Kiwi blade shearers still a cut above Aussie counterparts

New Zealand has reinforced its new place as world blade shearing champions by keeping an unbeaten trans Tasman record.

Allan Oldfield and Tony Dobbs beat Australian shearers John Dalla and Ken French by a wide margin of more than 24 points in a contest of three sheep each at the Waimate Shears New Zealand Spring Shearing and Woolhandling Championships on Saturday night.

Oldfield and Dobbs won the world title for New Zealand for the first time in France in July.

Ken French said it was a great competition to be part of.

"It is good to come here and learn from these blokes," he said.

"They are the best blades shearers in the world."

Australian Ken French in Saturday's trans-Tasman blade shearing test match in Waimate.
Australian Ken French in Saturday's trans-Tasman blade shearing test match in Waimate. Photo credit: Supplied

There was also a major surprise on the night when 12-times Waimate blades champion Dobbs and new world individual champion Oldfield were both beaten in the shears' open blades final by 2012 World Championships New Zealand representative Mike McConnell, of Waikari. 

Dobbs had won the title every year since McConnell scored his third win in the event in 2013.

Waikari shearer Mike McConnell who regained the Waimate Open blades title with an upset win over New Zealand world champion pairing Allan Oldfield and Tony Dobbs.
Waikari shearer Mike McConnell who regained the Waimate Open blades title with an upset win over New Zealand world champion pairing Allan Oldfield and Tony Dobbs. Photo credit: Supplied

Invercargill shearer Nathan Stratford retained the Waimate Open machine-shearing title - his 10th in the event, just one less than the 11 won by multiple World, Golden Shears and New Zealand champion David Fagan (now Sir David Fagan) between 1984 and 2012.

Alexandra wool handler Pagan Karauria won the open wool handling final while the senior shearing final was won by Brandon Maguire-Ratima, of Winton.

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