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Media Releases March 2013

Te Kuiti on-line entries - March 12, 2013

An on-line entry experiment which could reshape how entries are taken for the 60-plus shearing and woolhandling competitions throughout New Zealand is drawing to a close with the approach of the 29th New Zealand Championships at Te Kuiti.

Entries can be made and paid for on-line (click the link below). The deadline for entries is this Thursday, March 14, after which entries will incur a late fee of 50 percent.

Event entries spokesman Ed Morrow said this week 228 entries had been received across the events, bolstered by a new State-of-Origin styled pairs shearing event, in which competitors will represent the rugby provinces in which they were born and raised.

At least four King Country teams have been entered, and the concept sees defending New Zealand Open champion John Kirkpatrick representing Poverty Bay, rather than Hawke�s Bay where he has lived for most of the last 20 years. More than half the 26 union provinces are represented.

The on-line entries experiment is being watched by a number of other shows, some of which have investigated options other than that being used by the New Zealand Championships.

Entry inquiries can be made through Mr Morrow (ph 07-8788170). The on-line link is:

Fagans bounce back after Shears defeat - March 11, 2013

King Country shearing legend David Fagan and son Jack wasted no time getting back into winning form on Saturday (March 9), just a week after both missing out on the finals at the Golden Shears.

Shearing in the Kumeu Show Open final, David Fagan, 51, turned the tables on 26-year-old Hastings shearer Rowland Smith, who a week earlier won a Golden Shears Open final which was missing 16-times winner Fagan for only the fourth time in 30 years.

Fagan was the third of three shearers to go under 16 minutes for the 20 sheep, and beat Smith by 21 seconds, and Golden Shears third-placegetter John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, by another 13 seconds.

The first two off the board, Dargaville's Neville Osborne and Te Kuiti's Digger Balme, sacrificed too many quality points to be in the ultimate reckoning as Fagan held his own in the judging pens to win by 0.565 points from Kirkpatrick, who had the best quality points. Smith, who grew up in Northland and who won the Kumeu event last year, had to settle for third place.

Jack Fagan won the Kumeu Senior title for the second year in a row in one of his last competitions before entering the Open class in which his father first shore in 1981.

The runner-up was Kaeo shearer Bryce Guy, whose father, Ross, was fourth. Bryce's brothers, Charlie and Marshall, won the Intermediate and Junior finals respectively.

Rimene scores shearing and woolhandling double at Cheviot - March 11, 2013

Attempts to keep woolhandling competition alive at the Cheviot A and P Show in North Canterbury on Saturday opened the door to a rare double for Masterton's Pagan Rimene.

Unlikely to have been at the show without the woolhandling on the programme, she won the Open final and the Junior shearing final.

A small number of similar doubles have been recorded in recent seasons by Cushla and David Gordon, also of Masterton, but none involving wins in the Open class.

While a regular now at least at semi-final level, Rimene had had just two previous Open woolhandling wins, the most recent last month in Balclutha, when she was also crowned a double champion after the Otago Championships's Woolhandler of the Year and the South Island Woolhandling Circuit finals.

It was only later that she learned the Woolhandler of the Year title had been awarded mistakenly because of a computer-scoring error.

She had had top-three placings in Junior shearing finals at the national crossbred lambshearing championship at Winton and at the Otago championships, and at the Golden Shears which ended on March 1 she reached the semi-finals of both events.

Her shearing final on Saturday brought a double-take for the local commentator when the name Hugh De Lacy appeared among the list of competitors.

The finalist, who finished third, was, in fact the son of Fernside-based award-winning agricultural journalist, Golden Shears Shear History co-author, one-time political aspirant and middle-distance running hope, former regular show competitor and former shearing contractor Hugh De Lacy Snr.

Keeping things honest, the proud dad was among 12 in the Open-class heats, admitting later a little rustiness in his first competitive dabble since a nostalgic trip back to the Golden Shears in Masterton in 2010 � for the 50th anniversary veterans event.

