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Media Releases - February 2014

North Otago youngster goes for shearing gold - February 28, 2014

Golden Shears junior shearing championship favourite Joel Richards, of Oamaru, has kept his hopes alive as top qualifier for the six-shearer final in Masterton tomorrow.

He was second fastest of the 18 in today's semi-final of four-sheep each, and maintained enough quality to qualify more than a point clear of next-best Tegwyn Bradley, of Woodville. Among those eliminated was Raupunga teenager Carlton Aranui who had emerged with three big wins in Junior competition over the last month.

Results of the semi-finals were (top six qualify for Saturday's final): Joel Richards (Oamaru) 9min 6.136sec, 35.557pts, 1; Tegwyn Bradley (Woodville) 10min 9.902sec, 36.995pts, 2; Josh Balme (Te Kuiti) 10min 24.5sec, 37.975pts, 3; Hefin Rowlands (Wales) 9min 37.71sec, 38.886pts, 4; Neil Bryant (Levin) 9min 52.472sec, 39.124pts, 5; Lionel Taumata (Pukerau, Gore) 9min 9.7787sec, 39.239pts, 6; Dion Edwards (Wales) 9min 23.222sec, 40.411pts, 7; Hugh De Lacy (Cheviot) 9min 41.683sec, 41.084pts, 8; Carlton Aranui (Raupunga) 8min 58.208sec, 41.16pts, 9; Jayde Chrystal (Hastings) 9min 38.662sec, 41.433pts, 10; Laura Bradley (Woodville) 11min 25.46sec, 42.273pts, 11; Nick Greaves (England) 10min 35.66sdec, 43.533pts, 12; George Smith (Waikaretu) 10min 16.015sec, 43.551pts, 13; Johnny Bukholt (Whanganui) 11min 20.46sec, 44.523pts, 14; Wiremu Rangiawha (Dannevirke) 10min 30.94sec, 45.457pts, 15; Hemi Lambert (Raupunga) 11min 3.88sec, 46.444pts, 16; Mark Radmore (England) 11min 18.116sec, 47.156pts, 17; Russell Mason (USA) 10min 31.191sec, 58.81pts, 18.

Sevens star Sarah set for shear show in Masterton - February 28, 2014

New Zealand women's Sevens vice-captain Sarah Goss is set to shear at the Golden Shears in Masterton tonight, less than 24 hours after returning from her IRB and other rugby commitments in North and South America.

Now professionally contracted to rugby with sites on a gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016, she is also the only woman toi hbave shorn in three Golden Shears finals - runner-up in the Novice grade in 2007 and third in the Junior and Intermediate finals of 2010 and 2012 respectively.

She was to have turned down a chance to shear in a women's invitation eventbecause of a tight itinerary which threatened to keep her away from the Golden Shears, but she arrived just in time today to be talked into taking the place of mother Ronnie Goss, who was to have shorn in the event.

"She's been training for it," the 21-year-old rugby star said, reluctant to upstage her mother, who is however aiming for a second Golden Shears Open woolhandling title.

Henare homes in on World title bid - February 28, 2014

Reigning World champion woolhandler Joel Henare has become a hot-favourite to defend his title in Ireland in May after qualifying for first place in a New Zealand team selection trial at the Golden Shears in Masterton.

But he still has a hurdle to leap before booking his fare to Gorey in County Wexford - the series final to be contested on the last day of the Shears tomorrow.

The 22-year-old Henare, also the defending Golden Shears Open woolhandling champion, made his way to the final after heading both a year-long preliminary series and today's semi-final, which cut the field to a final four, from whom the first two in the final will make the team.

While Henare made it with a substantial margin, points revert to scratch against a quality trio of 2008 Golden Shears Open woolhandling champion Ronnie Goss, of Kimbolton, and the 2010 World champion team of Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu, and 2008 individual champion and Taihape school teacher Sheree Alabaster.

Among those to miss-out were three-times Golden Shears Open champion and two-times World teams champion Tina Rimene and daughters Larnie Morrell and Pagan Rimene, who are also daughters of New Zealand transtasman shearing tests team member Dion Morrell.

Result of today's World Championships New Zealand woolhandling team selection trial semi-final (top four to the final tomorrow): Joel Henare (Gisborne) 220pts, 1; Ronnie Goss (Kimbolton) 275.8pts, 2; Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu) 282pts, 3; Sheree Alabaster (Taihape) 306pts, 4; Larnie Morrell (Masterton) 370pts, 5; Tina Rimene (Masterton) 398pts, 6; Pagan Rimene (Masterton) 408pts, 7; Amy Ruki (Invercargill) 439pts, 8.

Top guns in charge in Golden Shears senior heats - February 28, 2014

The Golden Shears senior shearing championship is set for a tense finish tomorrow with all the top contenders having qualified for the morning's semi-final.

Masterton-based Casey Bailey, from Riverton, headed the 18 qualifiers after the heats today, consistent with his form in winning nine consecutive finals in the Central North Island this summer.

But he has a match particularly in 2010 Junior winner, 2013 senior finalist and Mataura shearer, who recently completed a remarkable sequence of wins in five consecutive years through the junior to senior grades at the Otago championships in Balclutha.

The senior heats attracted 47 shearers, with Bailey producing the fastest time, and being one of only three to break eight minutes for the fie sheep. Almost 50 seconds slow, Roberts produced the best quality points both on the board and in the pens.

Unlucky to miss qualifying, by just 0.188pts, was Charlie Guy, who three years ago won the Novice title.

The top six from the semi-final will shear the final later tomorrow, as the 54th Golden Shears sets the scene for is glamour Open finals in the evening.

The semi-final qualifiers in order are: Casey Bailey (Masterton), Brett Roberts (Mataura), Cam Hicks (Marton), Robert Mudgway (Taihape), Kieran Devane (Australia), Sharnie Rimene (Masterton), Ethan Pankhurst (Masterton), Michael Rolston (Levin), Rowan Nesbit (Rangiora), Sam Bullingham (England), Dean Herlihy (Whangamomona), David Gordon (Masterton), Turi Edmonds (Raetihi), Cody Beck (Taumarunui), Jotham Rentoul (Nelson), Scott Wilson (Scotland), Chris Mills (Masterton), Gavin Kelly (Taihape).

Cancer battling wool champ comes back for more - February 28, 2014

Multiple World and Golden Shears woolhandling champion Joanne Kumeroa has made a stunning return to her grand stage by competing in today's Open woolhandling heats, a year after thinking cancer would mean she'd never see "the Goldies" again.

A year ago she featured in an emotional Golden Shears, with doctors telling her she had only nine months to live, but after competing today she said in Masterton's War Memorial Stadium: "I didn't believe it. After everything everyone did last year I really started fighting. They were all hurting. The battle was on."

On Monday, doctors in Melbourne confirmed "half the cancer is gone" and Kumeroa observed: "All they can say is they're astonished."

Joanne Kumeroa, woolhandling champion, instructor, and cancer battler, back at the Golden Shears in Masterton today.


They'd be even more astonished if they knew what was to come next, Kumeroa having no plans for a trip back to Masterton until she got home from work on Wednesday to find air tickets gifted by protege and fellow Kiwi shearer Te Atakura (Tuts) Crawford, who was already off to compete at the Shears.

They'd be even more astonished if they knew what was to come next, Kumeroa having no plans for a trip back to Masterton until she got home from work on Wednesday to find air tickets gifted by protege and fellow Kiwi shearer Te Atakura (Tuts) Crawford, who was already off to compete at the Shears.

From Whanganui but based in Australia and now working mainly as a wool industry instructor, the 44-year-old winner of two individual and three teams World Championships and six Golden Shears Open woolhandling finals, was the centre of emotion at the Goldies last year when she used what she thought was her last pilgrimage to muster support for cancer research.

A special women's event was held, and in a dramatic moment new Golden Shears Open shearing champion Rowland Smith, whose mother had died of cancer, gifted his $3000 winning purse to the cause.

She returned to Australia for the Ducks on the Pond fundraiser in an historic woolshed at Harrow, Vic., nine days later, and her 12 months of effort in the face of her adversity have raised $68,000.

As it happened, today's appearance was not her last at the Golden Shears either.

Although she'd competed just one other time since being runner-up last year in the strongest final field in the history of the Golden Shears Open woolhandling event, when in the throes of her chemotherapy, she is 11th among 16 qualifiers for tomorrow morning's quarterfinals, after 46 competed in the heats.

Regardless of the outcome, there's no slowing-down, for Kumeroa has to fly to Brisbane to continue her jobs with Australia Wool Innovation and the Australian Shearing Contractors Association.

The benefactor Crawford, who in a rush trip from Australia in October won the New Zealand Merino Championships Senior final in Alexandra, a rare triumph for a woman and perhaps even rarer for a shearer so outsized by the animals, was not so fortunate.

Of the 47 in the Senior shearing heats, Crawford, from Te Karaka, could manage just 32nd, missing out on a place in the 18 for the semi-finals.

But it doesn't mean the Goldies are over for her either. Tonight she shears in this year's Women's Invitation event.

Seven's star Sarah's the Goss as Golden Shears hypes-up big second day - February 28, 2014

The hopes of one of New Zealand top women's rugby players shearing at the Golden Shears in Masterton tonight were still in abeyance today despite her withdrawal from the invitation event she won last year.

Having at one-stage accepted the invitation, Sevens vice-captain Sarah Goss, who grew up in a shearing family on a farm near Kimbolton in northern Manawatu, had to turn down the chance because of a change in travel plans related to her commitments to IRB tournaments overseas.

But mother Ronnie Goss, the 2008 Golden Shears Open woolhandling champion who is among the six scheduled to shear the event tonight, said the busy student-shearer-rugby player's itinerary had changed again, and she might still be able to get to the Golden Shears, where she has been the only woman to shear in three finals - Novice runner-up in 2007 and third in the 2010 Junior and 2012 Intermediate events.

