3 Mar 2011

Kirkpatrick favourite to win Golden Shears

6:20 am on 3 March 2011

The country's top shearers will have Masterton buzzing over the next few days with the start of the 51st Golden Shears championship.

The competition kicks off with the novice shearing and wool handling heats on Thursday morning.

Shearing Sports New Zealand spokesperson Doug Laing says the clear favourite for the prestigious open title is John Kirkpatrick, who won in 2002 and 2008.

He has won 13 of the 19 competitions he has shorn in so far this season and hasn't finished further back than third.

However David Fagan, who has won 16 Golden Shears open titles, is not out of the running, Mr Laing says.

Fagan is now in his 29th season of open class shearing.

His son, Jack Fagan, will also be competing and is a top contender in the intermediate grade.