Grand finale for another Golden Shears

JO MOIR
Last updated 19:22 01/03/2014

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Three days of hard slog and sweat comes to an end tonight when the Golden Shears wraps up its 54th competition that has seen champions knocked out and records broken.

Former multiple world champion and 16-time Golden Shears champ David Fagan missed out on making tonight's open shearing final and commentator John McBride said it was a real shame but also a great opportunity for emerging talent.

Mr McBride has been working at the shears for more than 20 years and attending for more than 40 years - in the earlier years he was a competitor, albeit a "very social one".

Entertainment is important at the three-day event that attracts a lot of visitors and people who don't know a whole lot about shearing.

"It's our job to tell the crowd what's going on and they pick up some tips, knowledge and history and that's entertaining for them,'' he said.

About 1500 people were expected to fill the seats at Masterton's War Memorial Stadium tonight with the open finals and the annual transtasman shearing tussle the biggest drawcards.

Mr McBride said it helped that the Castlepoint Races and Martinborough Fair were also going on because it brought more people to the district and gave visitors a break from the three days of shearing competition.

"The camaraderie between the shearing fraternity is still really strong and they get a lot of support here.''

One of the biggest surprises at this year's event was two young Welsh shearers breaking a 23-year drought between crowns.

Hefin Rowlands and Alun Lolyd Jones competing in the junior and intermediate shearing finals respectively picked up Golden Shears titles.

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- Fairfax Media

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