Golden Shears Youngest Champ

Central Hawke’s Bay shearer Cam Ferguson became the youngest Golden Shears open shearing champion in 21 years when he won a spectacular final at his first attempt in Masterton. He was among several young Māori shearers vying for top honours at the 50th Golden Shears competition.

The TAB had placed Cam in fourth place to win the shearing championships. This was a significant achievement given that he was up against some well-known shearers, including 16-time open shearing champion David Fagan; and Dion King, who was 2006 open champion and world record holder for the most lambs shorn in nine hours; and John Kirkpatrick, two-time open champion and runner-up in the 2008 world champs.

Commentator Koro Mullins says, “John Kirkpatrick, Dion King, Cam Ferguson and Dean Ball represent the new generation, trying to match the Māori shearing dynasties of the past.”

Ferguson, 25, ceded at least 10 years in age to four of his five rivals, including reigning champion David Fagan, who at the age of 48 was in his 24th final and trying to win the title for the 17th time.

Despite being the youngest in the field, the Te Aute College old boy was among the favourites after winning six open titles during the summer, including the Otago championship and South Island Shearer of the Year finals.

Ferguson will go on to represent New Zealand in the machine shearing championships to be held in Wales in July.

Golden Shears Open Shearing Final results:

1st: Cam Ferguson - Waipawa
2nd: John Kirkpatrick - Napier
3rd: David Fagan - Te Kuiti
4th: Nathan Stratford - Invercargill
5th: Dion King - Hastings
6th: Dean Ball - Te Kuiti