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Fair bet for rising shears champion Smith - March 29, 2011

A second win in the three weeks since finishing runner-up at the Golden Shears has seen Far North shearer Rowland Smith installed as the TAB's most favoured pick to beat prolific champion John Kirkpatrick in the Hawke's Bay gun's bid to win a third New Zealand Open Shearing Championship this week.

With Kirkpatrick the clear favourite paying a surprisingly loose $2 to win the final in Te Kuiti on Saturday night, Smith has been made second-favourite at $4, heading-off reigning champion and King Country hero David Fagan, who was quoted at $6 when the TAB opened three books on the event yesterday.

The TAB also has options on top-three finishes and for shearers to make the six-man final, with Kirkpatrick again the hot favourite at $1.10 and $1.22 respectively after winning 15 finals during the season, and finishing in the top three in seven others.

Kirkpatrick, who won his third Golden Shears Open title in Masterton on March 5, won the NZ Open in 2008 and 2009 but was a shock premature elimination last year when Fagan won for a 17th time, just edging surprise runner-up Smith.

The TAB, which also has win betting on the NZ Open woolhandling title, has gone largely with Golden Shears form, the main exception being keeping World Champion Cam Ferguson honest at $9, after the Central Hawke's Bay shearer's surprise quaterfinals elimination when defending his Golden Shears title in Masterton.

The New Zealand Championships start on Thursday with eight shearing and woolhandling championships to be decided, along with the North Island Shearer of the Year and New Zealand Shears Circuit titles. Other features include a test between New Zealand and Wales, expected to be World champion pair Ferguson and Fagan's last appearance together in the black singlet, and an inter-island match in which the North Island shearing and woolhandling team will be out to avenge the South's triumph at the Southern Shears in Gore in February.

Prime Minister John Key is again an official guest in the town which will also stage it's Running of the Sheep on Saturday afternoon.

Almost 40 shearers have been quoted by the TAB in its shearing championships win odds. Leading hopes are:

$2 John Kirkpatrick
$4 Rowland Smith
$6 David Fagan
$9 Cam Ferguson
$12 Paul Avery
$20 Dion King
$25 Adam Brausch
$30 Dean Ball, Nathan Stratford
$40 Digger Balme, James Fagan, Jason Win

Rowland pins big shears hopes - March 27, 2011

Far North shearing giant and rising Open competition star Rowland Smith restated his chances of winning a first New Zealand Championship when he beat all of the favourites at the Taranaki Shears in Stratford today.

Although just beaten off the board in a race won by Te Kuiti's Digger Balme, who shore his 20 sheep in 15 minutes, Smith scored one of the season's wider Open final winning margins in the final count. He beat runner-up Cam Ferguson, the current World champion, by almost four points, with King Country icon David Fagan third. Whanganui's Jerome McCrea was next, Balme suffered in the quality points judging and had to settle for fifth, and sixth was home-town hero Paul Avery.

It was the 25-year-old Smith's fourth big Open final win of the season, and second since finishing second to Napier's John Kirkpatrick in the Golden Shears Open final on March 5.

A showdown with the 40-year-old Kirkpatrick today dissipated when the favourite failed to make the six-man final, missing-out by just one place in what was the first time he'd missed the cut this season. With 15 wins in 22 finals, Kirkpatrick is still expected to be a warm favourite with the TAB to win his third New Zealand Open title this week in Te Kuiti, where Smith was a surprise runner-up to Fagan last year.

It was a big day for Northland shearers, with Bevan Guy, of Kaeo, beating Golden Shears winner Matene Mason, of Masterton, to win the Senior final, and youngest brother Marshall Guy winning the novice final. Another brother, Bryce, was runner-up in the Junior final to Kimbolton youngster Simon Goss, whose sister, Sarah, was second in the Intermediate final won by Fagan's son, Jack.

Six-months-pregnant former World champion Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape, won the Open woolhandling final, in which World teams champions partner Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu, was second. The senior woolhandling final was won by Emaraina Braddick, of Eketahuna, with Emma Bolton, of Taihape, second, and the junior woolhandling final was won by Feilding's Monique Taylor, who was also third in the novice shearing final.

The weekend's other scheduled event, the Waitomo Caves Sports in the King Country, was cancelled on Saturday because of rain.

Click here for the results

Kiwi shearers still too good - March 21, 2011

World champions Cam Ferguson and David Fagan maintained New Zealand's almost unbeaten record against visiting shearers from the UK with a record-breaking win over Welshmen Gareth Daniel and Wyn Jones at the Waimarino Shears in Raetihi on Saturday.

