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Media Releases January 2016

Another weekend double for Rowland Smith - January 31, 2016

It was the lucky number 7 for New Zealand's top shearer and top woolhandler as they cleaned-up the Open titles in the Rotorua A and P Show's Geyserland Shears at Ngongotaha today.

Reigning World Champion shearer Rowland Smith made it seven wins from seven shows this season, and his double in successive weekends when he won the 15-sheep Open shearing final by 3.75pts from runner-up Mark Grainger of Te Kuiti, just 24 hours after winning at the Taihape A and P Show.

The previous weekend Smith scored a Saturday-Sunday double at Tapawera, south of Nelson, and at Levin,, and on January 15-16 won on successive days at Lumsden and Winton in Southland. Earlier in the season he won his home show at the Great Raihania Shears in Hastings.

Henare, the 2012 World woolhandling champion and reigning Golden Shears champion, also scored his seventh win of the season, bouncing back from defeat for the second time in three weeks. On Saturday he had to settle for a rare fourth place at Taihape, and on January 16 won the national crossbred lambshearing title after being beaten in a longwool final at Lumsden the previous day.

Henare won finals before Christmas, at the Poverty Bay, Wairarapa, Manawatu, Canterbury and Central Hawke's Bay shows. Down the grades young Welsh shearers continued to sound an ominous warning, particularly in the Junior final where they filled four of the five placings, including a victory to Gwydion Davies, of Machynleth, by 0.567pts from Morgan Hughes, of Llangollen.

Dylan Lewis, of Lampeter, was second in the Intermediate final, just 0.45pts from winner Tegwyn Bradley, of Woodville, while Sion Lewis, also of Lampeter was fourth in the Senior final won by Henare Niania, of Gisborne. Joel Henare claimed his win by almost 7pts from 2008 World woolhandling champion Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape, and Erica Henare made it a husband-wife double by winning the Senior woolhandling final by over 3pts from runner-up Rahna Williams, of Flaxmere

Paulie Smith, of Taumarunui, claimed his first woolhandling title with a Junior final victory by almost 3pts from runner-up and Taihape winner Angela Kirkpatrick, of Napier.

Big breakthrough as Sowry bowls the woolhandling champs - January 30, 2016

There was nothing like a break for a bit of travel and a bit of new parenting to get things right for woolhandler Kim Sowry who caused a major boilover at the Taihape A and P Show shearing and woolhandling championships today.

When the 27-year-old Sowry won the Open woolhandling final she made it a good one, beating former World individual champions Sheree Alabaster and Joel Henare and last season's top-ranker woolhandler and former World teams champion Keryn Herbert.

It was her first win since a Senior title at the Apiti Sports almost three years ago, a week before she was third in the 2013 Golden Shears senior final.

A Tararua College old girl from Pahiatua but now living in nearby Eketahuna with partner and shearer Hemi Bradick and young son Brodie, Sowry was almost beside-herself after hearing the result of the five-person final.

"This is so exciting," she said moments later as she sat with her partner's sisters, also woolhandlers. "IU thought I'd done a good job, but I didn't think I'd done a good enough job to beat the others. They're so good." But it was a close outcome in the North Island's first second-shear competition of the season, with Sowry beat runner-up and Taihape competition organiser Alabaster.

A big field of 38 beaten Open-class shearers were left wondering how any might beat World champion and Hawke's Bay gun Rowland Smith who made it six out of six for the season in winning a six-man, 20-sheep Open final with what seemed comsummate ease.

Surprise finalist Alun Lloyd Jones, the Golden Shears Intermediate champion just two years ago, made the early jump and was first out with the first two sheep, but that was almost red-rag-to-a-bull stuff to Smith, who quickly hit the lead ann all-but said goodbye to the rest of the field.

Completing his 19th win in 21 finals dating back to his second Golden Shears Open win in 2014, Smith shore the 20 sheep in 16min 36sec, and ultimately won by almost four points from runner-up and four-times Golden Shears champion John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, with Te Kuiti shearer Mark Grainger taking third place, in another step-forward after claiming only his second Open win last week in Tauranga.

Martin shearer Jacob Moore, a university graduate who has also trained as a schoolteacher, had a similarly-big win in a 10-sheep Senior shearing final, finishing more than a minute quicker than the next-best with an eventual margin of almost four points over runner-up and 2015 New Zealand Intermediate champion Kaleb Foote.

