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Media Releases March 2014

Blades veteran Dobbs hones in on new World Champs bid- March 31, 2014

The selection of New Zealand's team for this year's World shearing and woolhandling championships has all-but been confirmed after the top two blades shearing hopes finished first and second at the Oxford A and P Show in North Canterbury on Saturday.

The winner of Oxford's blades shearing final was 1992 World champion Tony Dobbs, of Fairlie and the runner-up 2012 World championships representative Mike McConnell, of Albury. Only a failure to complete the qualifying series at the MacKenzie Shears in Fairlie on April 21 could stop them from joining machine shearers Rowland Smith, of Hastings, and John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, and woolhandlers Joel Henare, of Gisborne, and Veronica (Ronnie) Goss,of Kimbolton, in the team for the championships in Gorey, Ireland, on May 22-25.

Dobbs, whose biggest win in his big comeback year was the New Zealand Corriedales title at the Canterbury Show in November, has had some unusual preparation, having in January shorn a reputed World Record 28.9kg fleece from the back of a hermit merino nicknamed "Big Ben", one of four that had dodged mustering on a station near Twizel for as much as six years. Dobbs took 25 minutes to complete the job, with a fleece almost 2kg heavier than the fleece shorn from the somewhat more-famed "Shrek" on April 28, 2004.

In Saturday's final, Dobbs clipped his way through five sheep in 17min 26.68sec, maintaining enough quality to take a points win over McConnell, who had finished the job in 16min 52.72sec. Marlborough shearer Chris Jones caused a minor surprise by beating former New Zealand representative Grant Smith in the Open machine shearing shearing final, shearing 12 sheep in 14min 45.97sec and winning by 0.7pts, while regular blades shearer Chris Russell, of Woodend, waved the heavier metal with some aplomb to win the Senior machine shearing final.

Results from the Oxford A and P Show Shears on Saturday, March 29, 2014:

Open final (12 sheep): Chris Jones (Renwick) 14min 45.97sec, 54.8pts, 1; Grant Smith (Rakaia) 14min 46.28sec, 55.4pts, 2; Dave Brooker (Hawarden) 15min 24.78sec, 62.57pts, 3; Shaun Burgess (Rakaia) 15min 34...09sec, 71.79pts, 4.

Senior final (6 sheep): Chris Russell (Woodend) 11min 0.03sec, 49pts, 1; Phil Williams (-) 11min 50.84sec, 54.88pts, 2; Mike McConnell (Albury) 10min 5.35sec, 59.77pts, 3; Mike Wickliffe (Seddon) 11min 4.31sec, 71.05pts, 4.

Intermediate final (4 sheep): Scott Clark (Whangamomona) 9min 50.85sec, 44.79pts, 1; Jack Dever (Wairoa) 8min 9.34sec, 47.72pts, 2; Luis Pincol (Chile) 8min 19.34sec, 49.22pts, 3.

Junior final(3 sheep): Mitchell Murray (Amberley) 9min 5.38sec, 45.27pts, 1; Hamish Ellen (-) 9min 35.75sec, 54.79pts, 2; Kelly Macdonald (Lake Hawera) 9min 50.09sec, 56.17pts, 3; Amy Silcock (Murchison) 9min 56sec, 59.8pts, 4.

Blades final (5 sheep): Tony Dobbs (Fairlie) 17min 26.68sec, 64.33pts, 1; Mike McConnell (Albury) 16min 52.72sec, 65.64pts, 2; Brian Thomson (West Melton) 17min 52.07sec, 95.6pts, 3; Richard Watson (Medbury) 19min 36.22sec, 82.61pts, 4.

Smith and Kirkpatrick dominate NZ Champs and head for Ireland - March 31, 2014

Hawke's Bay will have both Kiwi machine shearing representatives at a World Championships for the second time in a row after a big quinella in the New Zealand championships Open final in Te Kuiti on Saturday night (March 29).

Rowland Smith, of Hastings, 27, completed a successful defence of the Golden Shears and New Zealand open championships double, had already secured his place in the team when he won at the shears in Masterton on March 1 and makes his World Championships debut in Ireland in May.