Hugh De Lacy Jnr, although not yet 19, already has a year at Law School behind him, but since December has been shearing fulltime with Rangiora contractor and shearer Rowan Nesbit.

The 10-sheep Open shearing final at Cheviot was won by Marlborough veteran Chris Jones, while about 130km away, the Mayfield A and P Show's Open final, over 20-sheep, was another Rakaia quinella, with Tony Coster beating Grant Smith.

Smith's nephew, Corey, was quickly back into winning form in the Mayfield Junior final, putting-aside the disappointment of missing-out on a place in the Junior final at the Golden Shears.

Smith wins first Open, and gives prizeto cancer - March 04, 2013

Hastings shearer Rowland Smith realised a dream of ages on Saturday night (March 1) when he won the closest Golden Shears final in the 53 years of the event, and then donated his $3000 prize to cancer research and awareness.

The 26-year-old's benevolence came in a wave of emotion in Masterton's War Memorial Stadium where only a short while before his own triumph the crowd had watched in awe as 43-year-old cancer-battler and Australia-based Kiwi woolhandling master Joanne Kumeroa, from Whanganui, all-but won her seventh Golden Shears Open woolhandling title, beaten only by four-times runner-up and 2012 World champion Joel Henare, 21, of Gisborne.

Kumeroa had been diagnosed with cancer in August and, having also to nurse 17-year-old daughter Kendall back from a neck injury in a motorcycle crash, went into almost immediate chemotherapy, which she would be resuming in Melbourne less than a week after the Golden Shears.

Smith's own mother, Christal, died of cancer six years ago, and he barely needed any time to consider what he would be doing with the cash in helping Kumeroa in her pleadings to people to "get it checked" before its too late.

"It's not about the money," he said as he raised the shears' trophy in a moment of triumph he'd yearned since as Northland teenage he ventured south to win the Golden Shears Junior title nine years ago.

"This has been a lifelong goal," he said today (Sunday). "Everybody regards it as the top prize."

His gesture took to over $11,000 the amount raised for the cause during the Golden Shears, including a similar gesture from the Australian woolhandling team after being beaten in a test match against New Zealand 24 hours earlier.

Despite having never previously won the title and up against three fellow Hawke's Bay shearers with six Golden Shears Open wins between them, Smith was the TAB favourite after eight wins his mid-January resumption, following a honeymoon with wife and fellow shearing record-breaker Ingrid (nee Baynes).

The pace was set by 2006 winner Dion King, who finished the 20 sheep in 16min 30.09sec, 16 seconds ahead of fouvr-times winner and defending champion John Kirkpatrick (16min 46.622sec), of Napier, with Smith next 16min 54.025sec.

But, unlike most years there was none of the usual back-slapping in the changing rooms afterwards,with no-one confident of a win.

Ultimately, Smith would become only the third shearer since 1987 to win without being first to finish, and the first in the same 26 years to win without being one of the first two off the board. The winning margin of 0.105pts was the smallest in the history of the competition, just as the 0.366pts from Smith to 2010 winner Cam Ferguson was the smallest margin ever to separate the first-four.

All four Hawke's Bay guns, in their third top-four cleansweep in four competitions in eight days, put more than a sheep around World champion and Taranaki-based Scottisd farmer Gavin Mutch, who was fifth, and sixth-placed South Island hope Nathan Stratford.

With 16-times winner David Fagan, of Te Kuiti, eliminated in the quarterfinals and missing from the final for only the fourth time in 30 years, it was the first time there had been no King Country finalist since 1981, and the geographic reshaping of the New Zealand wool industry was evident in the fact the there were only four King Country shearers among the 64 shearers in the heats - in 1998, there had been five in the final.