The smile says it all as Kim Sowry learns of her win in the Taihape Open woolhandling final.

Open shearer or undercover reporter, Paerata Abraham, of Shedtalk, in action as a bit of rain starts at Taihape.

Academically triumphant shearers also won the Intermediate and Junior finals, the Intermediate by 2015 New Zealand Junior champion Ricci Stevens, a graduate of Massey University, and the Junior by Canterbury University commerce student Jordan Hart.

The competition might not have sounded like the best business deal in the World for Hart, but it didn't matter. At the end of the day, the 25-year-old Canterbury University's winning cheque of $250 was barely enough to cover the loss of a day's work and the day's costs, but he said: "It's all worth it when you win." From Blenheim, but currently working for Southern Hawke's Bay contractors the Sutton brothers, Hart had had only one previous win at his home Marlborough A and P Show in Blenheim in November and missed out in Levin last week at his first show of 2016.

But today it clicked, making his way into the final from an initial field of 30 in the heats but just getting home in the final by a tenth of a point from event favourite Morgan Hughes, from Llangollen, Wales.

"I was just hoping to make the top six," said Hart.

A Marlborough College old boy from Blenheim, where father Ken is a shearing contractor, Hart was 25 seconds quicker than the next-fastest in the final, in which 12 shearers shore four sheep each.

His time of 8min 3sec gave him a significant time-points margin of over two points, which proved just enough to hold-out against the better quality of the five others in the podium finish.

Smith and Haynes dominate Tapawera Shears - January 23, 2016

World champion Rowland Smith and 2015 Golden Shears runner-up Aaron Haynes saved the day as pressure of work significantly limited entries at the latest Top of the South show at Tapawera today.

They were among just 14 shearers who competed across the four grades, and as expected dominated the Open grade which attracted eight of the entries.

The pair flew from Wellington to Nelson in the morning and then drove the 50km-plus south on State Highway 6 to Tapawera where Smith shore the 18-sheep final in 16min 24.65sec and winning by 9pts from Haynes who claimed second place. Smith also won the Cleanshear and in the evening won a Speedshear at the Tapawera Hotel.

Regular Top of the South top placegetters Tony Nott and Chris Jones, both of Blenheim, were third and fourth, while local Jotham Rentoul won the Open Plate.

Collingwood shearer Andrew Ferrguson made it three-out-of-four in the region's senior events this season but had just two other rivals, Alex Drake, of Renwick, beat Duncan Higgins, of Havelock, in a two-man Intermediate shootout, and Higgins' sister, Sarah, shore alone to claim Junior honours.

Winning weekend north and south for champion Smith - January 24, 2016

World champion shearer Rowland Smith continued on his winning way when he won the Horowhenua Shearing Championships Open final at the Levin A., P. and I Show today.

Having also won at Tapawera, south of Nelson, on Saturday, it was Smith's 18th win in 20 finals since March 2014, including the World Championships in Ireland a few weeks later.

He's unbeaten in five finals this season, and also claimed a rare speedshear win at the Tarawera Hotel on Saturday night. The runner-up today was Feilding shearer Aaron Haynes, who was also second at Tapawera but who, despite having finished second in last year's Golden Shears Open final, is yet to record an Open-class win, after almost six seasons of trying.

Pongaroa shearer David Buick shore bravely to avoid being the only one in Smith's wake not to be beaten by more than a sheep in the 15-sheep final, which Smith shore in 13min 51sec. With Haynes and fourth finalist Hemi Bradick, of Eketahuna, a sheep behind by the end of No 6, Buick looked likely to be soon to follow, but ultimately fought through to still be within 40 seconds at the end.

Haynes, however, picked-off the second prizemoney by having the best quality points..

Taranaki shearer Darren Alexander won the Senior title by 0.45pts from Levin shearer Michael Rolston and the champion continued a trend of playing good-host to shearers from overseas, with both the Intermediate and Junior titles going abroad.

Australian Lee Harris, 25, from Hamilton, Vic, made it two-from-two for the weekend in the Intermediate grade, adding today's title to his first in New Zealand at Tauranga on Saturday.

The Junior final was won by Morgan Hughes, from Llangollen in Wales, and who won his first title in New Zealand in Wairoa last week.

Harris, shearing for Masterton contractor Shear Expertise, will stay in the country to compete at the Golden Shears in Masterton on March 3-5, but said he might return later for the New Zealand Championships in Te Kuiti, trying to add a major New Zealand title to the best of his four wins in Australia, the Australian national Intermediate title he won at Carcoar in 2014.