New Zealand has never been beaten by Wales in a shearing test in New Zealand, and the only win over New Zealand by any team from the UK in this country was 15 years ago, when Scotland won the 1996 World title after the Kiwis' shock disqualification in the final in Masterton.

Daniel, who was third to Ferguson and Fagan in last year's World Championships individual final in Wales, battled valiantly to match the Kiwis for pace in Saturday's 12-sheep contest, the first of two tests following a three-way clash in which he and Jones were beaten by New Zealand and a British Isles team at the Golden Shears on March 4.

Ferguson, from Waipawa, was first to finish, clocking 11min 26sec, beating Fagan, from Te Kuiti, by six seconds. Daniel, of Penegoes, Machynlleth, was just two seconds later, but Jones still had one more to shear alone on the board and finished in 13min. But the Kiwis were also far too clean and won by more than 17pts, a record margin for shearing tests between the two countries.

The Welsh shear matches against local competition selections at the Waitomo Caves Shears and the Taranaki Shears next Saturday and Sunday, and shear the second test against New Zealand at the New Zealand Championships in Te Kuiti on April 2.

Meanwhile, Napier gun John Kirkpatrick, who had to settle for third in the Kumeu Shears last week in his first outing since winning his third Golden Shears Open title on March 5, returned to winning form by taking the 20-sheep Waimarino Open final. Finishing in 18min 6sec, he beat Ferguson by 15 seconds, and ultimately claimed the title by a point-and-a-half, with Paul Avery, of Toko (Taranaki) third, and Dean Ball, of Te Kuiti, fourth.

Matene Mason, of Masterton, Michael Rolston, of Levin, and Charlie Guy, of Kaeo, also maintained their winning form from the Golden Shears in the Senior, Junior and Novice finals respectively, while well-travelled Mataura teenager Brett Roberts returned to winning form with a double in the Intermediate finals of the Waimarino Shears and the Brannigan Circuit. Bevan Guy, of Kaeo, turned the tables on Mason to win the Senior circuit final.

No pressure for Kirkpatrick in third Golden Shears Open triumph - March 06, 2011

Respect for the victims of the Christchurch earthquake may have been the crucial ingredient as Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick annihilated a field of the World's best to win his third Golden Shears Open championship in Masterton on Saturday night.

Wife Raylene commented shortly before the six-man final, which took place in stifling�on-stage heat but still producing the fourth-fastest time in the event's 51 years, that it was the calmest she had ever seen her husband before any of his 14 Golden Shears finals in the last 15 years.

Often giving the impression of a man carrying a lot of pressure to perform, but still excelling through a myriad of winning efforts, he had commented after the February 22 earthquake that the pressure was nothing compared with what the people of Canterbury were enduring.

Already the warm favourite to repeat his 2002 and 2008 Golden Shears triumphs, the 40-year-old settled and got on with the job, winning two of three finals he competed in the weekend before returning to Masterton's War Memorial Stadium where the Shears have been held each year since its inception in 1961..

Te Kuiti veteran Dean Ball, who ultimately had to settle for the minor money in shearing the final for a 13th time still without winning, was one who recognised the controlled focus, and knew Kirkpatrick was the man to beat.

Kirkpatrick did all that was needed as 98 shearers ventured through the heats on Friday and qualified seventh for the Top 30 quarterfinal Shootout that night.

He was then top-qualifier for the semi-final and then into the final which cemented the swinging of shearing bragging-right from King Country to Hawke's Bay.

The top four qualifiers, including two newcomers, eventual runner-up Rowland Smith, from Ruawai in the Far North, and Adam Brausch, of Dannevirke, all do most of their shearing in the Bay. The other was 2006 winner Dion King, of Hastings.

King Country's hopes, a shadow of some races in the 1980s when up to five from their territory occupied shearing's most famed stage, were led by Ball and icon David Fagan, marking 30 years since his first Golden Shears (third in the 1981 Senior final), and a milestone of 25 Open finals which brought 16 wins from 1986-2009.

With a packed stadium roaring from the start of the showdown just after 9pm, the blow-for-blow combat of the first few moments soon became the jockey-sized Kirkpatrick's quarter-hour as the attention focused on the dimmer light of Stand 6 at the right-hand end of the board, where he blasted through his 20 sheep in 15min 50.823sec.