John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, secured his place by finishing runner-up to Smith on Saturday and will turn 44 during the World event, with two World teams titles to his name but yet to win the individual title after being runner-up to Kiwi teammate Paul Avery at the 2008 World championships in Norway and in 2012 third behind Scotsman Gavin Mutch and teammate fellow New Zealander Cam Ferguson. With a win each already from the three-day event in Te Kuiti - Smith successfully defending the North Island Shear of the Year title and Kirkpatrick winning the NZ Shears Circuit final - both had to stave off Te Kuiti shearer David Fagan's determined bid to have one last crack at the big one.

The 52-year-old Fagan, winner of five individual World titles, was first to finish the 20-sheep contest, taking 15min 27.03sec, after waging a classic battle for fastest time with Smith as they shore side by side on stands five and six.

But, Fagan, winner of the title 16 times from 1986 to 2010, was unable to match speed with quality and had to settle for fourth place when all points were counted. Smith, pipped by nine seconds and carding the best quality points, came home comfortably to win the title for a third time, with a substantial margin of 3.338pts from Kirkpatrick, who was recording his 12th second placing of the season.

It meant disappointment for Hastings shearer Dion King, the only other finalist to go under 16 minutes and who, at 39, must wonder what else he can do to win a place at the World championships. Likewise southern hope Nathan Stratford who had been second-to-top qualifier behind Smith for both the semi-finals and the final but at the showdown was unable to keep-up and along with championships final newcomer Aaron Haynes, 26, of Feilding, still had three sheep in the pen when Fagan pulled the rope for the last time. Among the spectators was 2008 World champion Paul Avery, who conceded his appearance at the championships and qualification for the quarterfinals was a less-than-real attempt to added to his record of three New Zealand Open titles, in1995, 2000 and 2007.

"I only came to support one man, and he did the job" he said, acknowledging Kirkpatrick's success in securing another World Championships position.

While missing out on another Open title, Kirkpatrick went close to achieving a rare treble, last won by Fagan in 2002. He was second to Smith in the North Island Shear of the final over 10 ewes and 10 lambs on Friday night, and won his first NZ Shears Circuit final, over five merinos, five crossbred ewes and five lambs.

Alabaster wins seventh NZ Open woolhandling title Open

Taihape schoolteacher and 2008 World woolhandling champion Sheree Alabaster won the New Zealkand Open woolhandling title for a seventh time, after the surprise semi-final elimination of reigning World and Golden Shears champion Joel Henare.

The runner-up was up-and-coming Open class woolhandler Logan Kamura, from Marton, substantiating the form shown in winning his first Open title in the Taranaki championships a week earlier, and Te Awamutu's Keryn Herbert, who won a World teams title with Alabaster in 2010, repeated her third placing of last year. Alabaster marked herself as possibly the most successful woolhandler with second-0shear wool, having won the Te Kuiti final previously three times consecutively in 2004-2006, and back-to-back in 2011-2012.

This year she was pipped for time honours by Herbert, the points were even on the blend, Alabaster had the best oddments points, and Kamura the best outcome in fleece judging.

Other events

Masterton-based Riverton shearer Casey Bailey, 22, won the Senior shearing final, turning the tables on Mataura shearer Brett Roberts, who won the Golden Shears Senior title earlier in the month. But it was close, with Bailey winning the 12-sheep race by 1.26 seconds in finishing in 13min 45.2, and claiming the best pen points, by 8pts to 8.333. Their board points were even, both bettered by third placegetter Turi Edmonds, of Raetihi, and Taumarunui's Cody Beck, who had the best open points in the final.

On Friday, "Korney" Roberts put in a remarkable performance by beating Open-class teammates David Buick and Mark Grainger in the transtasman challenge, but it was not enough to stop veteran Tasman-hopper Roger Misfud and his Warrnambool team claiming another resounding win over the NZ Shears selection. Young Taranaki shearer Darren Alexander had the biggest day of his short competition career when he won the New Zealand Championships Intermediate final, watched by father and 1992 Golden Shears Open finalist Lloyd Alexander.

