Scots led the form at the Scottish Blackface Sheep Shearing Championships at Lochearnhead when two natives headed up the open final and won the annual test match versus New Zealand.
Acting as a final warm-up before competitors head to France for the World Championships this week, the event welcomed some of the best shearers in the world, including many previous winners and members of winning teams.
From a bumper entry of 30 shearers in the open section hoping to make it to the elusive four-man final, it was down to the two Scots, Calum Shaw and Gavin Mutch, to set the pace on the 20 Blackie hoggs.
With the lowest board mark for double-cutting of 31, it was the 2017 winner, Fife’s Calum Shaw, who claimed the red sash with a total score of 52.100, having pulled the cord in 14 minutes 10 seconds.
Calum’s fellow Scotland team-mate heading to France, Huntly-born but New Zealand-based Gavin Mutch – a winner of both the individual and team world titles as well as the prestigious Golden Shears – was the fastest to finish in 13 minutes 24 seconds and secured second place with 52.400.
With the final including four shearers you wouldn’t be surprised to see in the same position at the Worlds in France, New Zealand’s Rowland Smith was third with 55.850, while Englishman Adam Berry was fourth with 56.850 and also claimed the Colin McGregor Salver for the best pen score in any final.
Scots also ruled supreme in the Scotland versus New Zealand test to claim the Joe Te Kapa Memorial Trophy as Gavin and Calum made the best job of their 20 hoggs apiece to score 53.100 and 55.500, totalling 108.600, compared to Rowland Smith and Cam Ferguson’s 55.550, 59.000 and 114.550 total.
With two Scots and two New Zealanders making it through to the blade final, the top two spots went to the Kiwi father and son duo, Phil and Alan Oldfield, with son Alan once again trumping his father to win his third Lochearnhead title.
Alan edged the lead with 67.350 having clipped his four hoggs in the fastest time of 11 minutes 27 seconds, despite Phil securing the lowest board and pen marks of 13 and 105 to finish on 69.800.
Just 0.300 split Scottish team-mates Willie Craig and Mark Armstrong, with Willie taking third place on 72.550 and Mark finished fourth with 72.850.
The lowest senior pen mark of 50 and fastest time of nine minutes two seconds for 10 hoggs helped Kiwi shearer David Gordon win the senior final with a total score of 35.000, a good result considering he hasn’t clipped at Lochearnhead for seven years.
It was a good outing for Katie Reid when she not only won the five-hogg intermediate final, but also the prize for best local as well as the “man in the middle” prize for securing the middle spot in the senior heats.
Despite being the last to finish in the intermediate final, she had the lowest board and pen marks of eight and 47 to finish with a score of 34.450.