Te Kuiti shearer Jack Fagan has gotten off to a great start on the Shearing Sports New Zealand circuit this summer winning the Gisborne Shearing and Woolhandling Championships open shearing final at the Poverty Bay A and P Show on Saturday. The pace in the five-man final of 20 sheep was led by far-travelled Northland gun Toa Henderson of Kaiwaka, who finished in 16min 38sec – almost half a minute before next-man-off Fagan. However, in the final count, Fagan beat Masterton shearer Paerata Abraham by 0.7 points. It was the first North Island competition in a calendar of about 60 shows nationwide in the 2023-2024 season. The placing came a week after Fagan was runner-up in the New Zealand Winter Comb Championship and sixth in the Waimate Spring Shears final in the South Island.