More than half-a-minute quicker than the 25-year-old, two-metres-tall Smith, who was next to finish, it was a time bettered in Golden Shears history only by Fagan's record 15min 27.4sec in 2003, and Kirkpatrick's own 15min 43.8sec in finishing runner-up that year, and 15min 35.43sec in winning in 2008.

Kirkpatrick was never going to have to worry that he might add to a record of seven second-placings, and his ultimate 1.987pts vistory over Smith was the biggest winning margin since he was beaten by King five years ago.

Fagan, to whom Kirkpatrick had been runner-up four times, was more than a sheep behind at the end but produced the final's best quality points to edge into third place overall, while King was fourth, as less than seven-tenths of a point covered the first-group of also-rans.

Ball claimed fifth, for the fifth time, 0.161pts clear of Brausch, a contemporary and workmate in Central Hawke's Bay of 2010 winner and World champion Cam Ferguson, who was eliminated in Friday night's quarterfinals with an early cut which incurred a maximum penalty of five points which put him out of contention.

Kirkpatrick has now won 14 of 20 competitions he's contested this season, consistency which made him an eventual $1.90 favourite with the TAB, which reported punting was 50 per cent up on last year's record figures, which shearing bookmaker Kieran McAnulty said highlighted the rocketing popularity of shearing sports.

Canterbury shearer Tony Coster guaranteed that despite the giant strides made by new faces at the top table in the shearing season there were still no new winners of the major titles, when his superior quality helped him claim the PGG Wrightson National Series final for a third year in a row.

Former Golden Shears senior champion Angus Moore, of Ward, made it a South Island quinella in the event shorn over 15 sheep of five different wool types, and 2006 winner Dion King was third, having won the race in 16min 49.65sec.

Fagan, winner of that title nine times, was eliminated along with Ferguson in the semi-finals on Saturday morning.

The jubilation Coster, Ferguson and Grant Smith, also of Rakaia, had shared when shearing New Zealand to a first transtasman win in Australia for eight years last October was dimmed in a stunning payback by Australians Shannon Warnest, of Willalooka, SA, Jim Dolphin, of Naracoorte, SA, and Bill Hutchison, of Gilgandra, WA, in the latest test, also on Saturday night.

Romping home by more than 11pts on almost no preparation after arriving in New Zealand midweek, they scored Australia's first win in New Zealand in six years, thanks mainly to 2005 win survivor and two-times World champion Warnest's fastest time of 16min 22.047sec for the 12 sheep comprising 6 merinos, 3 longwools and 3 second-shears.

Last off the board, two-and-a-half minutes later, Dolphin produced the best quality points, but there was still six points between Warnest and Dolphin finishing first and second on total points, with Smith next the best of the Kiwis.

On top of Kirkpatrick's win Joanne Kumeroa, of Whanganui, made it a double for those entering the naughty 40s in the major Golden Shears titles, when she won the Open woolhandling final, increasing her record number of triumphs in the event to five, dating back to 1995.

Working in Australia for much of the season, she only entered this year's reckoning when winning the Pre-Shears Championship at Riverside, near Masterton, last Wednesday.

Reigning New Zealand Open champion Joel Henare, of Gisborne, had to settle for second for a third year in a row, having reached the final in all his five seasons in the Open class.

Second-time-finalist and home-town hope Waimiere Peneha was third, and first-time Golden Shears Open finalist and sole remaining South Island prospect Robyne Murray, of Alexandra, was fourth.

Masterton teenager Matene Mason, whose debut Senior performance made him Australian Crossbred Champion 18 months ago, finally secured a Golden Shears title when he won a spectacular Senior final during a series of home-town triumphs on Saturday afternoon.

Junior runner-up in 2008, sixth in the Intermediate class in 2009, and fourth in the Senior final last year, Mason was fourth off the board behind Northlanders Tipene Te Whata (the fastest in 12min 27.04sec for 12 sheep) and 2009 Intermediate champion Bevan Guy, and reigning New Zealand Intermediate champion Tysson Hema, of Waipukurau.

But Mason topped the quality stakes and won by more than a point-and-a-half from Guy, with Southland shearer Jimmy Samuels third.

Sharnie Rimene, 30, provided another hometown victory by winning the Intermediate final, toppling favourite and 2010 Junior champion Brett Roberts, of Mataura, while 18-year-old Michael Rolston, 18, of Levin, won the Junior title, becoming only the third Howowhenua shearer to win a Golden Shears title, after Andy Taylor, of Shannon, in the 1962 Senior final, and John Poulton, of Levin, the 1992 Junior victor.