"I can't believe it," the 20-year-old Alexander said after winning by just 0.132pts from runner-up Simon Goss, of Kimbolton. But the crowd might also have had some disbelief, had it been widely known that Alexander had made his 17th final of the season, competing from from Winton in the south to Pukekohe in the north, while also trying to complete his third and final year studies at Lincoln.

 Erica Reti, winner of the New Zealand Championships Junior woolhandling title and Shearing Sports New Zealand Junior woolhandling rankings for 2013-2014
Erica Reti, winner of the New Zealand Championships Junior woolhandling title and Shearing Sports New Zealand Junior woolhandling rankings for 2013-2014

Senior shearing final and Shearing Sports New Zealand senior rankings winner Casey Bailey
Senior shearing final and Shearing Sports New Zealand senior rankings winner Casey Bailey

Action on the floor as Russell Harrison foots-it with the woolhandling judges in a departure from the entertainment on stage.
Action on the floor as Russell Harrison foots-it with the woolhandling judges in a departure from the entertainment on stage.

NZ Shears founder and patron John Fagan, who was presented during the 30th anniversary championships with Shearing Sports New Zealand life membership, gives a bit-of a run down to Prime Minister and final night guest John Key. That's Mr Key on the right.
NZ Shears founder and patron John Fagan, who was presented during the 30th anniversary championships with Shearing Sports New Zealand life membership, gives a bit-of a run down to Prime Minister and final night guest John Key. That's Mr Key on the right.

Joel Henare  commentating the Open woolhandling final after being eliminated in the semi-finals
Joel Henare commentating the Open woolhandling final after being eliminated in the semi-finals

Wool flying in the Open woolhandling final, with runner-up Logan Kamura in the foreground
Wool flying in the Open woolhandling final, with runner-up Logan Kamura in the foreground

Sheree Alabaster with the spoils of winning a seventh New Zealand Champs Open woolhandling title.
Sheree Alabaster with the spoils of winning a seventh New Zealand Champs Open woolhandling title.

Hawke's Bay teenager Carlton Aranui, who burst onto the competition scene with his first win at Balclutha in February, won the Junior final in the closest final of the championhips. He shore the five-sheep final in 7min 25.17sec, just 1.53 seconds quicker than Australian Romney Shears junior winner Brett Caldwell, and when the result was announced a few minutes later the difference in their ribbons was judged by just 0.076pts.

Kimbolton teenager Connor Puha won his fifth Novice final of the season, also claiming honours for the best quality points in all grades.

Henare's partner, Erica Reti, who is expecting the couple's second child, was the South Island's only winner at the championships, substantiating her top Junior ranking by winning the junior woolhandling final, while Tara Chapman, of Matiere, upset the more favoured competitors to win the Senior woollhandling final.

Results from the New Zealand Shearing Championships at Te Kuiti on Thursday-Saturday, March 27-29, 2014:


NZ Championships Open Final (20 sheep): Rowland Smith (Hastings) 15min 36.36sec, 58.168pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 16min 3.11sec, 61.506pts, 2; Dion King (Hastings) 15min 52.95sec, 62.898pts, 3; David Fagan (Te Kuiti) 15min 27.03sec, 62.952pts, 4; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 18min 8.34sec, 67.517pts, 5; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 18min 14.72sec, 69.486pts, 6.

Open Plate (10 sheep): Adam Brausch (Dannevirke) 9min 3.32sec, 37.166pts, 1; David Buick (Pongaroa) 8min 51.18sec, 39.559pts, 2; Gavin Mutch (Whanngamomona and Scotland) 8min 57.39sec, 40.07pts, 3; Axle Reid (Taihape) 10min 5.55sec, 40.378pts, 4; Dean Ball (Te Kuiti) 9min 10.35sec, 40.718pts, 5; Digger Balme (Te Kuiti) 7min 27.86sec, 75.093pts, 6.

NZ Shears Open Circuit final (5 merinos, 5 crossbred ewes, 5 lambs): John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 20min 8.58sec, 87.763pts, 1; Tony Coster (Rakaia) 20min 28.51sec, 88.693pts, 2; Darin Forde (Winton) 19min 38.75sec, 93.271pts, 3; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 21min 28.38sec, 93.286pts, 4; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 20min 50.7sec, 100.669pts, 5; Axle Reid (Taihape) 22min 51.54sec, 100.71pts, 6.