Joanne Kumeroa looks on as Rowland Smith makes his gesture to the cancer awareness fund.
PHOTO/Barbara Newton

Rowland Smith with master-of-ceremonies Craig Cooper.
PHOTO/Pete Nikolaison

Sarah Higgins, from Havelock, Marlborough, wins the Junior woolhandling final.
PHOTO/Pete Nikolaison

Corey Palmer, of Dipton, the southernmost champion of the 2013 Golden Shears, victor in the Senior shearing final
PHOTO/Pete Nikolaison

This year King, having won two titles early in the summer but been largely absent from post-Christmas competition until the last week before the invasion of Masterton, had to settle for second overall, Kirkpatrick third and Ferguson fourth.

Kirkpatrick, winner of more than 200 titles in 20 seasons of Open-class shearing, sprung a surprise in winning the 41st PGG Wrightson National, having never before shorn in the the final. Even more surprising was that he was first off the board, taking 19min 6.862sec for the 15 shee p (an equal mix of fine-wooled merino, stong longwool, coarse-wooled corriedale, lambs and second-shear), but pipping 2009-2011 winner Tony Coster, of Rakaia, by just a second.

There were almost 2pts between the two in the final count, with Mutch third and fourth place going to defending champion Angus Moore, from Ward in Marlborough but now based in Kaitangata, South Otago.

In possibly the highest-class Open woolhandlin g final since woolhandling competition a regular part of Golden Shears in 1985, Henare became the first male to win the woolhandling title since since Oti Mason, of Dannevirke, won in 2000.

As if beating 14-times finalist and multiple World champion Kumeroa wasn't enough of a task, Henare also had to beat Te Awamutu's Keryn Herbert and Taihape's Sheree Alabaster, each still to win a Golden Shears title despite their own World championship success together as a team in 2010 and Alabaster also in 2008 as an Individual and as a teammate of Kumeroa.

It was Henare's seventh Golden Shears Open final in seven seasons of Open competition, which started when he was 15, finishing third behind winner Huia Whyte-Puna in the 2007 final. The next year he was fourth in a final won by Ronnie Goss, and he'd then been runner-up to Tina Rimene and three times Kumeroa, before finally getting his win.

In the other major event of the final night, Kirkpatrick and South Island shearers Moore and Chris Vickers beat Australian representatives Shannon Warnest, Justin Dolphin and Robert Glover in the Lister Shearing Transtasman Test, completing a Kiwis double after Alabaster and Dannevirke's Rockey Hape-Taite beat Australians Kayla Garner and Angela Wakely in the Elders Primary Wool Transtasman Woolhandling test 24 hours earlier.

Herbert and Alabaster were first and second in the North Island Woolhandling Circuit final.

Lower grades

In another last-day highlight, 15-year-old Marshall Guy, from Kaeo in Northland, became the fourth brother in his family to win a Golden Shears shearing championship.

He won the Junior final, emulating the efforts of Bevan and Bryce who won the Intermediate finals in 2009 and 2012 respectively , and Charlie who won the Novice final in 2011.

He was first to finish his 5-sheep final, taking 7min 39.588sec,beating Mataura shearer Kahn Culshaw, 18, by just over a second. With easily the best quality points, Guy won the title comfortably by more than 4pts, with Culshaw second, and Welsh shearer Dylan Jones, 19, third.

Hometown favourite David Gordon became the first former Novice winner to take an upper-grades title, relying on best quality points to win the Intermediate final, although second-to-last to finish a closely-fought final over 8 sheep.

Gordon was the hot favourite as the most prolific winner in any grade in the country this season.

Southland shearer Corey Palmer stopped the Guy family from taking another title when he won the Senior final. First off the board in the 12-sheep showdown, Bryce Guy had to settle for second place behind the 23-year-old from Dipton, but there was less than three-tenths of a point separating them. Casey Bailey, of Masterton, was third, in only his third shearing competition.

South Island-based Napier competitor Ataneta Puna, 22, added the Senior woolhandling title to the Junior title she won in 2011. But it was the closest final in any event in Golden Shears history, after she and Logan Kamura, of Marton, tied on 192.06pts, and judges required a countback on wool assessment points before handing-out the ribbons.