Rolston also completed a rare succession of four wins in nine days, having won at Taumarunui, Apiti and Pahiatua on the previous Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, shears his way to victory in the Golden Shears Open final in Masterton tonight (march 5). It was his third win in the glamour event, of which he has shorn in the final 14 times in 15 years and been runner-up seven times.

Joanne Kumeroa on her way to retaining the Open woolhandling title, and winning it for a fifth time since 1995.

Fiona Christensen, of Masterton, wins the Senior woolhandling title... She also won the women's woolpressing and the Triathlon (best points shearing, woolhandling, woolpressing). She has won 11 Golden Shears titles, and has amassed 24 Golden Shears ribbons.

International challenge: from left, the sponsor's representive, New Zealand manager Dave Carr and shearers David Fagan and Cam Ferguson, the BISCA team of Gavin Mutch and Ian Montgomery and manager Tom Wilson, and Welsh shearers Gareth Daniel and Wyn Jones, and manager Nick Beynon.

Matene Mason, of Masterton, wins the Senior shearing final, his first Golden Shears title after appearing in four successive finals, in Junior, Intermediate and two in the Senior class.

Intermediate finalists, from left Ray Southey (sponsor), winner Sharni Rimene, runner-up Brett Roberts, third-placed Turi Edmonds, fourth Jack Fagan, fifth Jake Rangiwai, and sixth Hemi Braddick.

Junior final (from left) winner Michael Rolston, runner-up Bryce Guy, third Tui Pene, sponsor Graeme Clegg, fourth David Gordon, fifth Simon Goss and sixth Matthew Spence.

John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, winning the 2011 Golden Shears Open championship final in Masterton Saturday

Junior final (from left) winner Michael Rolston, runner-up Bryce Guy, third Tui Pene, sponsor Graeme Clegg, fourth David Gordon, fifth Simon Goss and sixth Matthew Spence.

Ataneta Puna, of Masterton, winning the Golden Shears Junior woolhandling title in Masterton on Saturday.

PICTURES: Doug Laing, Shearing Sports NZ

Second was Bryce Guy, of Kaeo, one of four Guy brothers to reach finals during the championships, headed by 15-year-old Novice winner Charlie.

Fiona Christensen, 31, of Masterton, already with the Shears' women's woolpressing title and Triathlon prize for best points across the three disciplines of shearing, woolhandling and pressing, claimed her 11th win at the Golden Shears, and her 24th final placing, by adding the Senior woolhandling title to her Junior victory of 2009. She has won eight woolpressing events since 2006.

Napier woolhandler Ataneta Puna had never won a title at any competition, but was all confidence in the Golden Shears Junior final, in which Denise Murray-Karaka, of Alexandra, was second.

Former Golden Shears Open woolhandling champion Ronnie Goss, who on Friday night figured in New Zealand's woolhandling win over Australia and qho had three children also competing at the Championships, emulated son and Junior shearer Simon's achievement in getting to a final, but went even better by winning again, taking the North Island Circuit Open woolhandling title.

Golden Shears - Woolpressing - March 04, 2011

It took 25 years but it was worth the weight tonight as home-town brothers Jeremy and Vinnie Goodger took woolpressing to the main stage at the Golden Shears in Masterton for the first time.

And again it was the 30-year-old Jeremy who won, although it was a close-call against the 20-year-old brother in front of possibility the biggest crowd ever to watch a woolpressing match, with over 1000 people in Masterton's War Memorial Stadium to celebrate the Jubilee of the woolshed discipline's introduction to the competition arena of the Wirld's greatest shearing championships.

Including over 300 at corporate tables, they watched in awe of the brothers, each wearing red leg bands in memory of the Christchurch earthquake victims, and each with with the task of loading and pressing a bale as close as possible to the optimum weight of 170kg.

The arm cranks down on the press as Jeremy Goodger (right) powers his way to victory over brther Vinne (far left) in the Golden Shears men's woolpressing final in front of over 1000 people in Masterton tonight *(fri march 4).
PICTURE: Doug Laing, Shearing Sports NZ

Each using different strategies, it was Jeremy who made it first to the end in 8min 19sec, adding to a small time-points advantage by also being closest to the target.