"She can take my place if she likes," she said, as she prepared for her own big challenges, this year's Open woolhandling championship and a World Championships New Zealand team selection trial. The first rounds of those events are being held during the day, along with heats in the glamour event, the Open shearing championship, as well as heats in the Senior shearing championship.

Ronnie Goss is not the only member of the Goss family with eyes on a winning ribbon, for teenaged son Simon is the second-to-top qualifier for today's Intermediate shearing championship semi-finals, hoping to reach tomorrow's final and ultimately emulate the feat of his father, Alan Goss, who won the title in 1985.

Tiny Kimbolton already has a place in this year's honours, after 15-year-old Connor Puha's Novice shearing final win yesterday, with a prospect of even more as tomorrow, as top qualifier for the Senior woolhandling seemi-finals, he attempts to become the first person to win Golden Shears titles in both of the disciplines.

The women's event is one feature of the evening which culminates today's programme which started at 7.45am and isn't expected to end till 10pm.

Other features of the night programme, expected to watched by a capacity crowd in the stadium where the Goldies began in 1961, are a transtasman woolhandling test, the Open shearing's Top 30 quarterfinal shootout, and the men's and women's woolpressing finals.

An annual home-and-away woolhandling series between New Zealand and Australia started in 1998, and has been dominated by the Kiwis, who've won 23 of the 31 tests. But Australia have won three of the last four, including two wins in New Zealand.

The New Zealand team of Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu, and Tia Potae, of Milton, will be out to atone for their defeat in Warrnambool, Vic., in October and will be up against Australia's World Championships combination of Mel Morris, from Cressy, Tas., and Sarah Moran, of Ararat, Vic. The latest test in a shearing series which started 40 years ago will be shorn tomorrow night.

King pips Forde in Golden Shears Speedshear - February 27, 2014

Hastings shearer Dion King has drawn first-blood among the Open-class stars at the Golden Shears in Masterton by winning the event's first in-stadium Speedshear tonight.

King, among the favourites to win the 20-sheep Golden Shears Open final on Saturday, tonight shore a two-tooth ewe carrying about 2.2kg of wool in 24.7 seconds, to beat fellow finalist Darin Forde, of Winton, by just four-hundredths of a second in the Speedshear final front of about 500 people in Masterton's War Memorial Stadium.

The 2006 Golden Shears Open champion, he is the World nine-hour lambshearing record holder, with a tally of 866, shorn in 2007. Forde once set a nine-hour ewe-shearing record of 720, and the third placegetter, New Zealand-based Irish shearer Ivan Scott, holds the eight-hour lambshearing record, with a tally of 744, shorn in 2012.

King won $1000, Forde $600, Scott $400 and fourth semi-finalist John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, $200.

The big surprise was the quarterfinal elimination of veteran Te Kuiti shearer David Fagan who, having won about 10 other speedshears this summer, had been more than three seconds quicker than the next-fastest in the heats, when his 27.6sec was the only time under 30 seconds.

Golden Shears Open championship favourite Rowland Smith, of Hastings, did not compete in the Speedshear, a short version of competition shearing most commonly seen as a pub sport.

Southland shearer Brett Roberts, of Mataura, won $500 as Senior Speedshear winner, with a final time of 29.1sec. Runner-up Kane Kapene, of Martinborough, shore 29.82sec in their showdown. South Island-based Masterton shearer and first-year senior Ethan Pankhurst had his event's fastest first-round time but was eliminated at the next stage.

The Speedshear was a warm-up to Friday's real action, including the Golden Shears Open and Senior championship heats

A veteran at 15 - Connor adds shears title to woolhandling win - February 27, 2014

The first shearing title at the 54th Golden Shears in Masterton has gone to a 15-year-old Feilding High School pupil who is already a regular at the championships, with hopes of becoming the first person to win Golden Shears titles in both shearing woolhandling.

Competing at the Shears in Masterton's War Memorial Stadium for a third year in a row, Connor Puha, of Kimbolton, son of shearer Tom Hayes and woolhandler Rose Puha, won the Novice shearing final and was top-scorer in the heats of the Senior woolhandling, just 24 hours after winning the North Island Senior Circuit final at the Pre-Shears Woolhandling Championships in a woolshed just north of the town.

He had previously competed at the Golden Shears in 2012 and 2013 only as a woolhandler without victory, but now hopes to go home with two wins this year, as he lines up the Sernior woolhandling event on Saturday, top qualifier for the semi-finals and aiming for victory in the final later in the day.

Connor Puha, 15, of Kimbolton, wins the Novice shearing final on the first day of the 2014 in Masterton today. The previous day he won the North Island Senior Circuit woolhandling title at the Pre-Shears Woolhandling Championship in a woolshed north of Masterton, and on Saturday he goes into the Golden Shears senior woolhandling semi-finals, as top qualifier.
His 7min 42.714sec was the second-fastest in the two-sheep shearing final, shorn by six young shearers who had been among 47 in the heats earlier in the day. Young Gore shearer Brodie Horrell sacrificed quality for speed as he finished almost two minutes quicker, and in the final count was overtaken by both runner-up Cologne McKinstry, of Akitio, and third-placed Welsh youngster Ifan Owen.

Puha had a winning margin of 2.607pts, and, despite his success in both aspects of the shearing sports, sees his future as a shearer.

Mum, dad and other whanau were on hand to see the win, including in a touch of irony big fan Jo Hayes, an aspirant to the National Party's Wairarapa candidacy at this year's General Election. The master of ceremonies who announced Puha's win was Kieran McAnulty, who is already confirmed as the electorate's Labour Party candidate.



Novice final (2 sheep): Connor Puha (Kimbolton) 7min 42.714sec, 30.636pts, 1; Cologne McKinstry (Akiti) 8min 24.865sec, 33.243pts, 2; Ifan Owen (Wales) 7min 44.126sec, 38.706pts, 3; Brodie Horrell (Gore) 5min 49.371sec, 40.469pts, 4; Ririwai Fox (Masterton) 7min 44.852sec, 49.243pts, 5; Coby Kershaw (Martinborough) 8min 34.648sec, 61.732pts, 6.


Qualifiers for the Senior semi-finals on Saturday are (in order): Connor Puha (Kimbolton), Tane Matiaha (Masterton), Daine Rehe (Te Teko), Vinnie Goodger (Masterton), Tumanako Waikare (Masterton), Ana Braddick (Eketahuna), Carmen Smith (Pongaroa), Paige Brausch (Porangahau).

Teenager Shaylyn wins a Goldie as shears fest starts - February 27, 2014

The 15-year-old daughter of a World record holding shearer has got her own shearing sports career off to a blazing start by winning the first final decided on the opening day of the 54th Golden Shears in Masterton today.

Shaylyn Te Huia, daughter of Te Kuiti shearer Stacey Te Huia but having gown-up mainly in Masterton, and the woolsheds, won the Novice woolhandling final, having also won at the recent North Island championships in Marton.

But her big moment today almost turned into an emotional disaster, when she missed the presentation an hour or so after the event and risked forfeiting the prizes, worth over $400.

She had rushed out of the stadium immediately after competing, explaining later she was "too nervous to be there".

It was only as she walked back an hour or so later she was told of the result, as decided by judges assessing the board and table work of four teenaged finalists who had emerged from a field of 14 who took part in the heats earlier in the day.

Masterton teenager Shaylyn Te Huia, 15, in action today in the first final at the Golden Shears in Masterton. Pictured with volunteer shearer Lee Edmonds, she won the Novice woolhandling title. Her father, Stacey Te Huia, of Te Kuiti, is a dual World shearing record holder. PHOTO/Pete Nikolaison,
She had expected the announcement to be even later, and was unaware of competition rules under which she could have forfeited the prize for not showing for the presentation, which took place in front of a crowd of about 500.

She had been the last to finish the clean-up after the finalists had handled one fleece each and could have been forgiven for thinking she had no hope, the time deficit leaving her more than 22pts adrift of workmate Te Rangimarie Matiaha-Henare, 18.

But she made up the difference in the judging of her work, with easily the best marks for oddment and fleece separation, and near-best for her board work and throw, claiming prizes including a $100 winning cheque, and a $300 bank account from event sponsors ANZ.

She has already rousied for her father in both New Zealand and Australia, but was "just" a spectator and proud supporter as her father set two World tally records in 2010 and 2012, and made an unsuccessful bid for the nine-hour solo ewe-shearing record early last year.

Third today was another workmate, Daryl Reiri, 18, the first three all having worked for Masterton contractor Paddy Mason, while fourth went to Nera Hitaua, of Te Karaka.

With two wins behind her, and prizes safely in hand, she had a moment to ponder her future, after he father's successes, with the Te Huia whanau name already on the Golden Shears honours board in wins by two Senior shearing titles won by uncles Aaron and Hayden in 1995 and 1996, and her grandfather having managed the New Zealand shearing team in the UK last year.

Reverting to teenspeak, she said: "I just want to be the man."


Novice final: Shaylyn Te Huia (Masterton) 97pts, 1; Te Rangimarie Matiaha-Henare (Masterton) 100.8pts, 2; Daryl Reiri (Masterton) 127pts, 3; Nera Hitaua (Te Karaka) 135pts, 4.

Fagan lines up another big win at Golden Shears - February 24, 2014

Shearing icon David Fagan is lining-up a 10th victory in one of New Zealand's toughest shearing events after heading the qualifiers for the PGG Wrightson National Circuit finals to be shorn in Masterton this week.

Fagan, the 52-year-old Te Kuiti shearer who first won the event in 1986, scored the maximum 12pts in the final qualifying round, the heats of the second-shear Pahiatua Shears yesterday.He had opened the competition in October with maximum points on full-wooled merino sheep at Alexandra.

The competition, for the McSkimming Memorial Triple Crown, which was first presented in 1973, extends over five qualifying rounds on different wools, also including the full crossbred fleece at Waimate in October, coarse-wooled corriedale at the Canterbury Show in November, and lambs at Marton earlier this month.

