Kiwi barber David Buick highlights the latest title, less than three years after the farming accident

Kiwi barber David Buick highlights the latest title, less than three years after the farming accident

David Buick won the New Zealand Shears Open final at Te Kuiti on Saturday. Photo / SSNZ

As far as milestones go, few will compare to David Buick’s latest triumph.

On Saturday, the 45-year-old advanced to the New Zealand Shears Open shearing final at Te Kuiti by just 0.504 points.

It wasn’t just the results that gave Buick reason to celebrate.

In October 2021, Buick was swept into a collapsed trench while digging drainage on his farm near Pongaroa in the North Island, leaving him buried up to his chin in dirt and badly injured.

Suffering serious pelvic fractures among other injuries, he was flown in a critical condition to Palmerston North by rescue helicopter. Buick spent several months recovering in hospital and at a retirement home in Dannevirke to be close to his wife Rebecca, and children Michael and Gemma.

Speaking to Newstalk ZBBuick pondered his path to recovery.

“I couldn’t walk for 12 months (continuing) from the accident. Maybe about eight months (after) I started going backwards. I had to teach my body to stand upright again when I was lying dead for that time. It was definitely a long process,” he said.

“This time a year ago there was a whanau event in Te Kuiti so I thought that was a good challenge. I told Michael, my son, that it would be something to aim for.

“I thought if I could cut three feathers, that was something to aim for. This time last year we entered father and son in Te Kuiti and made it to the final, but I took it for granted, it was almost harder to climb the steep steps to the stage than to shear the sheep. “

Buick had emerged as one of the best shearers in the country in 2021. He took out the North Island Shearer of the Year final in Te Kuiti in April that year with his 11th win in 2020-2021 which saw him ranked as number 1. Open shearer for the season.

He said he was impressed with how quickly the muscle memory returned to him as he began to recover ahead of the 2023 event.

“I remember at one point, my brain thought I was as good as I was, but my body, I couldn’t get anything to work. That’s when I started to get better, but even now, I couldn’t believe how quickly that muscle memory came back.”

During his recovery, Buick said because he couldn’t shear, he was teaching the youngsters the ins and outs, which forced him to break down and analyze his technique.

He said this eventually helped him improve his craft and now he believes he may be shaving at his best.

Regarding Saturday’s win, Buick said it was a chance he never expected to be in again, and he was grateful for everything that happened now.

“I’ve had a few people come to me saying they’ve been in a dark place and they thought if David Buick can get through then they can get through. Even if you help one person,” Buick said.

“A lot of it is mental and I think my mental health was pretty good because I know a few seconds earlier when I fell down I was bent over. Luckily, I stood up and went in. If I was still bent over when it went in I would have been hit. It was just my pelvis and hips and stuff. which were damaged, not some of the most important parts.

“So, all the time, whatever I got was a bonus. I’m still alive, I’m still here with kids and family to be around and annoy everyone. Even in my physical body, whatever I got was a bonus.”

Buick said he celebrated the victory accordingly.

“I thought to myself that it’s Daylight Saving, so that’s good, we can drink and get another hour’s sleep.” But no, that turned into another hour of drinking, so it’s been a pretty rough ride home.