It was the ninth time, including seventh in a row, that Jeremy Godger had won the title. He has also claimed seven pairs titles, including one with Vinnie and three with another brother, Warwick, who was ruled-out paralysed in a car crash three years ago and watched woolpressing's biggest moment from home via the live internet streaming of the Golden Shears.

The woolpressing events at Golden Shears were first held in a nearby garage but made their way into the stadium as a prominent day-time feature, but had never been on the night programme nor on the main stage until tonight.

During the day the brothers won an Inter-Island challenge against South Island pressers Mark Smith and Kelvin Bassett, the winners at the only other woolpressing event in the country at the Otago championships.

Jeremy Goodger said, not for the first time, he'd give it one more go year and then get on with plans to become a mechanic.

"I do alot of backyard jobs already, fixing-up things," he said.

Earlier in the day the Goodgers attended a woolpressing jubilee breakfast at which Golden Shears stalwart Ian Stewart said the Shears served almost all aspects of shearing, from shearers to woolhandlers to woolpressing.

The only ones missing out in the competitions were the cooks, he said, but added: "We're working on it."

Shears demise no worry for World champ, mum-to-be - March 04, 2011

World champion woolhandler and school teacher Sheree Alabaster was disappointed but not about to give-up yet to concentrate on the next big change in her life after she was eliminated in the heats of the Golden Shears Open woolhandling championship in Masterton today.

Alabaster, 36, the winner of the World and individual and teams titles in Norway in 2008, and runner-up in here solo defence and successful defender of the teams title in Wales last year, is over five months pregnant and expecting her first child at the end of June.

Despite the obvious disposition, she won Open titles at Taumarunui and Apiti in the Central North Island last Friday and Saturday and was runner-up in the Pre-Shears Championships in a woolshed near Masterton on Wednesday.

Despite being a repeat winner of the New Zealand Open in Te Kuiti, Alabaster has not won the Golden Shear's Open in Masterton's War Memorial Stadium. Today she missed the cut of 16 for the quarterfinals, and ranked just 33rd of the 41 who entered the event.

She will still compete in the North Island Circuit final tomorrow on the last day of the three-day 51st Golden Shears, and says she will compete in the New Zealand Open in four weeks' time, when she will also compete for the North Island in an inter-island match.

"Hell no," she said when asked if her Golden Shears demise was it for the season. "I've got to be there."

Out but not down, World champion woolhandler Sheree Alabaster settling-in to watch the Golden Shears Open woolhandling quarterfinals in Masterton, after she was eliminated in the heats. The Taihape school teacher will see out the season and plans to be cak next year, with her first child expected in June.

PICTURE: Doug Laing, Shearing Sports NZ

Alabaster at first found it difficult to explain her loss of form today in comparison with the last week, saying it would have been "nice" to go further in honour of father Ray who died a month ago, and who was in nine Golden Shears Open shearing finals from 1971 to 1981 without winning the title.

But she hadn't put pressure on herself, rather the pressure came from the event that Golden Shears is, she said.

"I knew when I came off the board I hadn't had a good run," she said. "Too unsettled. Just too slow, and too rough."

"But the Goldies are like that. They spring-up all sorts of surprises. There's a lot of pressure just being here. It's such a big stadium."

Woolhandling competition performances and the upcoming introduction to motherhood are however not the only issues in life for the champion, Miss Alabaster and sole charge principal to the eight pupils at tiny Taoroa School south of Taihape.

At the time she won her World individual title two-and-half year ago there were more than 20 at the remote school.

"It's a sign of the times," she said. "Not enough five-year-olds coming through. Not the shepherds and their families on the farms that there used She will still compete in the North Island Circuit final tomorrow on the last day of the three-day 51st Golden Shears, and says she will compete in the New Zealand Open in four weeks' time."

For up to date results go to Breaking News

Reigning champ back in Shears reckoning - March 03, 2011

The TAB has moved quickly to tighten the odds on a back-to-back Golden Shears open woolhandling win by former World champion Joanne Kumeroa after she returned to New Zealand competition with a win in the Pre-Shears Championship in Masterton on Wednesday.

Kumeroa, who last year won the Golden Shears Open for a record fourth time, had worked mainly in Australia and missed most of the New Zealand season, returning for the blow-out at Massey University's Riverside Farm on the eve of the start of the 51st Golden Shears, which started today (Thursday) and end on Saturday.