The top 12, based on points for their placings at each stage, shear the semi-finals at the Golden Shears on Saturday morning, the top six qualifying for the final that night, on sheep of all five types.

Fagan already has his name on the crown for 1986, 1988, 1992, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2008, among 625 Open-class wins, which also include 16 wins in the Golden Shears Open championship, for which he is again among the favourites.

The TAB was quick to react today, making him a $2.50 favourite to win the Triple Crown again, but with tough competition from the next three qualifiers - Invercargill shearer Nathan Stratford, defending champion John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, and Darren Forde, the Southlander who won the event four times from 1999 to 2004.

They were all quoted at $5, with three-times winner Tony Coster, of Rakaia, at $6 and the rest at $25 or more.

Among them are fellow Mid-Canterbury shearers Gavin Rowland and Norm Harraway, who have been competing this season in the Last Stand tour, a testimonial to long time shearing and judging identity John Hough, who is retiring this season.

The 12 qualifiers in order, with total qualifying points, are:
David Fagan (Te Kuiti) 55pts, 1; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 42pts, 2; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 41pts, 3; Daren Forde (Winton) 38pts, 4; Axle Reid (Taihape) 31pts, 5; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 30pts, 6; Tony Coster (Rakaia) 28pts, 7; Grant Smith (Rakaia) 22pts, 8; Norm Harraway (Rakaia) 16pts, 9; Tipene Te Whata (Tautoro) 15pts, 10; Gavin Rowland (Dunsandel) and Doug Smith (Ruawai) 14pts, 11eq.

King hit adds even more spark to Golden Shears - February 23, 2014

Hastings shearer Dion King added even more spark to the Golden Shears mix when he completed a weekend of upsets by winning the Pahiatua Shears Open today (February 23).

King, 37, had competed only sparingly this season and hadn't won any event since October 2012. But, beating all of the other top hopes for shearing's biggest event next Saturday in Masterton, King showed he's in the right form to qualify for an eighth Golden Shears Open final, go one better than when runner-up last year, and to repeat the win he had in 2006.

He had been fourth at Pahiatua last year, and won the event n 2012.

Today's victory meant the three TAB favourites for the Golden Shears - defending Golden Shears champion Rowland Smith, of Hastings, Napier shearer and four-times winner John Kirkpatrick, and Te Kuiti icon David Fagan - were all left without a win in the weekend's big three pre-shears events.

On Friday, Te Kuiti shearer Marg Grainger had his maiden Open-class victory in the Taumarunui Jamboree Shears Open final, beating Fagan, Kirkpatrick and Smith, who were second, third and fourth respectively.

On Saturday, Smith and Kirkpatrick were second and third respectively as Pongaroa farmer David Buick successfully defended the Apiti Sports title in Northern Manawatu.

Today, Smith and Kirkpatrick were second and third, again, followed by Southland hope Nathan Stratford, Buick, and Fagan.

With 16 Golden Shears Open wins to his name from 1986 to 2009 and still a real winning hope at the age of 52, Fagan is as enthralled as anyone about the contest emerging in Masterton, where the winner will also claim selection for the 16th World Championships, to be held in Gorey, Ireland, in May.

"Anything could happen," said Fagan, who did, however, still manage to claim one winning cheque during the weekend, with a Saturday night Speedshear victory at the Cheltenham Hotel, between Apiti and Feilding.

Buick scores second Apiti win - February 22, 2014

Pongaroa farmer David Buick established himself as a clear contender to become Wairarapa's first Golden Shears champion in Masterton next weekend when he successfully defended the Apiti Sports Open title today (February 22).

Shearing the 20 sheep final in 17min 20sec, Buick, 35, was the master all-round with quickest time and best quality points in beating the two Golden Shears favourites, defending champion Rowland Smith, of Hastings, and four-times winner John Kirkpatrick, of Napier.

He also beat Te Kuiti shearer Mark Grainger, who on Friday also upset the big guns with his first Open title in the Taumarunui Jamboree Shears.

Buick had won the Apiti title a year ago, but was unable to compete at 2013 Golden Shears a week later because of a friend's wedding.

In the senior final, Mataura's Brett Roberts won a battle of the giants when he beat Masterton-based Reefton shearer Casey Bailey. Catherine Mullooly, of Matawai, won the Intermediate final by more than 2pts from Kimbolton's Simon Goss, who had been third last year, and Carlton Aranui, of Raupunga, who a month ago had only contested a small number of competitions, won the Junior final by more than 6pts from runner-up Laura Bradley, of Woodville.

East Coast woolhandling guru and mentor Ailsa Fleming added a new factor to the Golden Shears mix when she returned to the winning circle after several years' absence, with victory in the Open woolhandling final.

A former New Zealand representative who was bestowed Master Woolhandler status more than 10 years ago, she left in her wake such top competitors as World champions Keryn Herbert and Sheree Alabaster and former Golden Shears champion Ronnie Goss.

Alabaster failed to make the final, in which Herbert was second. Marton's Logan Kamura was third, and fourth was Goss, the Kimbolton veteran who had won the Taumarunui Jamboree Open woolhandling final on Friday.

Defending Golden Shears champion Joel Henare did not compete at Taumarunui or Apiti.

The top woolhandlers head for the Pre-Shears Championships on Wednesday at Massey University's Riverside Farm at Mikimiki, north of Masterton, on the eve of the start of the three the three-day Golden Shears, at which a year-long selection series will also culminate with a trial to find New Zealand's two representatives for this year's World Woolhandling Championships in Ireland.

Pongaroa registered a seond win for the day with Carmen Smith's triumph in the Senior woolhandling final, while there was plenty of local support for Geraldine Turipa, of Feilding, as she won the Junior final.


Open final (20 sheep): David Buick (Pongaroa) 17min 20sec, 64.6pts, 1; Rowland Smith (Hastings) 17min 28sec, 64.15pts, 2; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 17min 36sec, 67pts, 3; Dion King (Flaxmere) 18min 14sec, 72.95pts, 4; Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 19min 4sec, 74.65pts, 5; Tysson Hema (Waipukurau) 19min 10sec, 76.35pts, 6.

Open Plate (10 sheep): Murray Henderson (Feilding) 9min 50sec, 42.8pts, 1; Adam Brausch (Dannevirke) 9min 30sec, 45pts, 2; Troy Pyper (Lumsden) 9min 22sec, 46.8pts, 3; Doug Smith (Ruawai) 10min 4sec, 47pts, 4; Tipene Te Whata (Tautoro) 10min 54sec, 48.6pts, 5; Axle Reid (Taihape) 9min 26sec, 50.9pts, 6.

Senior final (10 sheep): Brett Roberts (Mataura) 11min 56sec, 43.4pts, 1; Casey Bailey (Masterton) 11min 24sec, 44.4pts, 2; Paka Matiaha (Masterton) 11min 43sec, 46.35pts, 3; Cody Beck (Taumarunui) 12min 52sec, 49.4pts, 4; Michael Rolston (Levin) 12min 29sec, 50.45pts, 5; Turi Edmonds (Raetihi) 13min 48sec, 55.8pts, 6.

Intermediate final (6 sheep): Catherine Mullooly (Matawai) 10min 8sec, 40.9pts, 1; Simon Goss (Kimbolton) 10min 41sec, 43.383pts, 2; Marshall Guy (Kaeo) 9min 13sec, 43.983pts, 3; Ramone Smith (Gisborne) 10min 29sec, 44.11pts, 4; Larry Fleming (Gisborne) 9min 35sec, 45.083pts, 5; Darren Alexander (Stratford) 10min 31sec, 47.05pts, 6.

Junior final (4 sheep): Carlton Aranui (Raupunga) 8min 56sec, 33.55pts, 1; Laura Bradley (Woodville) 9min 39sec, 39.7pts, 2; Jared Mackintosh (-) 7min 39sec, 40.2pts, 3; Neil Bryant (Levin) 7min 55sec, 41pts, 4; Lionel Taumata (Gore) 9min 32sec, 47.35pts, 5; Hefin Rowlands (Wales) 10min 18sec, 47.9pts, 6.


Open final: Ailsa Fleming (Te Karaka) 97.8pts, 1; Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu) 114.6pts, 2; Logan Kamura (Marton) 118pts, 3; Ronnie Goss (Kimbolton) 135.2pts, 4.

Senior final: Carmen Smith (Pongaroa) 89pts, 1; Brittany Tibble (Gisborne) 103pts, 2; Ashleigh Ostler (-) 129pts, 3; Connor Puha (Kimbolton) 134pts, 4.

Junior final: Geraldine Turipa (Feilding)88pts, 1; Creedence Culshaw (Raupunga) 97pts, 2; Nera Hitaua (Te Karaka) 102pts, 3; Angeline Colquhoun (Masterton) 4.

Novice final: Pateria Casey (-) 53pts, 1; Jono Hicks (-) 63pts, 2; Nera Hitaua (Te Karaka) 75pts, 3; Shannon Bradford (-) 79pts, 4.

Mark this one down - the lone Grainger's win in Taumarunui - February 21, 2014

A maiden Open-class win for Te Kuiti shearer Mark Grainger kicked off a weekend of surprises in the major competitions heading into Golden Shears week.

Grainger hadn't seen victory since a string of wins in his last Senior season in 2008-2009, but at today's Taumarunui Jamboree Shears beat five other finalists who had collectively won more than 900 Open finals in careers dating back as long as 33 years.

Runner-up and fellow Te Kuiti shearer David Fagan had scored more than 50 wins before Grainger was born, the son of 1985 Golden Shears champion Paul Grainger.

Fagan has had a total of 625 wins, third-placed John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, has won more than 200 Open finals, and reigning Golden Shears and New Zealand open champion and Hastings shearer Rowland Smith, who was fourth, recently passed a milestone of 50.