Win No 2 finally arrives for Mark Grainger - January 23, 2016

Te Kuiti shearer Mark Grainger gained deserved reward for perseverance when he won the Open final at the Tauranga A and P Show today.

Now in his seventh season in the Open class, it was just his second win in the top ranks, and ended a long wait since his first Open win at Taumarunui in February 2014.

Tauranga had, however, been a happy hunting ground for Grainger, who became the fourth different winner of the Tauranga title in four years.

He was third to Digger Balme in 2013, and to David Fagan in 2014, and was runner-up last year to Cam Ferguson. He had also twice shorn for Tauranga show selections against visiting Welsh national teams.

This time the four-man final over 10 lambs was a battle between two shearers trying to make the big breakthrough. Masterton shearer Paerata Abraham was first to finish, taking 6min 28.4sec and beating Grainger by over 20 seconds, but Grainger got the eventual nod by just 0.345pts. Abraham was second, Adam Brausch, also just moved to Masterton, was third, and Balme was fourth.

Whangamomona shearer Darren Alexander continued a march towards Open class when he comfortably won the Senior final, while the lower grade money went to visitors from overseas, Australian shearer Lee Harris winning the Intermediate final by 0.41pts 0.38pts from Welsh shearer James McKenzie, and the Junior final being won by French shearer Jeremy Leygonie, his first win in New Zealand coming a week after finishing second in his first New Zealand final, at Wairoa.

World champ heads for Tapawera - January 22, 2016

Budding shearing champions from the Nelson and Marlborough region will have the chance to see the World's best in action when champion Rowland Smith competes at the Tapawera Shears tomorrow(Saturday).

Smith, who won the World title in Ireland in 2014 and last weekend started a bid to defend it next year by winning the first two rounds of as New Zealand team selection series confirmed earlier this week he planned to shear at Tapawera.

Near invincible over the last two years, with 16 wins in 18 finals dating back to the 2014 Golden Shears win which put him into the World Championships two months later,

The former Northland and now Hawke's Bay shearer and farmer said he will compete at Tapawera to get starters points to be eligible for the South Island Shearer of the Year final.

Shearers must compete in at least four shows in the South Island to be eligible for SISOY finals at the Southern Shears in Gore next month.

Tapawera, just under 60km south of Nelson on SH6, has hosted World champions or prospective World champions in the past, but they are rare appearances in the region.

Event organiser Kerry Irvine says he hopes the appearance will attract younger hopefuls to both see the champion and compete in their own grades, although the pressure of work as shearing backs-up following recent rain in the region threatens to limit entries to some degree.

About 320 sheep have been prepared for the shears which start at 10am, with competition in all four grades from Junior to Open, along with a Cleanshear. The event will be followed with a speedshear tomorrow night at the Tapawera Hotel, starting at 7pm.

While there are 60 competitions during the season on the Shearing Sports New Zealand calendar during the season, the Tapawera Shears is the only event in the South Island this weekend, while there are three in the North Island, at Warkworth and Tauranga on Saturday, and Levin on Sunday.

Condolence s after death of young shearer Michael Herlihy - January 18, 2016

Shearing Sports New Zealasnd chairman Sir David Fagan today expressed his condolences to the family of promising young shearer Michael Herlihy who died at the weekend.

Michael Jeremy (Mick) Herlihy, 20, from Taranaki, finished the 2014-2015 season No 2 on the Shearing Sports New Zealand Intermediate rankings and his death at Whangamomona on Saturday (January 16) happened less than a fortnight before he and five older brothers were to tackle a World record.

His performances last season included wins at Stratford, Levin, Apiti and the Flaxbourne show in the South Island, but the major feature was third place at the Golden Shears where he was also top qualifier among the 46 shearers in the heats and claimed the FMG Quality Award for the grade.

He was also an Intermediate finalist at the New Zealand Championships in Te Kuiti, where he had previously been a Junior finalist, while his biggest single win in New Zealand was the national lambshearing championships Junior final at Raglan in 2013.

Raised in Taranaki, the son of former long-time shearing contractor John Herlihy and wife Pat - now farming at Whangamomona - Michael Herlihy and older brothers Paul, Mark, Craig, Tim and Dean were planning a six-stand lambshearing record attempt to be held on January 26. He also had two sisters and a young child.