While maintaining early form competitors Joel Henare and Keryn Herbert as the first two favourites, although neither has won a Golden Shears title, Kumeroa was today paying $4, coming under the eased odds of 2008 World champion Sheree Alabaster, who won two titles last weekend and finished second to Kumeroa on Wednesday.

Henare, a teenager from Gisborne and out to become the first male winner of the title since 2000, was quoted today at $2.75, Herbert, from Te Awamutu, at $3.50, and Alabaster at $8.

It is the first time woolhandling in New Zealand has been subnject to betting with the TAB, which is also offering options on three other events at the Golden Shears - the glamour Open shearing championship, the PGG Wrightson National Series final, and the annual transtasman shearing test, all packed into the busy Saturday night finale.

Betting on the Open shearing and woolhandling events will be suspended during the heats on Friday.

Good guys get Shears off to great start - March 03, 2011

The family of five brothers Guy from Northland have begun the Golden Shears in Masterton today (thursday)in great style with a victory in the first final on the opening day of the 51st annual shearing and woolhandling championships.

The victory in the two-sheep Novice final went to 15-year-old Charlie Guy, but among the toughest to beat was brother Marshall, who at the age of just 13 headed the six qualifiers from the semi-finals. Earlier in the day it had been Charlie 1 and Marshall 2 in the heats, in which a Novice grade record of 54 young shearers shore one sheep each.

"He's beaten me in a couple of shows, so I just had to win," said Charlie after the final, in which he was second off the board, beaten by half-a-minute by Porangahau shearer Anaru Wakefield, who shore his two sheep in 6min 13.093sec.

The tables were turned when quality points were added to quality points in the judging pens with Charlie Guy beating Wakefield by 2.41pts. The eldest finalist, 21-year-old Monique Taylor, of Feilding, claimed third place while Marshall Guy was fourth.

Charlie, whose father is also a shearer as was grandfather Fred before that, became the second of the family to win a Golden Shears title, with eldest brother Bevan having won the Intermediate title in 2009 and finished fifth in the Senior final last year.

Charlie Guy, 15, of Kaeo, Northland, shears his way to vicory in the Novice Shearing final, the first final at the 51st Golden Shears which started in Masterton today(mar 3). His brother, Marshall, 13, was fourth.

PICTURE: Doug Laing, Shearing Sports New Zealand

There were prospects of more success for the family this year, with Bryce Guy being top qualifier for the Junior final to be shorn on Saturday, Lance Guy qualifying 11th of 12 for the Intermediate semi-finals tomorrow morning (Friday) and mmaking his way safely through the Junior heats, Lance Guy getting through to the Intermediate semi-finals, and Bevan Guy qualifying eighth of 18 for the Senior semi-finals to be shorn on Saturday morning. Father Ross gave ist a go but was eliminated.

The Junior finalists include David Gordon, who at the age of 14 last year became the youngest Golden cShears champion by winning the Novice title. He has a sister, a brother, and their father also competing at their championships. Another family connection was that of brother and sister Simon and Sarah Goss, of Kimbolton. Simon qualified for Saturday's Junior shearing final, and Sarah for the Intermediate semi-finals.

A surprise in the senior event was the elimination in the heats of the country's top Intermediate and Senior shearer of the last two years, Gisborne shearer Wi Poutu Ngarangione, and another top prospect in Davy Garland, of Feilding.

More than 500 entries have been received for the championships, with families a feature.

Results from the first day of the 51st Golden Shears international shearing and woolhandling championships in Masterton today(thursday):