North Island Shearer of the Year final (10 ewes and 10 lambs): Rowland Smith (Hastings) 15min 57.51sec, 59.726pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 16min 16.84sec, 62.492pts, 2; David Buick (Pongaroa) 15min 39.5sec, 62.975pts, 3; Dion King (Hastings) 16min 2.02sec, 65.301pts, 4; David Fagan (Te Kuiti) 18min 20.42sec, 65.721pts, 5; Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 16min 29.97sec, 68.499pts, 6.

NZ Senior Championships final (12 sheep): Casey Bailey (Masterton) 13min 45.2sec, 51.51pts, 1; Brett Roberts (Mataura) 13min 46.46sec, 51.906pts, 2; Turi Edmonds (Raetihi) 14min 35.01sec, 54.751pts, 3; Cody Beck (Taumarunui) 15min 46.2sec, 56.227pts, 4; Ethan Pankhurst (Masterton) 15min 8.41sec, 57.005pts, 5; Corey Mifsud (Australia) 16min 9.1sec, 61.372pts, 6.

NZ Championships Intermediate final (8 sheep): Darren Alexander (Whangamomona) 10min 34.18sec, 42.958pts, 1; Simon Goss (Kimbolton) 11min 44.3sec, 43.09pts, 2; Bevan Pere (Gisborne) 11min 42.33sec, 45.117pts, 3; Kahn Culshaw (Mataura) 11min 26.56sec, 46.328pts, 4; Catherine Mullooly (Matawai) 12min 35.77sec, 46.789pts, 5; Michael Herlihy (Matiere) 12min 16.49sec, 48.575pts, 6.

NZ Championships Junior final (5 sheep): Carlton Aranui (Raupunga) 7min 25.17sec, 32.659pts, 1; Brett Caldwell (Australia) 7min 26.7sec, 32.735pts, 2; Lionel Taumata (Gore) 7min 59.27sec, 34.764pts, 3; Kaleb Foote (Waikaretu) 9min 59.51sec, 40.976pts, 4; Josh Balme (Te Kuiti) 10min 1.48sec, 41.074pts, 5; Harris Tohengaroa (Aria) 11min 42sec, 44.5pts, 6.

NZ Championships Novice final (2 sheep): Connor Puha (Kimbolton) 7min 27.31sec, 30.866pts, 1; Mitchell Hoare (Te Kuiti) 6min 37.66sec, 32.383pts, 2; Matthew Kyle (Ireland) 8min 31.3sec, 39.065pts, 3; Sarah Higgins (Havelock) 8min 59.14sec, 40.957pts, 4; Emily Te Kapa (Scotland) 7min 19.84sec, 44.992pts, 5; Darren Gilbert (Raupunga) 8min 4.16sec, 57.708pts, 6.

Transtasman (4 merinos, 4 crossbred second shear sheep): Warrnambool 262.01pts (Rocky Wegner 13min 57.61sec, 76.756pts; Nathan Lilley 15min 19.06sec, 91.203pts; Roger Mifsud 14min 58.52sec, 94.051pts) beat Te Kuiti 270.859pts (Brett Roberts 15min 39.44sec, 87.972pts; David Buick 14min 34.85sec, 90.868pts; Mark Grainger 15min 20.38sec, 92.019pts).

Inter-Island Challenge (10 sheep): North Island 116.384pts (Rowland Smith 9min 1.45sec, 36.473pts; John Kirkpatrick 9min 29.07sec, 36.754pts; David Fagan 9min 39.13sec, 43.157pts) beat South Island 125.232pts Tony Coster 9min 39.02sec, 39.751pts; Nathan Stratford 10min 9.06sec, 41.553pts; Darin Forde 9min 36.55sec, 43.928pts).

Province of Origin (6 sheep): King Country (Desan Ball and Peter Jackson) 6min 42.27sec, 28.614pts, 1; Wairarapa (David Buick and Matene Mason) 6min 33.65sec, 30.516pts, 2; Manawatu (Aaron Haynes and Murray Henderson) 6min 28.21sec, 30.744pts, 3; Hawke's Bay (Adam Brausch and Paerata Abraham) 6min 57.59sec, 31.214pts, 4; Southland (Casey Bailey and Ethan Pankhurst) 6min 24.63sec, 32.232pts, 5; Whanganui (Robert Mudgway and Gavin Kelly) 6min 57.43sec, 34.539pts, 6.


