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21 February 2022
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Wool Street Journal

Wool Street Journal: McSkimming Memorial Triple Crown, National Shearing Championship

The McSkimming Memorial Triple Crown is a solid silver crown inlaid with gold and was presented in memory fine wool shearing for the purpose of finding New Zealand’s top shearers over all types of sheep.

As such it has been referred to as the “Ironman” event of New Zealand shearing.

It was first contested in a 1972-1973 series, starting with the fine wool round at the New Zealand Merino Shears in Alexandra, the long strong wool round at the Waimate Spring Shears and the last round (second shear) and final at Masterton’s Golden Shears, which had started in 1961 and spearheaded the development of shearing sports and a global reputation for the sheep-farming area of Wairarapa.

Initially, it was based on points from heats at the competitions accumulated throughout the series, including the final, but since 1987, expanded to include the New Zealand Corriedale Championships in Christchurch, the New Zealand Lambshearing Championships at Raglan, and the second-shear of the Pahiatua Shears, the top 12 each year have qualified for the semi-finals and the title to be decided at the Golden Shears.

In more recent years, the lamb shearing round has been held at the Rangitikei Shearing Sports in Marton.

The final has been held in Masterton every year except the last two when the Covid-19 pandemic has cancelled the big event. Last years final was held at the New Zealand Shears in Te Kuiti.

As well as the trophy, the winner is an automatic selection in the New Zealand team for a home-and-away transtasman series which started in Euroa, Vic, in 1974.

PGG Wrightson became the major sponsor in 2003 and this year marks the 20th continuous year of this relationship, now in association with Vetmed.

David Fagan, who in the 2016 New Year Honour has bestowed a Knighthood for his service and achievements in shearing, became synonymous with the “Circuit”, which he won nine times spanning 22 years from 1986 to 2008, during which time he was amassing a record of 16 wins on the second-shear sheep of the Golden Shears Open Championship – the acclaimed “Wimbledon of Shearing.”

Colin King, who won the final six times from 1983 to 1998, was in 2000 named a recipient of the MNZM in the New Zealand Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the wool industry and shearing and was a the MP for Kaikoura from 2005 to 2014.

Of the 24 who have won the championship, 10 have also won the Golden Shears Open final, five of them also becoming World Champion.

Five decades of winners:

1973-1982

1973, Joe Ferguson; 1974, Eddie Reidy; 1975, Roger Cox; 1976, Martin Ngataki; 1977, Colin Gibson, 1978, Adrian Cox; 1979, Kevin Walsh; 1980, Brian “Snow) Quinn; 1981, Adrian Cox; 1982, Samson (Hamahona) Te Whata.

1983-1992

1983, Colin King; 1984,, Colin King; 1985, Steve Dodds; 1986, David Fagan; 1987, Ricky Pivac; 1988, David Fagan; 1989, Edsel Forde; 1990, Edsel Forde; 1991, Edsel Forde; 1992, David Fagan.

1993-2002

1993, Colin King; 1994, Colin King; 1995, David Fagan; 1996, Colin King; 1997, Dion Morrell; 1998, Colin King; 1999, Darin Forde, 2000, David Fagan; 2001, Darin Forde; 2002, Darin Forde.

2003-2012

2003, David Fagan; 2004, Darin Forde; 2005, David Fagan; 2006, Dion King; 2007, David Fagan; 2008, David Fagan; 2009, Tony Coster; 2010, Tony Coster; 2011, Tony Coster; 2012, Angus Moore.

2013-2022

2013, John Kirkpatrick; 2014, Nathan Stratford; 2015, Tony Coster; 2016, Tony Coster; 2017, Rowland Smith; 2018, John Kirkpatrick; 2019, Paerata Abraham; 2020, Angus Moore; 2021, Leon Samuels; 2022??

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