The fifth and sixth placegetters, farmers David Buick, of Pongaroa, and James Fagan, of Te Kuiti, have also won open finals.

Smith, Kirkpatrick and David Fagan are the TAB's first three favourites to win next Saturday's Golden Shears final in Masterton.

The Open woolhandling final provided a return to winning form for 2008 Golden Shears champion Ronnie Goss, of Kimbolton. Among the beaten finalists were 2008 World champion and Taihape schoolteacher Sheree Alabaster, while Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu, failed to match the form of her victory in the event last year nor her two big wins in the New Zealand Woolhandler of the Year and Soiuthern Shears finals in Balclutha and Gore over the last two weekends, and did not qualify for the final.

Big week starts for shearers and woolhandlers - February 21, 2014

A big week starts tomorrow for many of the top shearers and woolhandlers as they start the buildup to the 54th Golden Shears in Masterton next week.

About 200 are expected for the Taumarunui Jamboree Shears in the King Country today (Friday), with similar numbers at the Apiti Sports in northern Manawatu tomorrow (Saturday), ahead of the shearing-only Pahiatua Shears and the Pre-Shears woolhandling championships near Masterton on Wednesday.

The three-day Golden Shears start next Thursday, with competitors entered from at least nine countries, with the top New Zealand entrants targeting World championship selection for two woolhandlers and the first of two machine shearers to wear the silver fern at the big event in Ireland in May.

While titles will be decided in all classes in the buildup over the next few days, the features will be at Pahiatua, with New Zealand shearer Rowland Smith and Tony Coster hoping to complete a cleansweep of the four-test Elders Primary Wool Shearing Series against Welsh World championships contenders Gareth Daniel and Richard Jones.

Another feature will be the fifth and final qualifying round of the PGG Wrightson National Shearing Circuit, in which King Country shearing icon David Fagan is already safely the top qualifier for a 12-shearer showdown during the Golden Shears.

He will be hoping to add to the nine titles he won in the event from 1986 to 2008, four times alongside the Golden Shears Open title which he won 16 times between 1986 and 2009.

At 52, Fagan is also a serious challenger for another Golden Shears Open final to be shorn on the night of March 1, against the favourites, defending champion Smith and four-times winner John Kirkpatrick, both based in Hawke's Bay.

In Wednesday's Pre-Shears woolhandling, the top hopes will be seeking the final spots in an eight-person trial which at the Golden Shears will decide the two to defend the World teams title New Zealand won in Maserton in 2012. Reigning individual champion Joel Henare, of Gisborne, is safely through, along with 2010 World champion team member Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu.

Sampey has his day in Murchison - February 20, 2014

It might sometimes be hard to tell which is full-time and which is part-time for Blenheim photographer, rifleman and shearer Richard Sampey.

But on Saturday, the focus was on Murchison, and what was only the long-time top-of-the-south shows follower's second winning cheque in New Zealand since first shearing Open-class in the 2000-20001 season.

According to Shearing Sports New Zealand results collated over the last 22 years, he graduated to Open after making 14 Senior finals in the South Island and winning three the previous season, but his only win in more than 30 finals since then was at Ellesmere in October 2002, while based in North Canterbury.

The best of a handful of second placings was when beaten only by Shaun Burgess in the 2002 Canterbury All-Breeds Circuit final, and five Top of the South finals in Nelson, including being runner-up in 2009, and shearing in the last three.

On Saturday he won a four-man final despite being last to finish, more than a sheep behind first-man-off and first-year Open shearer Travers Baigent, of Golden Downs.

It was however the quality that mattered, and a clear 3.257pts better than anyone else in the judges' books meant Sampey got home in the final count by 0.42 points from the runner-up, the more favoured Chris Jones, who had been top qualifier from the heats.

Among the other winners was Irish shearer Joseph Stephens, with an eight-point margin over runner-up Shun Oishi, of Japan, in the Intermediate final, before hitting the road, and the air, for Pukekohe more than 1000km away to compete at Sunday's Counties Shears, where he was fourth.

The Murchison show attracted 29 shearers, a promising sign being the 11 in the Junior class, won by newcomer Amy Silcock. Andrew Ferguson, of Collingwood, won the Senior final.

RESULTS of the Murchison Shears on Saturday, February 15, 2014:

Open final

Open final (14 sheep): Richard Sampey (Blenheim) 15min 40.1sec, 62.505pts, 1; Chris Jones (Blenheim) 14min 41.35sec, 62.925pts, 2; Dave Brooker (Hawarden) 15min 13.15sec, 66.586pts, 3; Travers Baigent (Golden Downs) 14min 10.12sec, 67.72pts, 4..

Senior final (8 sheep): Andrew Ferguson (Collingwood) 12min 41.03sec, 56.927pts, 1; Rowan Nesbit (Loburn) 13min 32.94sec, 58.647pts, 2; Greg Hazelwood (Australia) 12min 39.41sec, 58.721pts, 3; Mark Rogers (Brightwater) 13min 48.35sec, 62.793pts, 4.

Intermediate final (3 sheep): Joseph Stevens (Ireland) 6min 42.41sec, 37.454pts, 1; Shun Oishi (Japan) 7min 32.81sec, 45.974pts, 2; Josh Hazelwood (Australia) 7min 7.94sec, 48.397pts, 3; Pam Irvine (Tapawera) 10min 12.5sec, 62.625pts, 4.

Junior final (2 sheep): Amy Silcock (-) 6min 58.37sec, 40.919pts, 1; Duncan Higgins (Havelock) 6min 54.37sec, 50.219pts, 2; Greg White (-) 6min 11.32sec, 55.066pts, 3; Alex Drake (-) 9min 24.15sec, 59.708pts, 4.

Centennial prize for Doug Smith - February 17, 2014

Northland shearer Doug Smith successfully defended New Zealand's northernmost shearing title when he won the Open final at the centennial North Hokianga A and P Show at Broadwood on Saturday.

With 11 shearers making up one of the event's bigger entries in recent years, on a hot day with cicadas seeming to chirp rhythmically with the machines on stage, it was a keen contest as just 1.3pts separated the three in the final.

Smith beat Allan Bramley, of Hukaranui, by 0.65pts, with an identical margin to third placegetter and 2013 New Zealand Championships senior winner, Bryce Guy, of Kaeo.

Brother of reigning Golden Shears and New Zealand Championships Open titleholder Rowland Smith, Doug Smith was first to finish Saturday's final, shearing 11 sheep in 12min 15sec, 55 seconds quicker than next-man-off Guy, whose brother, Charlie, and father, Ross, were both beaten by Warkworth's Graeme McDonnell in the senior final.

Another Guy brother, Charlie, 18, won the Intermediate final, in which third place went to 78-year-old Rusty Campbell, of Dargaville.

Michael Boyd, of Dargaville, won the junior final by almost 10pts.

It was the 32nd year shearing had been held at the show, and 30 shearers took part.

Results from the 100th North Hokianga A and P Show shearing on Saturday, February 15, 2014:

Open final (11 sheep): Doug Smith (Ruawai) 12min 15sec, 53.38pts, 1; Allan Bramley (Hukaranui) 13min 26sec, 54.03pts, 2; Bryce Guy (Kaeo) 13min 10sec, 54.68pts, 3.

Senior final (7 sheep): Graeme McDonnell (Warkworth) 10min 28sec, 50.54pts, 1; Charlie Guy (Kaeo) 11min 19sec, 51.95pts, 2; Ross Guy (Kaeo) 10min 25sec, 53..39pts, 3.

Intermediate final (4 sheep): Marshall Guy (Kaeo) 8min 23sec. 40.15pts, 1; Rob Quinn (Kaikohe) 8min 16sec, 42.55pts, 2; Rusty Campbell (Dargaville) 11min 33sec, 64.4pts, 3.

Junior final (2 sheep): Michael Boyd (Dargaville) 5min 25sec, 26.75pts, 1; Neil Walter (Broadwood) 3min 43sec, 36.15pts, 2; Cody Taaffe (Broadwood) 4min 4sec, 37.7pts, 3.

Veterans (2 sheep): Ralph Smith (Dargaville) 3min 20sec, 18.5pts, 1; Neil Sidwell (Kaukapakapa) 4min 19sec, 28.95pts, 2; Rusty Campbell (Dargaville) 5min 44sec, 34.2pts, 3.

Johnny K bangs out another double in Gore - February 16, 2014

Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick bounced-back to winning form with a vengeance as he won Gore's prestigious Southern Shears Open and South Island Shearer of the Year double for a sixth time on Saturday.

In charge through the heats and semi-finals, Kirkpatrick turned the tables on fellow Hawke's Bay gun Rowland Smith, to whom he had finished second four times in a row in other provincial and major show finals in the last three weeks, as well as last year when Smith's first Southern Shears win was all that stood between Kirkpatrick and another double in Gore.

It is now eight years since a South Island shearer won the South Island Shearer of the Year final, and longer since a southerner won the Southern Shears Open - the title having gone to northern invaders every year since 2002 when Kirkpatrick had the first of his nine victories in the event.

On Saturday he had to rely on quality points to get him to the winning ribbon, after event and TAB Golden Shears favourite Smith beat him to the end by 20 seconds, shearing 20 sheep in 16min 40.47sec.

Kirkpatrick claimed the major money by 0.816pts while third went to Te Kuiti veteran David Fagan, who won 11 times from 1983 to 2001, and who in reaching the final for a fifth time in the last six years still hurried-up the younger stars, with a time of 17min 6.78sec.

Southlanders Nathan Stratford and Troy Pyper were fourth and sixth, while Welshman Ricard Jones was fifth, possibly the first overseas shearer to reach a Southern Shears Open final.

Another Southland shearer, Darin Forde, also spoke loudly for the veterans, being first off in the Shearer of the Year final, shearing 17 sheep in 15min 43.38sec, beating Kirkpatrick by 2.5 seconds. Again it was the northerner's quality that won the day, by just under 1.4pts from Stratford, with Forde claiming third place.

