Gun shearers in shoot-out

The West Australian

Multiple champion Damien Boyle again swept the boards to take out the 2015 IGA Perth Royal Show open shearing title.

The seasoned shearer recorded a time of 19min.29secs to shear 10 animals.

His time ran second to Todd "Terminator" Wegner of Nungarin, but Mr Boyle's clean blows saw him claim victory over Mr Wegner's speed.

Mr Boyle said the sheep were well prepared, which added to the challenge.

"The sheep were very healthy and some did struggle, so I was off to a slow start," he said. "After the third sheep, I got going but it was hard going to catch the leader."

Mr Boyle said he was pleased to have shorn clean and take the win.

"It was a great competition with the two New Zealanders and one from NSW to match it with on the boards today," he said.

Mr Wegner said he felt on top of his game but had to give it everything.

"I save my best shearing for the Perth Royal Show," he said after placing second in the open. Finishing his 10 sheep in a fast time on the boards (18min.52secs), the 52-year-old said the Ejanding blood sheep, bred by South Dowerin producer Lindsay Hagboom, were beautiful to shear. "They suited me to a T," he said.

In a competitive battle on the boards, the top two open shearers, Mr Boyle and Mr Wegner, joined forces to be victorious over the New Zealand team this year in the trans-Tasman challenge.

Shearing announcer Kevin Gellatly said the competition was a spectacular event.

"We have some world-class shearers with 10 sheep in front of them," he said as the six competitors pulled out their first animal.

"Quick to start is Todd Wegner but ever so close is Mouse (New Zealand shearer Colin O'Neill).

"They trade blow for blow, but Mouse is just too strong."

Mr O'Neill finished fastest in a time of 17min.39secs, but important points were still to be calculated to determine the winning team.

Mr Wegner said he was low on energy and had some pain to deal with.

"I was happy with my shearing and with Boyle as my teammate, I knew we were in with a chance," he said. New Zealand competitor Colin O'Neill said the event proved to have a bit of pace.

Mr O'Neill had only competed in one event in the previous year, but had not let the quiet build-up faze him.

He said the sheep had also been challenging because of their size.

"They were very strong sheep and much bigger than the ones we shear back home," Mr O'Neill said.

"Ours probably average 50kg-70kg; these were probably averaging 100kg."

He also noted the differing styles of shearing between the teams.

"We shear high on the neck, while the Aussies shear on the bottom side," hesaid.

"We generally shear a lot of crossbreds, which suit our style, and we may have struggled a bit with that."

Mr O'Neill said he was keen to replace the "pain and exhaustion" he had sweated onto the boards with a few well-earned beers.

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