The record attempt, across country at Paparatu Station, Manutuke, where Tim Herlihy is head shepherd, has been called-off, and a funeral will be held on the same day at the Whangamomona Hall.

Sir David said that the sports and industry of shearing, much wider than just in New Zealand, was shocked by the sudden death and their thoughts were with the Herlihy family and their close friends..

Vast outpourings of condolences and grief on social media reflect the respect for a young competitor who was prepared to travel the length of the country chasing his goals, and also be an inspiration to those around him.

Taranaki shear Michael (Micky) Herlihy, who died on January 16.

World champ Rowland Smith on target for repeat in 2017 - January 16, 2016

World champion shearer Rowland Smith has made himself an early favourite to successfully defend his title in Invercargill next year by dominating the opening rounds of the New Zealand team selection series in Southland during the weekend.

At the Winton A and P Show on Saturday, Smith added the New Zealand crossbred lambshearing Open title to the Northern Southland Community Shears title he won on full-wooled ewes the previous day.

The two wins give him a maximum 16pts start in the series which is based on points for placings in a six-round series which leads to a series final at the Canterbury Show in November and the naming of two New Zealand representatives for the machine shearing at the World Championships in ILT Stadium on February 9-11, 2017.

In the woolhandling, Pagan Rimene, of Alexandra, successfully defended the Winton lambshearing title with a narrow win over 2012 World champion Joel Henare, of Gisborne, reversing their placings from the previous day's Lumsden event and giving each a handy 15pts from the selection series' first weekend.

More than 60 took part in Saturday's Open events, just over half of all the competitors across the four shearing classes and three woolhandling events.

The six-man shearing final over 20 lambs each was an exciting contest, with Smith and 2014 World Championships teammate John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, finishing almost together in 17min 4sec.

While Kirkpatrick had the better board shearing points, Smith was superior in the pen judging and won by 1.25pts. Smith has been almost invincible since winning his second Golden Shears Open title in Masterton in March 2014, having shorn in at least 18 finals and being beaten just twice.

In Saturday's woolhandling final, it was the board job that counted most, with Rimene's 3pts advantage crucial to her win after Henare had the faster time, and the pair carded identical oddments and fleece marks.

Masterton's Dylan McGruddy added to a good record in the south by winning the Senior shearing final, having last year won on the long wooled ewes at Lumsden and the second-shear sheep at the Otago Championships. Gore's Lionel Taumata made it two-wins in two days and five for the season with victory by 1pt over Hawke's Bay visitor Heni Lambert in the Intermediate final, and Brandon Maguire Ratima, of Winton, had his first Junior win, beating Wyndham shearer and Lumsden winner Jesse Barclay.

Henare's wife, Erica, won the Senior woolhandling final after finishing runner-up to Gore's Sharon Tuhakaraina at Lumsden, while Scottish lassie and 2015 Golden Shears novice champion Claire Wilson, from Lanarkshire, had her first Junior win in New Zealand.

King bags win in surprise appearance at Wairoa show - January 16, 2016

Reigning New Zealand Open champion Dion King's decision to bypass a World Championships opportunity and then make a late call to travel from his new home in Wairarapa paid off when he won the Wairoa A and P Show Open shearing final today.

King, a Hastings shearer who recently bought a farm east of Masterton, had entered the New Zealand World Championships selection series and would have been in Southland, had he not decided during the week he couldn't spare the time away from the new venture.

And it was only a last-minute decision which took him on the three-and-a-half hour drive to Wairoa, where he hadn't won since 2011, and where he had been runner-up the last two years in a row. Last year he tied with Pongaroa shearer David Buick, who claimed the title on superior pen points.

This time Buick, 2014 winner Rowland Smith and 2013 victor Cam Ferguson were all absent, the biggest challenge to King's favouritism to win in the four-man 20-sheep final, shorn in temperatures of about 30deg being Gisborne shearer Tama Niania, whose only previous Open win was at Wairoa in 2012.

From a field of 10 shearing two rounds of heats, Hawke's Bay-based Tipene Te Whata, from the Far North, qualified for the final and finished third.

Veteran and event convenor Bart Hadfield, who the previous night had won the show speedshear, was fourth, ending a week being followed by a County Calendar Tv crew preparing a show based on his farming operation at Mangaroa Station north of Wairoa, and his win with wife Nukuhia in the 2015 Ahuwhenua Trophy competition for Maori excellence in sheep and beef farming.

