Son of a gun clean winner

Report, photos Bob GarnantCountryman

In the shearing shed at Wagin Woolorama wool was the talk of the town.

As the open shearers geared up for their competition, the buzz of higher weekly wool prices had already hit the boards.

And during the heat of the competition, no-one was more pleased than veteran shearer Don Boyle, who farms in Broomehill.

"I didn't feel the extremely hot weather, must have been the fact I have 12,000 woolly and profitable sheep at home," Boyle said after shearing 10 Merino ewes in the open.

Although he finished in fourth place at this year's Woolorama, the 61-year-old had a smile from the word go.

"My bet was on my son, Damien, to take out the clean shears," he said.

Boyle was on a safe bet because Damien had already accumulated numerous State titles in his illustrious career.

But knocking off the best at Wagin was never going to be an easy task for the 35-year-old.

He was up against the likes of Williams shearer Mark Buscumb and several others who easily could match skills with the 15 times WA champion.

And taking it to the boards like no other, Buscumb flew on the first sheep, finishing well before the other five shearers.

Todd Wegner was not far behind either, and the pressure was on.

While Damien continued to maintain his consistent strategy, using both speed and clean sweeps to take the wool off, the judges were looking for penalty points which could decide the outright champion.

Meanwhile Buscumb continued to lead and finished in the quickest time of 14 minutes 50 seconds.

Damien stopped the clock a little less than two minutes later at 15 minutes 52 seconds, while Wegner came in at 17 minutes and 57 seconds.

"It was awesome, a total adrenalin rush," Buscumb said after wiping plenty of sweat from his brow.

Damien was sure his 10 sheep shear-off was clean while Wegner was feeling the pain of the intense competition.

Meanwhile newcomer to the open even, Richard Sturgis, said it felt good being on the boards with such high-profile shearers.

As the penalty points were tallied, Damien was awarded the Wagin Woolorama open champion.

Like he has done so many times before, the top gun shearer stripped the wool off cleaner than the fastest on the day.

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