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Pongaroa’s Buick gearing up for tough UK tour

David Buick . . . UK trip will be “big challenge.” PHOTO/SUPPLIED

SHEARING
GARY CAFFELL

Pongaroa farmer David Buick is “absolutely stoked” to be part of a two-man national shearing team to undertake a six-week United Kingdom tour, starting late next month.

Buick, 39, was selected to join Southland’s Nathan Stratford in a series of tests against the best that Scotland, England and Wales can offer after finishing third best Kiwi in the open final at the national championships in Te Kuiti in early April

The two ahead of him on that occasion, Hawke’s Bay duo Rowland Smith and John Kirkpatrick, were both unavailable to make the trip.

Stratford, for his part, earned his spot by taking out the NZ Shears Circuit Final at the same event.

Representing New Zealand will be nothing new for Buick as he has been involved in transtasman battles in Australia but he readily concedes the UK experience will be his toughest assignment to date.

“The sheep are so different over there, and they vary from country to country.

“It’s how you adapt which counts and I guess that’s the big challenge for us. We’ll have a couple of days to settle in so hopefully that will give us the chance to come to terms with what we are up against.”.

Buick said choosing the right comb for each breed of sheep would be crucial if he and Stratford were to foot it with the locals who were always “exceptionally hard’ to beat on their home territory.

And to that end, he had already had a chat with Rowland Smith over the decisions he had made in that regard on his trips to the UK.

“You can’t underestimate the importance of the combs, you don’t often hear about that sort of thing but if you want to be competitive you have to get it right.”

For Buick, his latest selection for New Zealand comes at the end of a season in which he has produced several outstanding performances in major competitions, none more so than his memorable second placing to Smith in the open final at the Golden Shears in Masterton in March.

The Golden Shears crown is right at the top of the list of titles Buick would dearly love to win and he had the big crowd at the War Memorial Stadium cheering him on as he gave hot favourite Smith a decent run for his money, completing his 20 sheep in the fastest time but eventually losing out on quality points.

Buick described the support he got before, during and after that final as “very humbling” with many people who he did not know going out of their way to wish him well and congratulate him on his performance.

“When you experience something like that it really does give you a lift and hopefully I can do everybody proud in the UK as well.”

1 COMMENT

  1. Well deserved and so proud to be part of the support crew. We will be cheering from Perth WA.

Comments are closed.

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