Gisborne shearer Bevan Pere continued on his winning way in the Senior final, in which French shearers Loic Leygonie and Julien Dincq were second and third, on a unique day in which French shearers also featured in the Intermediate and Junior finals.

Napier shearers dominated the Intermediate final, won by Paraki Puna, who had one win as a Junior and had shorn just one previous Intermediate final. Riccie Stevens, who won the New Zealand Championships Junior final in Te Kuiti last year, was second, and Loic Jauberthie, from Martel, in France, was third.

The Junior final was won by Morgan Hughes, from Llangollen, Wales, beating runner-up Jeremy Leygonie, also of Martel, in France, by 3.7pts.

The international lineup at Wairoa, intermediate finalists James McKenzie from Wales and Jeremy Leygonie, from France, and Junior champion Morgan Hughes, from Wales.

Smith and Henare off to good start at Lumsden - January 15, 2016

Reigning World champion shearer Rowland Smith and 2012 champion woolhandler Joel Henare each got their bids for another shot at the big title when they won their respective finals at the Northern Southland Community Shears today.

The events doubled as the opening rounds of a tough New Zealand team selection series which doesn't end until November, when two machine shearers, two woolhandlers and two bladeshearers will be named to represent New Zealand at the next World shearing and woolhandling championships in Invercargill's ILT Stadium on February 9-11, 2017.

Points will be awarded for placings during the six rounds, which include the Golden Shears in Masterton in March and the New Zealand Championships soon afterwards in Te Kuit. The top competitors in the six rounds will contest New Zealand team selection finals at the Canterbury Show.

Yesterday at North Range, Smith won a six-man Northern Southland Open final at North Range, despite the attempts by Taranaki farmer and 2012 World champion Gavin Mutch to blow the race apart by shearing his 20-sheep in 17min 53sec, beating Smith off the board by 52 seconds.

Smith was able to maintain the quality to ultimately win by just over a point from Southland hope Nathan Stratford, a New Zealand representative striving for World Championships selection for the first time.

Two-times World teams champion and 2013 Northern Southland shears winner John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, was third, 2000 World Championships representative and second Southland hope Darin Forde was fourth, and rising prospect Aaron Haynes, of Feilding was fifth.

Mutch, a Scotsman and therefore not eligible to represent New Zealand, sacrificed quality and had to settle for sixth place.

Henare, from Gisborne, was made to work hard for his win in the woolhandling final at Lumsden Hills. Being first to finish, he scraped home by a narrow margin from defending champion Pagan Rimene, with Monica Potae, of Milton, third, and Rimene's sister, Larnie Morrell, of Masterton, fourth.

Top 2014-2015 Intermediate shearer Kaleb Foote, of Waikaretu and who was runner-up at the Golden Shears last March and winner of a New Zealand title at Te Kuiti a few weeks later, claimed his first win in New Zealand after being promoted grade with a commanding win by almost seven points over Jacob Moore, of Marton, in the Senior final.

Southland competitors cleaned up the lower grades, with Lionel Taumata, from Taumarunui but based in Gore, and Wyndham's Jesse Barclay winning the Intermediate and Junior shearing finals respectively, and Sharon Tuhakaraina and Waimarama Manukau, both of Gore, winning the Senior and Junior woolhandling finals respectively.

The second rounds of the selection series are today (Saturday) at the Southland Shears, incorporating the national crossbred lambs shearing and woolhandling championships at the Winton A and P Show.

Sharon Tuhakaraina as she was pictured in the Southland Times on her way to winning the Northern Southland Community Shears Junior woolhandling final at Lumsden Hills.

Big chance for up and comers at shearing comps north and south - January 13, 2016

Budding open class shearing stars who've hovered in the shadows of the champions over the years have a chance to make up some lost ground in a variety of A and P show competitions throughout New Zealand on Saturday.

The big guns will be competing in the first two rounds of Shearing Sports New Zealand's 2017 World championships qualifying series at the Northern Southland Community Shears on Friday and the Southland Shears' national crossbred lambs shearing and woolhandling championships at the Winton A and P Show on Saturday.

But there are three other shearing competitions on Saturday, at the Kaikohe Agricultural, Pastoral and Horticultural Show at the Ngawha Showgrounds in the Far North, the Wairoa A and P Show in Northern Hawke's Bay, and the Golden Bay A and P Show at Takaka at the top of the South Island.

The Kaikohe is the first of six show shearing competitions north of Auckland this season, including the Kumeu show shears which have been revived this year.