Smith was a dominant figure as he and Rakaia shearer Tony Coster beat Welshmen Jones and Gareth Daniel to take a 3-0 lead in the four-test Elders Primary Wool Shearing Series, while Fagan outsprinted the rest in an interisland match, in which the North Island beat the South Island by more than seven points.

Mataura shearer Brett Roberts and Rakaia's Corey Smith restored some southern pride by winning the Southern Shears Senior and Intermediate finals respectively, but the Junior honours went to Northern Hawke's Bay shearer Carlton Aranui.

Results from shearing events at the Southern Shears in Gore on Saturday:

International: >Elders Primary Wool Shearing Series, 3rd Test (15 sheep): New Zealand 108.831pts (Rowland Smith, Hastings, 14min 37.19sec, 52..79pts; Tony Coster, Rakaia, 14min 31.41sec, 56.038pts) beat Wales 116.766pts (Gareth Daniel, Machynlleth, 15min 0.49sec, 58.317pts; Richard Jones, Corwen, 16min 0.98sec, 58.449pts). New Zealand lead 3-0. The 4th and final test is at Pahiatua on February 23.

Inter-Island (15 sheep): North Island 167.832pts (David Fagan, Te Kuiti, 14min 49.86sec, 54.059pts; Rowland Smith, Hastings, 15min 24.84sec, 55.575pts; John Kirkpatrick, Napier, 15min 5.3sec, 58.198pts) beat South Island 165.236pts (Nathan Stratford, Invercargill, 16min 6.36sec, 54.785pts; Andy Mainland, Invercargill, 15min 50.1sec, 59.972pts; Tony Coster, Rakaia, 15min 16.23sec, 60.479pts).

South Island Shear of the Year final (17 sheep): John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 15min 45.88sec, 57.294pts, 1; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 16min 27.77sec, 58.624pts, 2; Darin Forde (Winton) 15min 43.38sec, 58.758pts, 3; Tony Coster (Rakaia) 16min 24.69sec, 61.941pts, 4; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 17min 31.11sec, 63.145pts, 5; Grant Smith (Rakaia) 18min 19.83sec, 65..58pts, 6.

Southern Shears Open final (20 sheep): John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 17min 0.59sec, 59.08pts, 1; Rowland Smith (Hastings) 16min 40.47sec, 59.824pts, 2; David Fagan (Te Kuiti) 17min 6.78sec, 62.489pts, 3; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 18min 41.66sec, 64.733pts, 4; Richard Jones (Corwen, Wales) 18min 48.48sec, 66.574pts, 5; Troy Pyper (Lumsden) 16min 53.38sec, 67.719pts, 6.

Southern Shears Senior final (12 sheep): Brett Roberts (Mataura) 14min 0.69sec, 50.686pts, 1; Sam Bullinghan (Okehampton, Devon, England) 13min 12.06sec, 56.603pts, 2; Jock Barrett (Rakaia) 15min 2.27sec, 57.114pts, 3; Jake Rangiuaia (Mataura) 13min 36.83sec, 57.675pts, 4; Andrew Leith (Dipton) 15min 10.98sec, 60.632pts, 5; Alex Smith (Mataura) 15min 23.14sec, 61.157pts, 6.

Southern Shears Intermediate final (8 sheep): Corey Smith (Rakaia) 12min 57.48sec, 45.999pts, 1; Lloyd Rees (Wales) 11min 53.7sec, 49.31pts, 2; Kahn Culshaw (Matauras) 12min 11.69sec, 49.335pts, 3; Terrance Durdy (Gisborne) 13min 12.22sec, 51.611pts, 4; Marley Waihape (Mataura) 12min 45.98sec, 53.924pts, 5; Brendan Humphreys (Mataura) 13min 29.86sec, 54.868pts, 6.

Junior final (4 sheep): Carlton Aranui (Raupunga) 7min 24sec, 30.2pts, 1; Lionel Taumata (Gore) 7min 53sec, 34.15pts, 2; Hemi Lambert (Napier) 8min 37sec, 35.35pts, 3; Eli Raheke (Porangahau) 7min 19sec, 35.45pts, 4; Jake Maguire Ratima (Winton) 8min 24sec, 37.3pts, 5; Joel Richards (Oamaru) 8min 11sec, 38.05pts, 6.

Herbert does woolhandling double in the south - February 15, 2014

Te Awamutu's Keryn Herbert completed a morale-boosting pre-Golden Shears South Island double by winning the Southern Shears Open woolhandling title in Gore on Friday.

The win came just seven days after she won the New Zealand Woolhandler of the Year title at the Otago shearing and woolhandling championships in Balclutha.

It was the first time she had won either event, and she now heads home to prepare for the Golden Shears in Masterton on February 27-March 1, during which she will be trying to win both the Golden Shears Open woolhandling title and a World Championships New Zealand team selection series final.

As at Balclutha, the runner-up was reigning World Champion and defending Golden Shears champion Joel Henare, from Gisborne, who with eight other wins during the season threatens to topple the 34-year-old Herbert from her position as Shearing Sports New Zealand's top-ranked open woolhandler of the last three years.

Herbert was the first to finish, and had the best board judging points, as had been a crucial factor in last week's win.

Third in the three-person final, emerging from a field of 25 entrants and competing in a showdown of five fleeces each, was surprise qualifier Lamer Tohiariki, of Invercargill.

The Junior final produced a rare result when it was won by a competitor from overseas in Welsh prospect Robyn Charlton, from Presteigne, Powys. The Senior final was a triumph for hometown fans, with victory to Sharon Tuhakaraina, of Gore.

The woolhandling dominated the opening day of the Southern Shears, with shearing events filling the final day on Saturday, including the South Island Shearer of the Year final, an Inter-Island shearing match, and an Elders Primary Wool Shearing Series test between New Zealand and Wales.



Open final (5 fleeces): Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu) 225.19pts, 1; Joel Henare (Gisborne) 246.12pts, 2; Lamer Tohiariki (Invercargill) 344.75pts, 3.

Senior final: Sharon Tuhakaraina (Gore) 186.38pts, 1; Daine Rehe (Te Teko) 251.53pts, 2; Tawhai Cannell (Gisborne) 268.788pts, 3; Destiny Pohatu (Mataura) 296.06pts, 4.

Junior final: Robyn Charlton (Wales) 201.706pts, 1; Ash Boyce (Dannevirke) 210.34pts, 2; Nova Kumeroa-Elers (Mataura) 212.962pts, 3; Erica Reti (Gore) 215.868pts, 4.

World champs vy for chance at Gorey glory - February 14, 2014

Three former World woolhandling champions are lining-up to challenge reigning champion Joel Henare in his bid to represent New Zealand and defend the title in Ireland in May.

The 22-year-old Henare currently heads a10-round selection trial qualifying series, and with one round to go is assured of being top qualifier for the eight-person trials during the Golden Shears in Masterton on February 27-March 1.

But the points from the previous rounds, held over the last 12 months, will count for nothing as competitors compete in a semi-final, and then a top-four final, from which only the winner and runner-up will get the trip to Gorey, County Wexford.

Guaranteed second place going into the showdown in Masterton is Te Awamutu woolhandler Keryn Herbert, who yesterday in Gore added the Southern Shears open title to the New Zealand Woolhandler of the Year title she won in Balclutha a week earlier.

Herbert was a World teams champion in 2010 at the Royal Welsh Show.

Another former World champion assured of qualifying for the trial is Tina Rimene, of Masterton, who won teams titles in South Africa in 2000 and Australia in 2005, while Taihape schoolteacher Sheree Alabaster, who won World individual and teams titles in Norway in 2008 and was Herbert's partner in the 2010 success, is all-but qualified with a series of upset results needed at the final qualifying Pre-Shears round near Masterton needed to unseat her.

Another guaranteed of qualifying for the trial is 2008 Golden Shears Open champion Veronica (Ronnie) Goss, of Kimbolton.

The series comprises 10 qualifying rounds, from which competitors take their best six results, based on a scale from a maximium 12pts for first.

Tall Smith at short odds for Goldies repeat - February 14, 2014

Two-metres-tall Hastings shearer Rowland Smith has been made one of the shortest opening-price favourites in Golden Shears history in odds released by the TAB more than a fortnight out from the 54th annual championships in Masterton.

After 5 wins in provincial and major contests in the last four weekends on the Shearing Sports New Zealand circuit, before the Southern Shears in Gore today, the 27-year-old defending champion and New Zealand championships titleholder has opened paying $.2.20 to retain the Golden Shears title he won for the first time last year.

The TAB, which has been offering odds on Golden Shears events for more than 12 years, offered odds on 11 shearers in a winner-only pool which opened midweek. Odds on others will be available later or on inquiry.

More pools on the Golden Shears, which start on February 27 and end on March 1, will open from Tuesday, including odds on making the six-man final, and on making a top-three finish.

There will be head-to-head options, and other betting will operate on the PGG Wrightson National Circuit final, the bi-annual transtasman test, woolhandling events, and, for the first time, woolpressing.

In Gore today to represent New Zealand in the third Elders Primary Wool Shearing Series test against Wales, Smith is also defending the Southern Shears Open title, which has in the last 10 years four times been won by shearers who won the Golden Shears final a fortnight later.

Some shearers will leave for the North Island almost as soon as the Gore competitions are over to compete at the Counties Shears in Pukekohe tomorrow, while most of the top contenders will next weekend compete on successive days in Taumarunui, Apiti and Pahiatua in a now well-worn trail to the Golden Shears, where the Open winner will become one of two New Zealand machine shearing representatives at the World Championships in Ireland in May.

