up against the Australian team of Sophie Huf and Melanie Morris and the Cook Islands team of Tina Elers and daughter Maiden Elers.
They scored 99.762, 141.464 and 169.75 respectively.
The team blade shearing went to the South African team consisting of Shweni and Bongani Joel for the fourth championship in a row, with New Zealanders Dobbs and Oldfield taking second place.
They won 78.299 points to 84.816.
World machine shearing finalists
1. Johnny Kirkpatrick, Napier
2. Gavin Mutch, Scotland
3. Nathan Stratford, Invercargill
4. Ivan Scott, Ireland
5. Hamish Mitchell, Scotland
6. Jack Robinson, Northern Ireland
World woolhandling finalists
1. Joel Henare, Gisborne
2. Mary-Anne Baty, Gisborne
3. Tina Elers, Cook Islands
4. Sophie Huf, Australia
World blade shearing finalists
1. Mayeseke Schweni, South Africa
2. Tony Dobbs, Fairlie
3. Phil Oldfield, Geraldine
4. Bongani Joel, South Africa
5. Ken French, Australia
6. John Dalla, Australia
World machine shearing teams finalists
1. New Zealand
4. Northern Ireland
World woolhandling teams finalists
1. New Zealand
3. Cook Islands
World blade shearing teams finalists
1. South Africa
2. New Zealand