Lincoln College final year B Com Ag student Sarah Higgins, 20, from Havelock, in Marlborough, had her biggest win after a busy season by taking the Junior woolhandling final. South Island-based Daine Rehe, from Te Teko, was runner-up.

Jeremy Goodger, of Masterton, won his ninth consecutive men's pressing title, and his seventh pairs title, the third in a row with brother Vinnie, while the women's pressing competition had a new winner in Christine Wolland, of Pahiatua, beating six-times winner Fiona Christensen, of Masterton.

The first women's shearing event at Golden Shears since 1989, an invitation event staged to promote the cancer-awareness fundraising, was won by 2011 Intermediate semi-finalist Sarah Goss, 20, of Kimbolton, making a rare competition appearance in the competition season having become vice-captain of the New Zealand women's Sevens rugby team, and also concentrating on studies at University.

The prized R E Ohara Memorial Trophy for best quality points in any shearing final was won by Novice winner James Alford.

World champion woolhandler reveals fight against cancer - March 01, 2013

Record-breaking defending Golden Shears woolhandling champion Joanne Kumeroa knows even the slightest effort can be quite devastating as she battles a chronic cancer, but it's not stopping her from doing her bit to save others.

Like competing in today's heats in a bid to qualify for her 14th Golden Shears final and a seventh title in a competition career spanning 24 years, or tonight shearing in an all-female event as a promotion and fundraiser for cancer research.

Amazingly, she qualified ninth on a list of 16 for the woolhandling quarterfinals tomorrow morning, and while desperately wanting to shear the night event how much she would be involved depended on her condition during the day.

The 43-year-old, born in Whanganui, raised in the woolsheds of the Maniatoto, Central Otago, and now based for several years in Hamilton, Vic, hadn't competed for a year and concedes there've been doubts she would ever do so again, going immediately into chemotherapy after learning only in August that she has cervical cancer.

Seven months into a fight against cancer, multiple World champion Joanne Kumeroa competes in today's heats of the Golden Shears Open Woolhandling Championship in Masterton, going for a fourth win in a row.

PHOTO/Barbara Newton

In an interview before competing today, she said that a group of about 20 people "close to me" heeded her advice to "get it checked."

"I've helped save two," she said.. "They're getting themselves fixed. But they wouldn't have known."

"For me it is a bit scary," she said, "but I didn't come here for me, I'm here for all those other women who may have cancer, and need to do something about it."

She feels "spoilt" to have so many friends in an industry and sport overwhelmingly endowed with camaraderie, supporting and helping.

It's now some years since she first started contributing $20 a month to children's cancer research, but never thought she'd one day be fighting her own battle.

The first hint of any problem was when she started blood-clotting last year, went to a doctor and was told she should get a scan as soon as possible.

"Admittedly, I was going to just drive away," she said, but she fronted-up, and learnt almost immediately a hysterectomy was needed.

The operation was never possible and treatment began, as she also tried to deal with a new problem - the recovery of 17-year-old daughter Kendall, who had broken her neck in a motorcycle crash near Guyra, NSW.

"I had to physically bring her back on to her feet," she said, and she kept her own plight secret.

"I just had to swallow mine. And concentrate on my daughter," she said. She has tried not to think about her situation, but was devastated when she began losing her hair, and she says: "I didn't handle it well, but then we shaved it off. It blew my mind, I hated it." One change in mindset came at the national Maori Sports Awards in Auckland in November, where she first appeared shrouded and conscious.

By the end of the night, she had begun to relax, having won the teams award with protege Joel Henare. Together they'd won her third World teams title at last year's Golden Shears, although Henare, at the age of 20, beat her in the Individual final, which she'd won in 2003 and 2005. Her treatment is based at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia's only public hospital specialising in cancer, and after onl a week back in New Zealand, she off to continue treatment next week.

She expects to sepnd "six hours on the drip,"' and also to front-up and shear a few sheep 24 hours later at the "Ducks on the Pond" women-only, cancer research fundraiser at historic Clunie, near Harrow, Vic, on March 9, where she hopes to be among about 40 women working for the cause.