The opening odds to win the 2014 Golden Shears Open shearing final on the night of March 1: Rowland Smith (Hastings), $2.20; John Kirkpatrick (Napier), $3.50; David Fagan (Te Kuiti) $5; Dion King (Flaxmere), $10; Cam Ferguson (Waipawa), $15; David Buick (Pongaroa), $17; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill), $25; Gavin Mutch (Whangamomona), $25; Darin Forde (Winton), $40; Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti), $40; Murray Henderson (Feilding), $40.

Wool industry young guns on show at Southern Shears - February 13, 2014

Some of the brightest young hopes in New Zealand shearing and wool handling will take a starring role on the first day of the Southern Shears in Gore tomorrow.

Two teams, representing the best from a Modern Apprentice training project, will take part in the first Tectra Wool Harvesting Apprentice National Championship, which will culminate the first day otherwise comprising the annual competition's woolhandling events.

Representing the North Island will be the Lower North Island team of shearers Keanu Sutton, of Dannevirke, and Jayden Hiroti-Green, of Raetihi, and woolhandlersCarmen Smith, of Pongaroa, and Stevee-Rae Alexander, of Whanganui, while the South Island will be represented by the Upper South Island team of shearers Jock Barrett and Ethan Pankhurst, both based at Rakaia, and woolhandlers Kerrie-Lee Duff, of Kurow, and Vance Brown, of Christchurch.

The teams won their way into the match with victory in inter-region contests at their respective island workshops last year, where instruction was given by such shearing luminaries as World champion shearers David Fagan and Tom Wilson and woolhandlers Joel Henare and Tina Rimene.

It's the first of two inter-island matches between the two teams, the second taking place at the 30th anniversary New Zealand Championships in Te Kuiti at the end of next month.

The Tectra project started with 12 trainees in 2000, and has grown to oversee more than 400, in on the job training and work with contractors around the country, and in-shed tutorial run by the organisation's training managers and other top shearers and woolhandlers.

Tectra has developed a strong industry relationship through providing the skills training and development along with first class pastoral care which has been noted as a cornerstone of the programme by industry fathers.

Tectra has been instrumental in keeping young industry participants focused on maintaining a good work life balance and an awareness of the additional skills required to make a success of being in the wool harvesting industry. Many have already had the opportunity to work and compete overseas.

Meanwhile, the Southern Shears' three woolhandling titles will also be decided on the opening day. Shearing on the second and final day on Saturday are five grade finals, the South Island Shear of the Year, an inter-island shearing match involving the country's top shearers, and a shearing match between New Zealand and Wales, in which Rowland Smith, of Hastings, and Tony Coster, of Rakaia, will be hjoping to go 3-0 up in their Elders Primary Wool Shearing Series with Welsh visitors Gareth Daniel, of Machynlleth, and Richard Jones, of Corwen.

Osborne gets Jack's cup at Arapohue - February 10, 2014

It was like catching up with old friends when Tangowahine shearer Neville Osborne won one of the most prized trophies at the 117th Northern Wairoa A and P Show at Arapohue on Saturday(February 8). Although it was his 10th win in his local Open shearing event, he hadn't had his hands on the prized Jack Dowd Challenge Cup since 2011.

It was worthy reward for Osborne who in 22 seasons since graduating to Open-class after eight northern Senior contests unbeaten in 1992-93, has stuck devoutly with the Northland shows as they've struggled for numbers on the shearing board.

His 33 Open-class wins have all come on the equator side of Auckland, the southernmost being at Warkworth, where he won for the first time last season.

A few weeks later he had one of the bigger moments of his career when he burned-off a Kumeu show final field including Golden Shears winners David Fagan, John Kirkpatrick and Rowland Smith, shearing 20 sheep in under 15min 40sec.

There were no such stars on Saturday, nor such haste, as he took a minute and a half longer to shear 15 sheep, to comfortably beat fellow northern circuit stalwarts Tom Stillwell, from Kaikohe, and Ralph Smith, of Dargaville..

Results from the Northern Wairoa A and P Show shearing at Arapohue on Saturday, February 8, 2014:

Open final (15 sheep): Neville Osborne (Dargaville) 17min 3sec, 75.01pts, 1; Tom Stilwell (Kaikohe) 18min 20sec, 81.66pts, 2; Ralph Smith (Dargaville) 20min 39sec, 81.68pts, 3.

Senior final (4 sheep): Jared Rountree (Dargaville) 6min 11sec, 43.05pts, 1.

Intermediate final (5 sheep): Rex Finlayson (Kai Iwi Lakes) 10min 32sec, 54.4pts, 1; Mike Bristow (Ruawai) 10min 43sec, 63.95pts, 2; Rusty Campbell (Dargaville) 14min 35sec, 65.95pts, 3.

Junior final (3 sheep): Michael Boyd (Dargaville) 8min 39sec, 46.95pts, 1; Paul Finlayson ((Kai Iwi Lakes) 8min 49sec, 74.11pts, 2.

Veterans (2 sheep): Ralph Smith (Dargaville) 3min 44sec, 23.7pts, 1; Jeff Wood (Ruawai) 2min 49sec, 24.95pts, 2; Neil Sidwell (Kaukapakapa) 3min 47sec, 27.35pts, 3.

Smith wins second Otago Shears title - February 09, 2014

Hastings shearer Rowland Smith's charge towards his defences of the Golden Shears and New Zealand Championships titles next month and a possible crack at a World title in May continued when he won his second Otago championships Open title in Balclutha yesterday (February 8).

Winner two years ago but having skipped last year's event, Smith was back in town as a member of the two-man New Zealand team which beat Wales in the second match of the four-test Elders Primary Wool Shearing Series.

He also found time to shear for an all-star team of four which won the Shears' shearing and woolhandling teams event.

The Open title was Smith's fifth in seven finals since his first competition of 2014 at Wairoa on January 18, initiating what is fast shaping as a near repeat of last year when he won 14 finals in the post-Christmas phase of the 2012-2013 Shearing Sports New Zealand season.

Smith, 27, now has a career tally of almost 80 wins, including being one of only two shearers to win Golden Shears titles in three grades, and now in his eighth season at the top level has posted 53 wins, 50 of them in the last four years.

The runner-up, for the fourth time to Smith in the last fortnight, was Napier-shearer and five-times Otago winner John Kirkpatrick, who was in the Otago final for a 10th year in a row and the 13th time in his career.

Rowland Smith, of Hastings, winning a second Otago Championships Open shearing title in Balclutha on Saturday.
Invercargill shearer and defending champion Nathan Stratford, in his eighth final in the event, was third, and fellow Southlander Darin Forde, was fourth, on the 20th anniversary of the first of his 15 times in the final, which included winning in 1999 and 2000.

Rakaia shearer Tony Coster, who has won more than 50 finals in his Open-class career of over 20 years, reached the Otago final for the first time and was fifth.

Te Kuiti veteran David Fagan, who won the event 17 times from 1983 to 2004 and who was runner-up to Smith two years ago and fourth last year, bypassed this year's event to compete at the Te Puke show, where the shearing was cancelled because of wet weather.

Smith shore the 20 sheep in 17min 19sec, beating Kirkpatrick to the button by six seconds, Forde by a sheep and a half, and Stratford and Coster by more than two sheep. While Kirkpatrick claimed victory by almost two points from Kirkpatrick, Stratford's quality points total of 6.3 was markedly better than the next-best, Smith's 8.9pts.

Mataura shearer Brett Roberts won the Senior title to complete an unprecedented record of five wins across three grades in successive years at one venue before reaching the Open class.

It was his third consecutive win in the Otago Senior final, following victories in the Junior final in 2010, which he followed with victory at the Golden Shears in Masterton, and the Intermediate final in 2011, which he followed with a New Zealand Championships win in Te Kuiti.

His three wins this season, at Lumsden and Winton last month and today's victory take him to 11 in the Senior grade, passing the 10-win threshhold which will promote him to Open-class next season.

Beating runner-up and English shearer Sam Bullingham, of Okehampton, Devon, by five-and-a-half points, Roberts is heading for a Golden Shears showdown with Masterton-based Riverton shearer Casey Bailey, who did not compete in Balclutha but who has not been beaten in nine finals in the North Island this season.

Masterton shearer Dylan McGruddy won the Intermediate final, and Carlton Aranui continued a good season for young competitors from the tiny Northern Hawke's Bay township of Raupunga by reaching his first final, and winning. He was fourth to finish, a minute and a half after the first, but his quality points were seven better than the next-best in the five-man, four-sheep showdown.

The championships started a four-week run down to the Golden Shears Open final in Masterton on March 1, which will decide one member of New Zealand's machine shearing team for the World Championships in Gorey, Ireland, in May. The second berth will be decided in the New Zealand Championships Open final in Te Kuiti on March 29.

Herbert gets Woolhandler of the Year win at last - February 09, 2014

Te Awamutu woolhandler Keryn Herbert had possibly her biggest individual success in a busy 11-season Open competition career when she beat Golden Shears and World champion Joel Henare in the New Zealand Woolhandler of the Year final in Balclutha on Friday(February 7).

Despite being Shearing Sports New Zealand's top-ranked woolhandler for the last three seasons, and bestowed Master Woolhandler status in 2012, the 34-year-old Herbert had not won any of the big three post-Christmas events, - the Golden Shears, the New Zealand Championships or the title she's now won at the Otago Shearing and Woolhandling Championships.

Her biggest triumphs had been a World Championships teams title in Wales in 2010, a North and South Island circuits double in the 2007-2008 season, two other South Island circuit wins, and three New Zealand Spring Shears wins at Waimate.

Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu, winning the New Zealand Woolhandler of the Year final at the Otago shearing and woolhandling championships in Balclutha on Friday(February 7)
PHOTO/Barbara Newton
With two wins behind her this season but in only her third NZ Woolhandler of the Year final since first competing in the Open class in 2003, she pulled out all the stops in the quality aspects to topple reigning World and Golden Shears champion Henare, the Gisborne woolhandler who won the title a record five times from 2008 to 2012.

