New Zealand shearer Jack Fagan has won the French championships All-Nations Open final.
The event was held at Martel in southwest France, and about 190km south of of central France town Le Dorat, where the next World shearing and woolhandling championships will be staged in 2019.
Shearing the 20 sheep in 12min 7sec, Fagan, from Te Kuiti, finished more than a sheep ahead of the rest in the four-man final, and overall claimed the title by a margin of 4.55pts from defending champion and France World championships representative Loic Leygonie, of Martel, who has also shorn regularly in New Zealand summers since 2011.
Third was Christophe Riffaud, the France World championships committee chairman and who recently was one of a pair who established a French two-stand shearing record of 1328 in nine hours, whiloe fourth place went to Pierre Grancher, of Sisteron, and who in 2015 was runner-up in the New Zealand crossbred lambshearing championships Intermediate final at the Winton A and P Show.
Son of former shearing great Sir David Fagan and a former top lower grades competitor, Jack Fagan had his biggest win in the Royal Welsh Open two years ago, and in February he won the Open Speedshear during the World Championships and Southland All Nations Championships in Invercargill.
Another feature of the championships in Martel was the Six Nations blade shearing championships win by Wales World championships pair Elfed Jackson and Gareth Owen. It was a triumph in big terms after they were beaten by fellow Six Nations teams Ireland and England when the three countries were fourth, fifth and sixth in the World Championships teams blade shearing final five months ago.
French Shearing Championships Open final (20 sheep): Jack Fagan (New Zealand) 12min 7sec, 46.2pts, 1; Loic Leygonie (France) 13min 17sec, 50.75pts, 2; Christophe Riffaud (France) 12min 41sec, 53.6pts, 3; Pierre Grancher (France) 13min 23sec, 59.1pts, 4.