Aussie champ takes out Gympie Show woodchop battle
SOME of the world's finest axemen faced off for bragging rights on Gympie Show Friday, and it was a Proston cattle grazier who walked away as champion.
Tenty-nine-year-old Bryan Wagner first chopped his way to victory in the coveted Vic Summers Memorial Tree Lopping Championship, before going on to win the 300mm standing block event to take out the overall championship.
It was the first time Wagner claimed the Vic Summers award in 15 years of "on and off” chopping at the Show.
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"I went alright today. I stuffed up one board hole but otherwise I can't complain,” Wagner said.
"It's good to get your name on it. The memorial chops are all good ones to win - that's what everyone chases and tries to win, so it's good to get them.
"I started (chopping) through the old man - he chopped, and I just picked up an axe and started, and just kept chopping.”
Woodchopping show steward Cameron Corbett said the likes of Josh Adamson, Campbell Newman and Jake and Luke Dingle had been more than worthy opponents for the victor.
He commended the quality of chopping across the board throughout the Show.
"We were very pleased with the numbers this year - we had a really quality field of choppers,” Corbett said.
"To have blokes turning up on a work day was a fantastic effort.”
Fellow chopper Edward Cook said Wagner was an asset to the sport.
"He's a seven-time reserve world champion - he's always in the placings when he chops in Sydney,” Cook said.
"He's been an Australian and Queensland title winner on multiple occasions too. He won a world title at 16. He's definitely one of the best tree fellers in the world.”