He was first to complete the six-sheep routine - an exacting task on the three different wool types of two fullwool, two short wool and two lambs. Henare had earlier in the day also scored his eighth win of the season by beating Herbert in the South Island Circuit final.

Herbert responded well under the pressure of the stage, scoring the best board marks, but isn't letting-up in her quest for bigger things, including a chance to represent New Zealand at a second World Championships

Likely to be one of the top two of eight qualifiers for a selection series final at the Golden Shears, she returned home during the week to partner Corey and children Ngahuia and Rikihana, before heading next weekend for the Southern Shears in Gore, her fifth trip to the South Island during the season.

There are no big sponsors or commercial endorsements to get by on, and she says it would be possible without the support of family.

"We've still got to finish collecting the points," she said.

Third in the Woolhandler of the Year final was South Island-based Masterton woolhandling instructor Tina Rimene, and fourth was South Otago hope Sharlene Adamson, of Milton, a surprise finalist from a field of 25, in which last year's winner and New Zealand transtasman series team member Tia Potae, of Milton, was a surprise elimination in Friday's heats.

Alexandra woolhandler Juliette Lyon, a regular character in the Tv series "Shearing Gang," based on the business of parents Peter and Elsie Lyon in Central Otago, completed a big double by winning both the Senior Woolhandler of the Year and South Island circuit finals, a week after winning the North Island Championships Senior title in Marton.

Henare's partner, Erica Reti, won the Junior Woolhandler of the Year final, while Liv Gardiner, of Alexandra, won the South Island Circuit Junior final.

Shearers head south to start shearing Grand Slam - February 01, 2014

Shearing's closest thing to a Grand Slam kicks off when the Otago shearing and woolhandling championships take place in Balclutha on Friday and Saturday (February 7-8).

It involves the consecutive big Open finals on the four weekends up to and including the Golden Shears in Masterton on March 1.

It's significance was first noted by Taranaki shearer Roger Cox who in 1977 won the Otago title, the Southern Shears at Gore, the Pahiatua Shears and the Golden Shears - three months after which he won the first World Championship, in England.

The Grand Slam is thought to have been completed by just two other shearers, five times by Te Kuiti shearing legend David Fagan.

First appearing on the trophies in 1983, when he won the two South Island events, Fagan first completed the Grand Slam in 1991, and repeated it three times consecutively from 1996-1998, and again in 2001.

The other is Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick, who entered the reckoning in 2002 with three wins, including being the first to beat Fagan in a Golden Shears Open final since 1989.

Although winning at least one of the events each year since then, Kirkpatrick managed the cleansweep just once, in 2011.

The only other shearer to have won all four events at any time in the last 20 years was Hastings gun Dion King, claiming the Otago and Golden Shears titles in 2006, the Southern Shears in 2010 and 2012, and the Pahiatua final, also in 2012.

The last time the four events were won by four different shearers in one season was 1999, when Darin Forde, of Winton, won at Balclutha, before a Te Kuiti takeover - Digger Balme winning at Gore, Paul Grainger at Pahiatua, and Fagan at Masterton.

The events' Honours Board for the last 20 years will be published on the Media Releases page at


2013 Nathan Stratford Rowland Smith John Kirkpatrick Rowland Smith
2012 Rowland Smith Dion King Dion King John Kirkpatrick
2011 John Kirkpatrick John Kirkpatrick John Kirkpatrick John Kirkpatrick
2010 Cam Ferguson Dion King Dean Ball Cam Ferguson
2009 John Kirkpatrick John Kirkpatrick Dean Ball David Fagan
2008 John Kirkpatrick John Kirkpatrick Paul Avery John Kirkpatrick
2007 John Kirkpatrick Paul Avery John Kirkpatrick Paul Avery
2006 Dion King John Kirkpatrick Paul Avery Dion King
2005 John Kirkpatrick John Kirkpatrick Paul Avery Paul Avery
2004 David Fagan John Kirkpatrick David Fagan David Fagan
2003 David Fagan John Kirkpatrick David Fagan David Fagan
2002 David Fagan John Kirkpatrick John Kirkpatrick John Kirkpatrick
2001 David Fagan David Fagan David Fagan David Fagan
2000 Darin Forde David Fagan David Fagan David Fagan
1999 Darin Forde Digger Balme Paul Grainger David Fagan
1998 David Fagan David Fagan David Fagan David Fagan
1997 David Fagan David Fagan David Fagan David Fagan
1996 David Fagan David Fagan David Fagan David Fagan
1995 David Fagan Alan MacDonald Alan MacDonald David Fagan
1994 Edsel Forde Edsel Forde Paul Avery David Fagan

Bramley returns north for Paparoa win - February 01, 2014

Kaeo shearer Hamish Bramley scored his first win in the North Island for several years when he won the Open shearing title at the North Kaipara A and P Show at Paparoa on Saturday.

Bramley won two titles in the Nelson area last January - at Takaka and Tapawera - but otherwise hadn't figured among the winners on the Shearing Sports New Zealand calendar for at least two years.

There were only small numbers of shearers, but competition was still able to take place in four classes, as well as a Veterans event.

RESULTS of the North Kaipara A and P Show Shears at Paparoa on Saturday, February 1, 2014:

Open final (15 sheep): Hamish Bramley (Kaeo) 19min 18sec, 73.7pts, 1; Jeff Wood (Ruawai) 19min 25sec, 91.98pts, 2; Ralph Smith (Dargaville) 24min 26sec, 92.71pts, 3.

Senior final (6 sheep): Graham McDonnell (Warkworth) 10min 2sec, 44.77pts, 1; Jarrod Rountree (Dargaville) 10min 14sec, 47.2pts, 2; Lee Cheyne (Huntly) 11min 2sec, 49.77pts, 3.

Intermediate final (4 sheep): Rex Finlayson (Kai Iwi Lakes) 8min 26sec, 55.8pts, 1; Mike Bristow (Ruawai) 9min 20sec, 58.75pts, 2; Scott Smith (Rotorua) 9min 11sec, 64.05pts, 3.

Junior final (3 sheep): Michael Boyd (Dargaville) 8min 43sec, 39.15pts, 1; Paul Finlayson (Kai Iwi Lakes) 8min 33sec, 62.65pts, 2.

Veterans (3 sheep): Ralph Smith (Dargaville) 5min 10sec, 320.84pts, 1; Jeff Wood (Ruawai) 4min 33sec, 29.31pts, 2; Neil Sidwell (Kaukapakapa) 5min 45sec, 29.91pts, 3; Rex Finlayson (Kai Iwi Lakes) 6min 45sec, 39.25pts, 4.

It was the 26-year-old Hastings-based Northland shearer's fourth win in six events in a fortnight since returning to the competition scene after honeymooning with wife and record-holding woman shearer Ingrid Baynes.

Having won at Horowhenua a fortnight ago and then a weekend double at Taihape and Rotorua last week, Smith had to rely on pen-quality points after a frantic race with Te Kuiti veterans Digger Balme and David Fagan, and Dannevirke shearer Adam Brausch.

Balme, 48, dominated at the end, finishing the 20-sheep final first in 16min 19.81sec, 14 seconds ahead of Fagan, who just pipped Smith, with Brausch just another 3-4 blows away, bouncing back strongly after the disappointment of an aborted World record attempt last week.

Ultimately Smith won by less than a point from the 51-year-old Fagan, who on Friday nudged posted Open-class win No 617 with a victory at the Dannevirke A and P Show, his third of the season.

Hemi Braddick, of Eketahuna, kept-up his consistent form in winning the Senior title, cutting out the 10-sheep pen in 10min 50.75sec, 25 seconds clear of next-man-off Bryce Guy, of Kaeo, and ultimely two points clear of thirid-man-off Lachie Baynes, of Wairoa, who snuck enough quality points to ultimately finish runner-up. With Jack Fagan, of Te Kuiti, and Michael Rolston, of Levin, it was a top-quality field of well-performed young shearers.

Gordon finished the six-sheep Intermediate final a minute clear of Stratford shearer Darren Alexander, who was second to finish, and also claimed the pbest board and pen points, to win by more than six points from eventual runner-up Goss, while Kaeo teenager Marshall Guy spread-eagled the Junior field by shearing three sheep in 4min 56.15sec, a minute-and-a-half quicker than first-time finalist Jayden Hiroti, of Raetihi, and Digger's protege, Josh Balme. Guy posted second-best quality and won by almost six points from eventual runner-up Balme.

The Gordons were among the money in the woolhandling, with Samantha winning the Senior final, and David second in the Junior final which was won by Jimmy Samuels, who as a shearer reached the Golden Shears Open Top 30 Shootout last year in his first show out of Senior class.

Welsh win in Reefton, again - February 01, 2014

Welsh shearers have triumphed at the Reefton A and P Show for the second year in a row.

In the third match of their Elders Primary Wool Shearing Series tour, Gareth Daniel and Richard Jones beat Top of the South pair Tony Nott and Chris Jones, from Marlborough, while Richard Jones, from Corwen, Denbighshire, retained the show's Open title which he won in an historic day for Welsh shearing in New Zealand at the show 12 months ago.

Daniel was the best of the 21 shearers in the Open heats, but was eliminated in the semi-finals.

Riverton shearer Shaun Matheson was the only shearer in the four-man final over 17 lambs each to go under a minute a lamb, beating Jones by 52 seconds, with Nott and Jones each more than another lamb behind.

Jones' victory was not the only triumph for shearers from overseas at the show, where temperatures soared throughout the day. The Intermediate final was won by Joseph Stephens, who came from Galway in Ireland as a carpenter, and then took to shearing. The only New Zealander in the final, Lyall Windleburn, of Rangiora, was second, while New Zealand-based Shun Oishi, from Japan, and Enkhnasan Chullumbaatar, from Mongolia, were third and fourth.

Paul Hodges, of Gealdine, won the Senior final by more than two and a half points from runner-up Rowan Nesbit, of Rangiora, while young Oamaru shearer Joel Richards extended a good Junior record with his second win in the New Year and fifth of the season.