Novice final (2 sheep): Charlie Guy (Kaeo) 6min 44.9sec, 26.245pts, 1; Anaru Wakefield (Porangahau) 6min 13.093sec, 28.655pts, 2; Monique Taylor (Feilding) 7min 29.957sec, 28.98pts, 3; Marshall Guy (Kaeo) 8min 7.168sec, 31.858pts, 4; George Smith (Waikaretu) 7min 5.613sec, 39.281pts, 5; Nick Fabish (Martinborough) 39.684pts, 6.
Junior semi-finals (4 sheep, top six qualify for final on Saturday): Bryce Guy (Kaeo) 7min 13.82sec, 27.941pts, 1; Michael Rolston (Levin) 8min 45.38sec, 30.269pts, 2; Tui Pene (Waipawa) 7min 55.08sec, 31.254pts, 3; Matthew Spence (Gisborne0 7min 35.38sec, 31.519pts, 4; Simon Goss (Kimbolton) 9min 8.82sec, 32.691pts, 5; David Gordon (Masterton) 9min 9.16sec, 32.708pts, 6; Caleb Cheer (Waipukurau) 7min 36.5sec, 32.825pts, 7; Logan Burton (Taumarunui) 7min 50.28sec, 33.264pts, 8; Nathanael Baker (Wairoa 8min 51.02sec, 33.551pts, 9; Alex Smith (Gisborne and Mataura) 9min 11.64sec, 35.582pts, 10; Micheal Lilo (Dannevirke) 9min 2.06sec, 35.853pts, 11; Hararei Te Whata (Mossburn) 8min 33.24sec, 35.912pts, 12; Fraser Quinlivan (Feilding) 8min 57.14sec, 35.857pts, 13; Shun Oishi (Japan) 9min 5.66sec, 38.033pts, 14; Joseph Stephens (Ireland) 10min 8.72sec, 38.436pts, 15; Natalie Crisp (England) 9min 53.62sec, 38.681pts, 16; David Avery (Stratford) 10min 17.78sec, 40.139pts, 17; Ifan Pyrs (Wales) 8min 7.52sce, 40.376pts, 18. The final is on Saturday afternoon.
Intermediate semi-finalists (2 sheep in heats): Jake Rangiwai (Mataura) 7min 39.262sec, 26.963pts, 1; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 7min 16.381sec, 28.061pts, 2; Hemi Braddick (Eketahuna) 7min 7.61sec, 28.134pts, 3; Brett roberts (Mataura) 7min 26.6sec, 29.83pts, 4; Sarah Goss (Kimbolton) 8min 10.3sec, 30.265pts, 5; Henare Niania (Gisborne) 7min 44.099sec, 31.7pts, 6; Turi Edmonds (Raetihi) 8min 2.22sec, 32.111pts, 7; Simon Nikora (Dannevirke) min 23.52sec, 32.926pts, 8; Sharnie Rimene (Masterton) 8min 38.82sec, 32.941pts, 9; Edward Goodfellow (Dorset, England) 7min 38.82sec, 32.941pts, 10; Lance Guy (Kaeo) 7min 56.885se, 33.344pts, 11; Shaun Mathieson (Colac, Vic) 7min 46.718sec, 33.586pts, 12. The semi-finals are tomorrow morning (Friday) and on the final on Saturday afternoon.
Senior semi-finals(5 sheep in heats): Jimmy Samuels (Tuatapere) 7min 41.08sec, 26.654pts, 1; Tipene Te Whata (Tautoro) 7min 16.76sec, 27.438pts, 2; Tysson hema (Waipukurau) 7min 48.8sec, 27.84pts, 3; Matene Mason (Masterton) 7min 47.24sec, 28.562pts, 4; Kane Kapene (Martinborough) 7min 27.84sec, 29.592pts, 5; Shelford Wilcox (Gisborne) 8min 14.411sec, 30.121pts, 6; Krishane Edmonds (Raetihi) 7min 42.6sec, 30.33pts, 7; Bevan Guy (Kaeo) 8min 6.6sec, 30.33pts, 8; Kaleb Godsiff (Pleasant Point) 7min 40.74sec, 30.837pts, 9; Malcolm Sweeney (England) 7min 49.96sec, 31.098pts, 10; Sam Garrett (Tuatapere) 8mon 0.54sec, 31.627pts, 11; Hemi Power (Gore) 7min 56.56sec, 31.628pts, 12; Tai Hoera (Dannevirke) 8min 26.16sec, 32.108pts, 13; Kieran Devane (Taihape) 8min 4.12sec, 32.406pts, 14; Steven Hanson (Eketahuna) 7min 31.58sec, 32.579pts, 15; Phillip Rangiwai (Mataura) 9min 2.76sec, 32.738pts, 16; Nukutai Tuhura (Ruatoria) 7min 55.86sec, 32.993pts, 17; Carl Smith (Marton) 8min 33.4sec, 33.069pts, 18. The semi-finals are on Saturday morning, and the final on Saturday afternoon.

Junior finalists (in order of qualifyng): Kylie Laris (Masterton) 111pts, 1; Denise Murray-Karaka (Alexandra) 142pts, 2; Ateneta Puna (Napier) 145pts, 3; Renee Hurunui (Shannon) 145pts, 4. The final is on Saturday afternoon.
Senior semi-finalists (in order of qualifying): Cushla Gordon (Masterton) 127pts, 1; Ngaio Braddick (Eketahuna) 133pts, 2; Kate Tutavaha (Masterton) 140pts, 3; Emma Bolton (Taihape) 141pts, 4; Kyle Wihongi (Hastings) 149pts, 5; Fiona Christensen (Masterton) 151pts, 6; Emaraina Braddick (Eketahuna) 153.2pts, 7; Paige Wakefield (Porangahau) 154pts, 8. The semi-finals are on Saturday morning and the final on Saturday afternoon.