The shed's been a working woolshed since 1885, and was once, like many Australian woolsheds, no-go territory for women, hence the name of the event - along-time shearers' waring down the board that women were in the vicinity and it was time to tone-down the language.

Kumeroa, grew up in the woolsheds - a photograph among the whanau depicts her helping with the washing at the age of about two in Central Otago where mum Heather was cooking for a shearing gang run by George Potae, of Milton.

By 14 she was working regularly in the sheds, and, skipping the lower grades, entered her first competition at Alexandra in 1989. Six months later she competed in her first Golden Shears final, eventually winning in 1995, 2001, 2004, and 2010-2012.

Digger pays the bills at Goldies' Speedshear - March 01, 2013

Digger Balme settled the weekend accommodation bill in just a few quick blows as he won the Golden Shears' Big Bang Speedshear at the Horseshoe Tavern in Masterton tonight.

The Te Kuiti veteran claimed a $1000 Open-class first prize on a night which produced a few surprises, with firstly David Fagan failing to make the top four and missing out on even the minor money, and then an English shearer, Adam Berry, making the two-man final and landing second prize of $600.

Balme's time in the final was 30.7sec, but the fastest time of the night went to Waipawa shearer Cam Ferguson in the heats, at 28.36sec. Eliminated in the semi-final, he still won $400.

The Senior speedshear was won by Brett Roberts, of Mataura, with Cam Hicks, of Marton, the runner-up.

Gisborne pair win first titles at Golden Shears - March 01, 20132

Gisborne may have lost its railway, but the shearing industry in the area is right on track judging by the efforts of two teenagers who won the first two events decided on the first day of the 53rd Golden Shears in Masterton today.

The pair are 19-year-old James Alford, who won the Novice shearing final, and Tameka Durdy (also known as Tameka Hema) , 17, of Gisborne, who won the inaugural Golden Shears Novice woolhandling competition.

Alford, a Waipaoa farm cadet and former pupil of St Peter's, Cambridge, had won two earlier Novice competitions, at Wairoa and Dannevirke, but it was first-up for Purdy who'd never contemplated entering any woolhandling competition till mentor Ailsa Fleming, of Te Karaka, talked her into it less than 24 hours before the event. She took up woolhandling to follow boyfriend and Open class shearer ad former Intermediate and Senior champion Ian Kirkpatrick, and works for his parents, Gisborne contractors Ian and Beth Kirkpatrick.

The titles were the first of more than 20 being decided at the three-day championships which have attracted more than 300 competitors, including more than 40 from overseas.

The feature events are the Open shearing and woolhandling events, the finals of which will be contested in front of about 1800 spectators in Masterton's War Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.

Former Northland shearer Rowland Smith, now settled in Hastings, has been established as favourite for the glamour shearing event, with the TAB reporting there had been a $2500 bet on the two-metre tall star who has won eight finals in the last six weeks but who is yet to win a Golden Shears Open.

Tameka Hema, of Gisborne, who won the inaugural Novice woolhandling final

James Alford, a Waipaoa cadet who won the Novice shearing final.


A feature performance on the first day was that of Masterton teenager David Gordon, who after competing in two woolpressing events and one woolhandling event then shore three sheep to become top qualifier for the Intermediate shearing semi-finals to be shorn today.

He also qualified for the Junior woolhandling sem-finals and he and oldest sister Cushla Abraham qualified for the woolpressing pairs final.

Gordon, who at the 50th anniversary Golden Shears in 2010 won the Novice shearing title won by his sister two years earlier, has overcome a minor hand injury in a final at Apiti on Saturday to win the major warm-up event for his grade at the Pahiatua Shears the next day .