The Welsh head further south next weekend, for the second test against Kiwis Rowland Smith and Tony Coster at the Otago shearing and woolhandling championships in Balclutha, having been beaten in the first test at the Rotorua Show last week. The third test is at the Southern Shears in Gore a week later.

Results from the Reefton A and P Show Shears on Saturday, February 1, 2014:

Elders Primary Wool Shearing Series Challenge (10 lambs): Wales (Richard Jones 11min 7sec, 42.25pts; Gareth Daniel 10min 36.28sec, 50.714pts) 95.964pts beat Top of the South (Tony Not 10min 26.32sec, 48.116pts; Chris Jones 12min, 52.7pts) 100..816pts.

Open final (17 lambs): Richard Jones (Corwen, Wales) 17min 8.53sec, 66.368pts, 1; Shaun Mathieson (Riverton) 16min 16.41sec, 68.821pts, 2; Chris Jones (Blenheim) 18min 27.69sec, 71.497pts, 3; Tony Nott (Blenheim) 18min 22.09sec, 72..752pts, 4.

Senior final (8 lambs): Paul Hodges (Geraldine) 11min 32.82sec, 54.266pts, 1; Rowan Nesbit (Rangiora) 12min 11.82sec, 57.716pts, 2; Mark Rogers (Brightwater) 13min 50.1sec, 58.755pts, 3; Chris Russell (Woodend) 12min 13.25sec, 65.913pts, 4.

Intermediate final (5 lambs): Joseph Stephens (Galway, 3 sheep_Ireland) 7min 26..82sec, 39.141pts, 1; Lyall Windleburn (Rangiora) 7min 13.47sec, 45.074pts, 3; Shun Oishi (Japan) 9min 14.28sec, 53.714pts, 3; Enkhnasan Chuluumbaatar (Mongolia) 10min 23.87sec, 70.394pts, 4.

Junior final (3 lambs): Joel Richards (Oamaru) 5min 20.34sec, 41.35pts, 1; Mitchell Murray (Amberley) 6min 40.47sec, 52.357pts, 2; Robert Hervey (Murchison) 10min 20.91sec, 54.379pts, 3; Allan Oldfield (Geraldine) 6min 29.63sec, 65.148pts, 4.

Blades final (4 lambs): Mike McConnell (Albury) 12min 4.94sec, 60.497pts, 1; Brian Thomson (Christchurch) 12min 27.87sec, 61.644pts, 2; Tony Dobbs (Fairlie) 12min 2.06sec, 62.853pts, 3; Bill Michelle (Timaru) 11min 11.75sec, 76.338pts, 4.

Three North Island champs wins in a row for Rowland Smith - February 1, 2014

Giant Hawke's Bay shearer Rowland Smith displayed a special quality of grit and determination as he won the North Island Open Shearing Championship for a third year in a row at the Rangitikei Shearing Sports in Marton today.

With three previous wins in four A and P Show finals in the last fortnight and warming in favouritism for the defences of his Golden Shears and New Zealand Championships titles in March, 27-year-old, two-metres-tall Smith had been a surprise early elimination at the Dannevirke A and P Show on Friday.

"Wrong comb in the heats," he lamented, but yesterday he made sure he got it right, the better quality points being crucial to overcoming a slight time-points deficit and retaining the crown after being beaten by Napier gun John Kirkpatrick in an exciting and close race for fastest time.

Kirkpatrick was first off in the six-man final over 20 ewes each, finishing in 16min 58.87sec, beating Smith by 2.31sec, with almost 18 further seconds to the third-man-off, eventual third placegetter and Dannevirke winner, Pongaroa farmer David Buick.

Veteran King Country shearer David Fagan was fourth, after winning four show finals in a row since late November, while Feilding's Aaron Haynes was fifth and Southlander Darrin Forde.

It was however a successful trip for Forde intent on securing points in the heats, shorn on lambs, to secure a top-12 place in the PGG Wrightson National Shearing Circuit, which he won four times from 1999 to 2004.

Forde needed just a small number of points to make his place safe, but secured the maximum 12 by being the top shearer in today's heats, which constituted the fourth of the five qualifying rounds before the Top 12 shoot-out at the Golden Shears in Masterton on March 1.

Masterton-based Riverton shearer Casey Bailey extended an amazing Senior season's record to nine wins in nine finals, including six in the last three weekends. He won by almost two points from runner-up Robert Mudgway, of Taihape, also developing a consistent record of Senior placings.

Simon Goss, of Kimbolton, also completed a Dannevirke-Marton double in the Intermediate final, with less than a point to spare over the runner-up, Gisborne shearer Ramone Smith.

Shearing judge Colin Couchman appears to be putting in more effort than Rowland Smith as he assesses the workmanship in the Open shearing final.

Jimmy Samuel was eliminated from the Open championship in the semi-final, but still found a way into the final, as commentator.

Cameron Hicks finishes third in the Senior shearing final. Two down, with one to go, after winning the Junior woolhandling final, and then to commentate the Open shearing final.

Waipukurau-based French shearer Loic Jauberthie had his second Junior win, by almost four points from runner-up Shaun Turton, of Akitio.

Prolific winner and World and Golden Shears champion Joel Henare made up for three years of absence from the Rangitikei competition's open woolhandling final by winning a six-strong final in which he was the only male. It was his eighth win this season. Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu, failed to qualify for the final, but Henare still had to beat her

2010 World Champion teams partner, Sheree Alabaster. In the end, Eketahuna's Ngaio Braddick was second, and Alabaster was third, followed by Marie Kinloch in a rare competition appearance, with Ronnie Goss fifth and Emaraina Braddick sixth.

Juliette Lyon, of Alexandra, won a senior final in which Rangitikei Shearing Sports president Gail Haitana was fourth, her first competition in about eight years, she reckoned. Cameron Hicks a hometown win in the Junior woolhandling final, phase one of a busy day in which he was also third in the Senior shearing final and took stints in a new commentary pairing with Jimmy Samuels, whose elimination in the Open heats enabled him to commentate the final.

Another showing a bit of versatility was Kimbolton teenager Connor Puha, who was third in the Senior woolhandling, and won the Novice shearing.

Results of the 51st Rangitikei Shearing Sports and North Island Shearing and Woolhandling Champinoships at Marton on Saturday, February 1, 2014:


Open final (20 sheep): Rowland Smith (Hastings) 17min 0.18sec, 63.959pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 16min 57.87sec, 64.444pts, 2; David Buick (Pongaroa) 17min 17.98sec, 65.749pts, 3; David Fagan (Te Kuiti) 17min 43.57sec, 67.779pts, 4; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 18min 21.75sec, 69.538pts, 5; Darin Forde (Winton) 18min 17.35sec, 71.318pts, 6.

Senior final (10 sheep): Casey Bailey (Riverton/Masterton) 11min 18.16sec, 46.708pts, 1; Robert Mudgway (Taihape) 12min 59.83sec, 48.592pts, 2; Cameron Hicks (Marton) 11min 22.17sec, 51.909pts, 3; Paka Matiaha (Masterton) 12min 40.11sec, 52.306pts, 4; D.J.Crawford (Gisborne) 12min 37.75sec, 54.488pts, 5; Patrick Duncan (Napier) 11min 16.57sec, 56.829pts, 6.

Intermediate final (6 sheep): Simon Goss (Kimbolton) 9min 22.82sec, 41.141pts, 1; Ramone Smith (Gisborne) 9min 6.28sec, 41.814pts, 2; Marshall Guy (Kaeo) 9min 9.09sec, 42.122pts, 3; Richard Carter (England) 8min 49.04sec, 43.118pts, 4; Tane Matiaha (Masterton) 9min 27.92sec, 45.229pts, 5; Darren Alexander (Whangamomona) 10min 55.15sec, 47.091pts, 6.

Junior final (3 sheep): Loic Jauberthie (France) 5min 51.63sec, 29.249pts, 1; Shaun Turton (Akitio) 7min 42.96sec, 33.148pts, 2; Josh Balme (Te Kuiti) 7min 58.34sec, 3; Ricci Stevens (Gisborne) 7min 53.51sec, 35.343pts, 4; Tegwyn Bradley (Woodville) 6min 23.54sec, 39.177pts, 5; Karl Devaney (Ireland) 5min 15.93sec, 43.13pts, 6.

Novice (1 sheep): Connor Puha (Kimbolton) 5min 42.18sec, 23.109pts, 1; Shane Chase (Masterton) 4min 29.79sec, 34.49pts, 2; Joseph Gordon (Masterton) 4min 48.85sec, 35.443pts, 3; Sarah Nahona (Taihape) 4min 31.22sec, 35.561pts, 4; Rua Samuels (Marton) 2min 45.21sec, 37.261pts, 5; Sarah Jane Reid (Taihape) 4min 14.63sec, 40.472pts, 6.


Open final: Joel Henare (Gisborne) 82pts, 1; Ngaio Braddick (Eketahuna) 104pts, 2; Sheree Alabaster (Taihape) 109pts, 3; Marie Kinloch (Maston) 114pts, 4; Ronnie Goss (Kimbolton) 136pts, 5; Emaraina Braddick (Eketahuna) 149pts, 6.

Senior final: Juliette Lyon (Alexandra) 95pts, 1; Tiffany Kumeroa (Marton) 107pts, 2; Connor Puha (Kimbolton) 116pts, 3; Gail Haitana (Marton) 119pts, 4; Ana Braddick (Eketahuna) 123pts, 5; Naima Titter (-) 135pts, 6.

Junior final: Cameron Hicks (Marton) 96pts, 1; Joanna Shuttleworth (-) 99pts, 2; Robeena Eketone (-) 134pts, 3; Mihi Hiku (-) 138pts, 4; Creedence Culshaw (Raupunga) 140pts, 5; Angeline Colquhoun (Masterton) 180pts, 6.

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