NZ Championships Open final: Sheree Alabaster (Taihape) 70.962pts, 1; Logan Kamura (Martoin) 81.53pts, 2; Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu) 104.356pts, 3; Tina Rimene (Masterton) 115pts, 4; Anita Phillips (Taumarunui) 147.82pts, 5.

NZ Championships Senior final: Tara Chapman (Te Kuiti) 75.4pts, 1; Ana Braddick (Eketahuna) 85.47pts, 2; Carmen Smith (Pongaroa) 86.31pts, 3; Brittany Tibble (Gisborne) 109.29pts, 4; Paige Brausch (Porangahau) 127.97pts, 5.

NZ Championships Junior final: Erica Reti (Balfour) 65.97pts, 1; Stevee-Rae Alexander (Whanganui) 67.56pts, 2; Geraldine Turipa (Feilding) 75.91pts, 3; Ashleigh Aporo (Martinborough) 78.47pts, 4; Hanna Brough (Pukekawa) 96.78pts, 5.

Shearing and woolhandling:

Tectra Wool Harvesting Apprentice National Championship (5 sheep): South Island (shearers Jock Barrett, Ethan Pankhurst; woolhandlers Kerrie-Lee Duff, Vance Brown) 204.015pts, beat North Island (shearers Keanu Sutton, Jaydn Hiroti-Green; woolhandlers Carmen Smith, Stevee-Rae Alexander) 252.411pts. South Island won the inaugural series 2-0.

Rowland Smith winning his third New Zealand Open title in Te Kuiti.
PHOTO/Todd Ward, Waitomo News

Schoolboy Puna wins another shears title - March 28, 2014

Manawatu high school student Connor Puha celebrated another successful day away from the classroom by winning the national Novice shearing final in Te Kuiti.

The first title decided at the three-day championships which started on Thursday, it was his fifth of the season, and completed a meritorious double after his Golden Shears Novice final win four weeks ago.

But Puha, from Kimbolton and a pupil at nearby Feilding High School, missed out on a chance for a unique double, when he was eliminated from the senior woolhandling event in the heats. Just before the Golden Shears he won the North Island Circuit senior woolhandling title.

Results from the first two days of the New Zealand Shearing Championships in Te Kuiti: Novice final (2 sheep): Connor Puha (Kimbolton) 7min 27.31sec, 30.866pts, 1; Mitchell Hoare (Te Kuiti) 6min 37.66sec, 32.383pts, 2; Matthew Kyle (Ireland) 8min 31.3sec, 39.065pts, 3; Sarah Higgins (Havelock) 8min 59.14sec, 40.957pts, 4; Emily Te Kapa (Scotland) 7min 19.84sec, 44.992pts, 5; Darren Gilbert (Raupunga) 8min 4.16sec, 57.708pts, 6

Former shearing champ Avery returns as Open hope in Te Kuiti - March 28, 2014

Former World shearing champion Paul Avery has grabbed a slim chance of representing his country again by qualifying for the quarterfinals of the New Zealand Open shearing championship in Te Kuiti.

But it was a close call for Taranaki farmer Avery as 62 shore in the heats today on the second day of the 30th championships. He qualified last of the 24 to make the cut for the quarterfinals to be shorn tomorrow afternoon.

Semi-finals soon afterwards decide the top six for the final over 20-sheep each tomorrow night, when one of the competitors will win the right to join Hawke's Bay shearer Rowland Smith in the New Zealand team for this year's World Championships in Gorey, Ireland, in May.

Smith won his place in claiming his second Golden Shears Open title in Masterton four weeks ago, and today firmed in his already warm favouritism to win a third New Zealand Open by heading the qualifiers, just ahead of two-times World teams champion John Kirkpatrick, of Napier.

Smith started the day as $2 favourite with the TAB, among the shortest odds offered by the TAB in more than 12 years operating win pools on New Zealand's major shearing events.