Shearing at all the shows takes place in all four classes from Open to Junior, with events at Kaikohe on Saturday starting at 10.30am, a novice event starting the shearing at Wairoa at 9am and the Golden Bay events starting at 10am.

Guns line-up to defend southern honour at Lumsden and Winton - January 12, 2016


Organisers of the Northern Southland Community Shears are hopeful of a late surge of lower grade entries for the events being held in two woolsheds near Lumsden on Friday.

While the Open shearing and woolhandling events are each expected to have over 20 competitors as a compulsory start in a New Zealand World championships team selection series, none of the other classes had more than five entries at the start of the week, said shears secretary Patsy Shirley.

Entries are listed as closing on Wednesday but Mrs Shirley says: "Most likely we will get more on the day. A lot of them usually do leave it till the last minute."

It's part of a big week for the shearing sports in Southland, where the next World championships will be held in Invercargill on February 9-11 next year.

The Northern Southland shearing in Open, Senior, Intermediate and Junior classes will be held at North Range starting at 8am on Friday, while the woolhandling in Open, Senior and Junior classes will start at 9am at Lumsden Hills.

The Southland Shears, incorporating the national crossbred lambs shearing and woolhandling championships will be held at the Winton A and P Show on Saturday starting at 8am.

But a big attraction will also be three nights of hotel speedshears, at the Otautau Railway Hotel on Thursday, Winton's Middle Pub (Central Southland Lodge) on Friday, and the Colac Bay Tavern on Saturday.

Southland shearers are expected to have a big hand in the major Open shearing events, headed by Nathan Stratford, who won the Lumsden title last year based on a quality shear which pegged-back three points after he'd finished a sheep behind King Country legend David Fagan.

Now Sir David Fagan, the North Island shearer beat Stratford by more than a minute and-a-half in the Winton final over 20 lambs each the next day, a time-points advantage of over 4pts which just enabled him to stop Stratford winning that title for a second year in a row.

Now retired, Sir David won't be in Southland this weekend, but Stratford is expected to face tough opposition from fellow Southland guns Leon Samuels, who was third in both events last year, and Troy Pyper, who was fourth in the Lumsden final in a season which saw him reach his first Golden Shears Open final in Masterton, and win selection in the New Zealand transtasman series team.

The North Island challenge this year is expected to be headed by Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick and Wairarapa guns David Buick and Dion King, who recently moved from Hawke's Bay to a farm east of Masterton.

Pyper said he's "excited" to be able to get amongst some strong fields in Southland and it should make for some big contests.

Alexandra woolhandler Pagan Rimene is expected back to defend the unique Open woolhandling titles double she scored in winning both the Lumsden and Winton finals last year, following a lambs win at Winton the previous year. Golden Shears champion and 2014 Lumsden winner Joel Henare is also a starter, along with 2013 Winton winner Keryn Herbert, who has been in the finals at both Lumsden and Winton for the last two years.

New solo ewes record bids confirmed - January 10, 2016

Two World solo shearing records will be made on either side of the Tasman just two days apart next month.

The attempts, confirmed to the World Sheep Shearing Records Society, will be on the eight-hour finewool and strongwool ewes records - the first by Australia shearer Beau Guelfi in West Australia on February 6 and the second by Southland shearer Leon Samuels on February 8.

Guelfi targets a record 466 finewool merinos set by Australia-based New Zealand shearer Cartwright Terry 13 years ago, while Samuels is out to beat the strongwool record of 603 set by King Country shearer Stacey Te Huia in December 2010.

Samuels' bid will take place at Argyle Station, Waikaia, east of Lumsden, in Southland, and will be the first solo record attempt in the South Island since 2008 when Jimmy Clarke set what was then a new eight-hours record of 560.

The bids have been confirmed by society secretary Hugh McCarroll, who said it's costing each contender $US1800 (about $2713 today) to lodge their application, to help cover travel and accommodation costs for the society judges who in each case will include at least one from the opposite side of the Tasman.

"They've certainly got to be committed," he said.

Both men are already in the record books, Guelfi in a three-stand record in April 2014 when he shore 461 and fell just five short of the solo record, and Samuels in a four-stand lambshearing record in 2013.

Their attempts will take to six the number taking place this summer while the first challenges under the society's rules in the UK are expected later in the year, rounding-off the busiest year for the society.

