Shear(ing) brilliance

February 11, 2017

Prime Minister Bill English beat world champion shearer Sir David Fagan in a challenge at the World Shearing and Wool Handling championships.

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If Sir David noticed that he was handicapped by a sheep that was ever so slightly bigger than the PM’s he was too much of a sportsman to mention it.

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Sir David vs PM

February 11, 2017

Prime Minister Bill English has accepted champion shearer Sir David Fagan’s challenge to a sheep shearing contest.

. . . After being publicly challenged late last year by the world’s most-decorated shearer, Sir David Fagan, Bill English has duly accepted and will shear on-stage at the 2017 World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships at ILT Stadium Southland.

Sir David said the Prime Minister’s attendance was great news for the event.

We’re rapt. He’s always been supportive of agriculture and our industry and sport. We’re looking forward to having him and we are pretty excited to be able to host him in this venue at ILT Stadium Southland. To have the PM support the event, let alone have him take up the challenge of shearing a sheep is pretty impressive. He will be the first World leader to shear a sheep and having seen him shear before he’s going to do very well,” he said. . . 

The championships are being streamed live here. The PM and Sir David are scheduled to shear at 1:45.


366 days of gratitude

November 9, 2016

An Olympic silver medal came to our place today.

The one who won it came too and gave us an insight into the dedication, focus and physical, mental and emotional effort that went in to the win.

Few of us have what it takes to be elite sportspeople, but we can be inspired by them and I’m grateful for that.


Melbourne Cup picks

November 1, 2016

The appeal of horses’ names and jockeys’ colours is the usual basis for my picks in any race.

But today, patriotism is my guide and I’m opting for Pentathlon:

Pentathlon is the only Kiwi-trained, bred and owned starter in this year’s Cup. Pentathlon is being prepared by Kiwi training legend John Wheeler from New Plymouth. It’s been 20 years since Wheeler saddled up a runner in the great race. He will be ridden by New Zealand jockey Mark Du Plessis.

The Victorian Racing Club has the field and form here.

Sticking with patriotism, I’m picking Who Shot Thebarman for second and going for a jockey in blue, Beautiful Romance for third.

There’s a virtual gourmet picnic for anyone who picks the winner with a bonus virtual bottle of champagne for anyone who picks the first three.

 

UPDATE: I’m swapping my pick to Who Shot Thebarman for first and Pentathlon for second.

The horse is owned by Dan, Michael, Shaun and Humphrey O’Leary and is trained by expatriate New Zealander Chris Waller.

It was named after a favourite saying of the O’Leary’s aunt when her gin glass was empty and needed a refill.

TAB NZ has reported that up to 70 members of the O’Leary brothers family and friends will travel to Melbourne to support the horse.

I know some of the family and even if I didn’t that much support from family and friends, not to mention the aunt’s spirit, appeals.


Boxing not right fit for public funds

October 26, 2016

Duco which is promoting Joseph Parker’s world heavyweight title fight in New Zealand, is seeking public funding:

Boxing requires skill, strength and fitness like other sports.

People get hurt doing it, like other sports.

But unlike other sports, that’s the aim in boxing.

That makes it a bad fit for public funds.

It might gain international attention but it can’t be compared withevents like the Rugby World Cup or next year’s World Shearing and Wool Handling Championships which qualified for major events funds.

They not only had/will have multiple participants they attracted/will attract thousands of visiting supporters and fans over weeks.


Three more bronzes

September 18, 2016

Two New Zealand paralympians have won three bronze medals to bring the country’s total to 21.

William Stedman has won bronze in the 400 metre sprint and 800m.

Emma Foy and her pilot Laura Thompson won their second medal in the Rio Paralympics with a bronze in the women’s road race.

New Zealand is now 12th in the medal tally with nine gold, five silver and seven bronze.


NZ Paralympians reach 18 medal target

September 16, 2016

Liam Malone has broken another record to win the 400 metre sprint and claim his second gold at the rio Paralympics..

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Jessica Hamill won a bronze medal in the shot put.

New Zealand has reached its medal goal of 18 and is ninth of the medal table with nine gold, five silver and four bronze.

Let’s also celebrate a New Zealand born and raised Australian:

An Australian war veteran born and raised in Queenstown was racing for a fallen comrade when he won the first Paralympic title in the men’s KL3 canoe sprint in Rio.

Like every time he competes, Curtis McGrath picked one of eight names of his fellow engineer soldiers who died in combat in Afghanistan since 2001, and raced for them, AAP reported.

McGrath (28) was born in Queenstown and attended Wakatipu High School before his family relocated to Brisbane, where he became a combat engineer.

He won the first Paralympic title in the men’s KL3 canoe sprint at Rio’s Lagoa Stadium yesterday. . . 


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