Men's semi-finalists (in order of qualifying): Jeremy Goodger (Masterton) 59.5pts, 1; Conan Grey (Masterton) 75.3pts, 2; Ben Birch (Masterton) 89.6pts, 3; Edward Goodfellow (Dorset, England) 90.5pts, 4. The semi-finals and final are tomorrow (Friday). Pairs finalists (in order of qualifying): Jeremy and Vinnie Goodger (Masterton) 33.9pts, 1; Peter Davidson and Henare Te Whare (Masterton) 46.3pts, 2. The final will be tomorrow afternoon (Friday).
Women's finalists (in order of qualifying): Fiona Christensen (Masterton) 85.2pts, 1; Christine Wolland (Pahiatua) 95.4pts, 2. The final is tomorrow afternoon (Friday).

Happy families at Golden Shears

The Golden Shears from Thursday to Saturday this week bring together a unique mix of families high on the lists of potential winners over the three days of Masterton's iconic event which was first held in 1961. Among the dozens of families involved in the three days of championships in which more than 20 titles will be decided, are the Goss family from Manawatu farming locality Kimbolton, with mother and former Open woolhandling champion Ronnie, and two shearing offspring in daughter Sarah and son Simon all winning hopes. A second daughter, Rachel, makes her Golden Shears debut as a junior woolhandler.

Sarah was runner-up in the 2997 Novice final and third in the Junior event last year, and has had winning form and a string placings in Intermediate events around the North Island this season, and will be trying to emulate the feat of father Alan, who won the 1985 Golden Shears Intermediate final. Simon is entered in the Junior class, hoping to go one better than he did in 2009, when he was second in the Novice final. Ronnie Goss' niece, scoring system official Raelene Kirkpatrick, from Napier, will be watching husband and shearer John, the warm favourite to win the glamour Golden Shears Open title for a third time on Saturday, but both will be watching the action on the opening morning, as daughters Mary and Angela make their Golden Shears debuts in the Junior woolhandling heats.

The Guy family from Kaeo, in Northland, brings to Masterton a gang of five, with the best prospects being Senior contender and 2009 Intermediate shearing champion Bevan, with winning form this season and fourth place last year, and younger brother Bryce, looking for the Junior event to provide his first appearance in a Golden Shears final. Lance Guy is in the Intermediate grade, while two younger Guys, Charlie and Marshall, are bin the Novice event.

Brother and sister Cushla and David Gordon, who celebrated hometown wins in the Novice grade in 2008 and last year respectively, when David at 14 became the youngest Golden Shears champion, are now chasing the Intermediate and Junior shearing titles respectively, while sister Samantha will contest the Junior woolhandling. Their father, Nuki, will be a more than interested commentator, and will donning the singlet and mocassins for his moment on the board in the Open shearing.

Kirkpatrick won't be the only Open shearing title contender with children competing at the championships. Jack Fagan, the son of King Country icon David Fagan, is favourite to win the Intermediate title, 2008 World champion Paul Avery will watch son David in the Junior grade, while Digger Balme, of Te Kuiti, will be able to prepare for anotherr tilt at the major title by watching son Josh in the Novice shearing heats. Open grade bolter Rowland Smith, from Ruawai in the Far North, will have two brothers joining him in the Open heats, in former Open Plate winner Matthew, and fellow World record breaker Doug. Another Open contender is West Coast shearer Jason Win, whose father, Sam, will be among the opposition.

Even Golden Shears president Mavis Mullins (nee Paewai), of Dannevirke, is in on the act. The winner of the Open woolhandling title in 1987 and 1993, she feels a certain amount of obligation to compete in the Contractors Teams Event with husband Koro, a 1993 open shearing finalist who lead's the Shears stadium commentary team, son Punga, and daughter Aria, who won a North Island Senior Woolhandling Circuit final at the Golden Shears in 2008, who now lives in Perth.

The 50th Golden Shears were held last year, and this year is the 25th anniversary of the introuction of a wool-pressing competition.

© Shearing Sports NZ 2011
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