Three have already been held, while the next is on January 26 when Taranaki brothers Paul, Mark, Craig, Tim, Dean and Michael Herlihy will attempt to establish an six-stand lambshearing record for eight hours at Paparatu Station, Manutuke, near Gisborne.

Coster gets New Year under way at Duvauchelle Shears - January 10, 2016

New Zealand representative shearer Tony Coster got the New Year off to a good start by retaining the Peninsula Duvauchelle Shears open title on Saturday.

Although shearing in the Canterbury area for more than 25 years, the Rakaia shearer won the title for the first time last year, and this year won by over 6pts from runner-up Shaun Burgess, also of Rakaia.

It was the first competition in the post-Christmas stage of the Shearing Sports New Zealand calendar, which steps up at the Northern Southland Community Shears next Friday when Coster and more than 20 others contest the first round of a series aimed at finding two national representatives for the machine shearing at the 2017 World Championships in Invercargill.

The show featured the first Senior win for Chilean shearer Luis Pincol, there was local success in the Intermediate final won by Edward Harrington, of Akaroa, and Golden Shears Novice champion Sarah Higgins won the Junior final.

Entries were light, with 22 shearers competing across the grade, including nine in the Open heats.

Results from the Peninsula Duvauchelle Shears on Saturday, January 9:

NZ World Champs selection series draws 46 hopefuls - January 9, 2016

World champs selection NZ selection series entries update, 11am Friday

Entries for the machine shearing and woolhandling World Championships New Zealand team selection series have closed with 46 competitors set for the long haul, starting at the Northern Southland Community Shears in Lumsden on January 15 and ending with the naming of the team at the Canterbury Show in November.

The 23 shearers include 2010 World Champion Cam Ferguson, who has not yet competed this season, after breaking a leg at touch football as the season was about to begin.

Cometitors must compete at all six preliminary events, shearers at Lumsden (longwool), Winton (lambs), Balclutha (longwool), Golden Shears (second shear), New Zealand Championships (second shear) and Hawke's Bay (longwool) while woolhandlers compete Lumsden, Winton, Golden Shears (longwool), NZ Championships (second shear), Waimate (longwool) and Hawke's Bay (longwool).

The top six shearers and top six woolhandlers will qualify for the selection series finals in Christchurch, after which two shearers and two woolhandlers will be named, along with two bladeshearers, for the 2017 World Championships.

Shearing: Paerata Abraham, Abraham Berkelaar, David Buick, Tony Coster, Turi Edmonds, Jack Fagan, Cam Ferguson, Darin Forde, Mark Grainger, Aaron Haynes, Murray Henderson, Dion King, John Kirkpatrick, Andy Mainland, Shaun Mathieson, Angus Moore, Troy Pyper, Brett Roberts, Leon Samuels, Rowland Smith, Nathan Stratford, Matt Tumohe, Sam Welch.

Woolhandling: Cushla Abraham, Sheree Alabaster, Maryanne Baty, Emaraina Braddick, Chelsea Collier, Tina Elers, Amy Lee Ferguson, Bernadette Forde, Joel Henare, Keryn Herbert, Candy Hiri, Amy Karaka, Juliette Lyon, Dallas Mihaere, Trish Moke-Ludlow, Ratapu Moore, Larnie Morrell, Leah Paki, Anita Philips, Monica Potae, Tia Potae, Pagan Karauria (Rimene), Tina Rimene, Foonie Waihape, Huia Whyte-Puna.

Another record bid ends early - January 7, 2016

An attempt to break a shearing record that has stood for 17 years was called-off early today after the shearers and judges agreed at the lunch break that the goal was out of reach

Shearing at the Carter family property in Sargent's Rd, south of Te Kuiti, Ringakaha Paewai, of Gore, Craig Fagan, of Te Kuiti, and Peter-lee Ratima, from Aria, were attempting the three-stand eight-hour lambshearing record of 1784 held by King Country shearers Richard "Digger" Balme, Roger Neil and Dean Ball since January 1999.

But by lunch it was clear the bid, of four two-hour runs between 7am and 5pm, was behind target with just 856 lambs shorn at the halfway stage. Tallies for the shearers were Ringakaha Paewai 298 (149, 149), Craig Fagan 286 (144, 142), and Peter-lee Ratima 272 (135, 137).

Fagan had been a late replacement for Canterbury shearer Aidan Copp, who had pulled-out of the attempt because of injury.