RESULTS of finals on the first day of the 53rd Golden Shears in Masterton on Thursday-Saturday,

February 28-March 2, 2013:


Novice final (2 sheep): James Alford (Gisborne) 7min 33.757sec, 28.688pts, 1; Laura Bradley (Woodville) 6min 31.582sec, 30.579pts, 2; Paul Knyvett (Matamata) 7min 5.644sec, 34.282pts, 3; Mike Boyd (Dargaville) 6min 16.654pts, 4; Chris Sandall (Auckland) 6min 7.867sec, 44.893pts, 5; Mat Macrae (Masterton) 5min 57.08sec, 49.885pts, 6.


Novice final: Tameka (Durdy (Gisborne) 90.6pts, 1; Liana Rangiawha (Rauranga) 109pts, 2; Jared Fletcher (Winton) 118pts, 3; Natalya Rangiawha (Taihape) 121pts, 4..



Senior semi-final qualifiers: Hemi Braddick (Eketahuna), Steven Hanson (Eketahuna), Michael Rolston (Levin), Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti), Bryce Guy (Kaeo), Lachie Baynes (Wairoa), Turuhia Edmonds (Raetihi), Casey Bailey (Masterton), Linton Palmer (Dipton), Brett Roberts (Mataura), Steven Reiri (Masterton), Rangi Sullivan (Masterton), Corey Palmer (Dipton), Dean Herlihy (Whangamomona), Damian Bloomfield (Dannevirke), Brook Todd (Dipton), Timothy Bailey (Australia), Robert Mudgway (Taihape). Semi-finals on Saturday morning.

Intermediate semi-final qualifiers: David Gordon (Masterton), Dion Hughes (Wales), Andrew Leith (Dipton), Terence Durdy (Gisborne), Dylan McGruddy (Masterton), Phoenix Hawkins (Martinborough), Ryan Boot (Wairata), Fraser Quinlivan (Feilding), Adam Morton (Wairoa), Simon Goss (Kimbolton), Sam Brooks (Piopio), Charlie Guy (Kaeo), Simon Nikora (Dannevirke), Catherine Mullooly(Matawai), Joseph Stevens (Ireland), Gavin Kelly (Taihape), Scott Speed (Australia), Wayne Malcolm (Winton). Semi-fianls on Friday morning.

Junior semi-final qualifiers: Marshall Guy (Kaeo), Ynyr Pugh (Wales), Ramone Smith (Gisborne), Pagan Rimene (Masterton), Corey Smith (Rakai), Michael Newton (Australia), Dylan Jones (Wales), Lionel Taumata (Gore), Christopher Malcolm (Winton), Duran Smith (Gisborne), Josh Balme (Te Kuiti), Marley Elers (Mataura), Kahn Culshaw (Mataura), Kieran Jones (Isle of Man), Matthew Truscott (Dannevirke), Brya Harrison (Okaihau), Ben Lilley (Pahiatua), Jayden Hiroti(Raetihi). Semi-finals on Friday morning.


Junior semi-final qualifiers: Vinnie Goodger (Masterton), Tiffany Kumeroa (Whanganui), Sarah Higgins (Havelock), Lauren Sargent (Masterton), David Gordon (Masterton), Anna Braddick (Eketahuna), Diane Mason (Masterton), Paige Parks (Masterton), Jasmaree Hogg (Masterton), Ayla Sutton (Dannevirke), Robyn O'Donnell (Masterton), Daine Rehe (Christchurch). Semi-finals on Saturday morning.


Men's semi-final qualifiers: Vinnie Goodger (Masterton), Jeremy Goodger (Mastertgon), Cam Hicks (Marton), Tumanako Waikare (Masterton), Stuart Wilton (Masterton), Joseph Mygind (Dannevirke). Semi-finals on Friday morning.

Women's final qualifiers: Christine Wolland (Pahiatua), Fiona Christensen (Masterton). Final on Friday morning.

Pairs final qualifiers: Conan Harmon and Vinnie Goodger (Masterton), Jeremy Goodger and James Goodger (Masterton), Jimmy Samuels and Cam Hicks (Marton), Cushla Abraham and David Gordon (Masterton). Final on Friday night.

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