Kiwi sheep shearing legend David Fagan set for Gorey

The most successful shearer in the history of competition shearing is legendary New Zealand gun David Fagan, and he will be part of the New Zealand team at the Golden Shears in Gorey in two weeks time. 

Now 52, he has won almost 630 finals around the world since first shearing in the Open Class in 1981-’82, and won 12 world titles spanning almost a quarter-century – the Individual event in 1988, 1992, 1996, 1998, and 2003, and teams titles at consecutive championships in 1986, 1988, 1992 and 1994, and 1998, 2003 and 2010. He is still competing regularly, qualifying for reaching 20 finals in the just completed New Zealand season, winning six, and finishing third in the Shearing Sports New Zealand annual rankings.

It wasn’t enough to qualify for the World Championships, but he was planning to compete at Balmoral and Connacht in the week before the World Championships, and in July will wear the black singlet on a New Zealand team tour of the UK.

In New Zealand he has won the most-prized Golden Shears Open Championship 16 times. Beaten only by brother John Fagan in his first Golden Shears Open final in 1984, he has been a fixture almost ever since. In 2003 he shore the final’s fastest time – 15 minutes 27.4 seconds for 20 strongwool ewes.

He helped re-establish the New Zealand Championships in home-town Te Kuiti and has also dominated its Open final. The 16th Golden Shears World Championships will feature 10 competitors who have been there before. They all took part in the 9th championship in Gorey in 1998. They include the two-man blades shearing teams of both the US and England.