No record, but Te Huia shears on for team and whanau - January 5, 2016

Te Kuiti shearer Stacey Te Huia's bid for another record today was abandoned early today, but he shore on for the team and whanau.

Starting the attempt at 5am at Mangarata-Taratahi Ag Training Centre near Te Ore Ore, northeast of Masterton, Te Huia was never able to get onto the pace of over 80 an hour to break the record of 721 set by Hawke's Bay shearer Rodney Sutton almost nine years ago.

Going into morning smoko after 3hrs 45mins, Te Huia had shorn 281 - 17 shy of the tally at the equivalent stage of Sutton's record in January 2007.

After a short discussion with the four World Sheep Shearing Records Society judges it was decided to call off the attempt, but Te Huia returned to the board to shear for the sake of his workers and their big day out, and late daughter Shaylyn whose picture hung above the shearing stand.

Ultimately, he posted a personal best of 708, but without the official assent of his three official records already in the book - the eight-hour record of 603 set in December 2010, a two-stand record of 1341 in nine hours shorn with Waikaretu shearer Sam Welch in January 2012, and the nine-hour adult merinos (finewool) tally of 530 shorn in Australia in February 2015.

Te Huia, who first entered the record books as a 20-year-old when he and brother Hayden set a two-stand record at the end of 1999, shore just 151 of the romney-coopworth ewes in the two hours to breakfast at 7am today. Despite being off the pace, he was relaxed as he breakfasted on the standard kiwi munch of sausages, eggs and bacon and was massaged simultaneously in preparation for the all-telling 1hr 45min second run from 8am-9.45am.

Stacey Huia on his stand, the photo above of daughter and former Golden Shears Novice woolhandling champion Shaylyn, who died in March 2015.

South Island contractor Dion Morrell, whose 1995 record of 716 has been bettered only twice, said the record was still "do-able" at that stage, but Te Huia had a lot of ground to make up.

There was drama on the eve of the attempt as four 10-sheep sample shears were needed in front of judges Mark Baldwin, of Australia, Ian Buchanan and Bart Hadfield (North Island) and South Island official Colin Gibson.

The first three each fell just short of the combined minimum requirement of 30kg - an average of 3kg per sheep - and Te Huia was given one last chance, in which the weight came to 33.9kg.

Former multiple record holder Sir David Fagan, at home in Te Kuiti and who had planned to get to the record attempt later in the day if it was still on, recalled an worse outcome when he was preparing for his first record attempt in Southland more than 30 years ago.

"I'd gone home to sleep before the record," he said. "My brother John came and knocked on the door, it must have been 9.30pm, and said it was off. I said what do you mean? It can't be, I'm ready. I was gutted."

Media action as Maori Television meets the Te Huia whanau

The World congratulates Sir David - January 3, 2016

A wave of global congratulation has followed the announcement that Te Kuiti shearing legend David Fagan became a Knight in the New Year Honours.

Shearing Sports New Zealand's first facebook post soon after the Thursday 5am announcement, confirming its chairman is now Sir David Fagan, reached 2000 people in less than an hour before most of New Zealand had awoken to the news, and more than 40,000 in less than 48 hours.

The regard for the five times World individual champion and winner of 642 finals in an international Open-class competition career spanning 33 years, was highlighted by Wales team manager Martyn David, soon to bring a team to New Zealand.

Almost 150 of the wins were in the UK, where Sir David, 54, bowed-out in a 2-all drawn series against Wales last July.

In a message of congratulations on the facebook page, Mr David said: "One of the main reasons the standard of shearing has improved in our shearers in Wales is because you have raised the bar so high over the years."

The response overwhelmed Sir David, who became chairman of the national organisation in August and appreciates he has a year of hard work ahead as he and a trust set up to run the next World Championships in Invercargill next year on February strive to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the event.

Sir David spent much of the day at his family holiday home at Whangamata, where he was visited and congratulated late-morning by SSNZ executive officer Hugh McCarroll, who lives at Whangamata and who had himself been recognised with an MNZM in the 2013 Queen's Birthday Honours.

"I went and had a coffee with him...He was painting the deck," said Mr McCarroll.

For Sir David, life had to go on and it was soon back to the farm near Te Kuiti looking after cows, the water and the troughs.

"That's what you do, you have to watch them this time of the year," he said. And of the extent of response on the relatively foreign World of social media, he offered a relatively rustic expression and embellishment: "Sh...! It's quite overwhelming, humbling."

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