Aaron Haynes, of Feilding, showed he is not wihthout a chance by qualifying in third place, with 2012 World champion, Scotland representative and Taranaki farmer Gavin Mutch was next.

Remarkably, Avery and Mutch were among six former World individual shearing champions in the 62-strong field, including local legend and five-times World champion David Fagan, of Te Kuiti, and 2010 World champion Cam Ferguson, of Waipawa, who qualified for tomorrow's next stage of the national title race in 10th and 23rd places respectively. The 1994 World champion, King Country shearer Alan Macdonald, and 1984 champion and South Island-based Scotsman Tom Wilson were both just shy of the cut, in 27th and 28th places respectively.

Qualifiers for the New Zealand Open shearing championship quarterfinals starting in Te Kuiti on Saturday at 1pm:

Rowland Smith(Hastings) 1, John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 2, Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 3, Gavin Mutch (Whangamomona/Scotland) 4, Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 5, David Buick (Pongaroa) 6, Angus Moore (Ward) 7, Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 8, Dion King (Hastings) 9, David Fagan (Te Kuiti) 10, Dean Ball (Te Kuiti) 11, Digger Balme (Te Kuiti) 12, Murray Henderson (Feilding) 13, Adam Brausch (Dannevirke) 14, Tony Coster (Rakaia) 15, Axle Reid (Taihape) 16, Lloyd Alexander (Whangamomona) 17, Tama Niania (Gisborne) 18, James Fagan (Te Kuiti) 19, James Ruki (Te Kuiti) 20, Sam Welch (Waikaretu) 21, Darin Forde (Winton) 22, Cam Ferguson (Waipawa) 23, Paul Avery (Stratford) 24.

TAB Opens bets on New Zealand Shears Open starting today - March 28, 2014

The TAB has opened betting on the 30th New Zealand Shearing Championships in Te Kuiti by installing defending champion and dual Golden Shears Open champion Rowland Smith as a warm $2 favourite.

The shortening of the price to one of the tightest in more than 12 years of TAB books on New Zealand's top shearing events has meant some other hot contenders have surprisingly longer odds, but TAB spokesman Kieran McAnulty expects change as the field is cut from about 70 in today's heats, through the quarterfinals and semi-finals to the top six for the final tomorrow night.

"We simply cannot afford to be offering too much on Rowland after the way he performed at the Golden Shears," he said.

"I think this is the highest we have ever had David Fagan, which just doesn't feel right, buy we really don't have much of a choice,� he said, as the shearing World waits in anticipation of the King Country gun winning the title for a 17th time.

"If punters start to come on Fagan hard, which they probably will, we will move him in quick because there is no doubt that if he is on form in his home town there he is still a real chance," Mr McAnulty said.

"It is always at the back of my mind that anyone who makes the final is a chance of winning it."

Betting is suspended during each phase of the event. The Open championship heats start mid-morning, deciding the qualifiers for the quarterfinals early tomorrow afternoon. Opening odds are:

  1. Rowland Smith $2.00
  2. John Kirkpatrick $4.00
  3. David Fagan $7.00
  4. Cam Ferguson $9.00
  5. Nathan Stratford $10.00
  6. Dion King $10.00
  7. David Buick $10.00
  8. Mark Grainger $17.00
  9. Darin Forde $25.00
  10. Gavin Mutch $25.00
  11. Tony Coster $30.00
  12. Murray Henderson $50.00
  13. Axle Reid $50.00
  14. Adam Brausch $50.00
  15. Aaron Haynes $50.00
  16. Tysson Hema $50.00
Quotes on others

David Fagan - 30 years a competitor, and organiser - March 27, 2014

Multiple World, Golden Shears and national shearing champion David Fagan is giving-up hope on one of his dreams - that he will one day be able to go to the New Zealand championships as just a competitor.

As home-town Te Kuiti marks the three-day 30th championships which started today (Thursday) it is another milestone in a remarkable career in which he's been both a competitor and an organiser of the event throughout the three decades since its inception as the King Country Shears in1985.

He's won the 20-sheep, six-man Open final 16 times, and has only once missed once qualifying for the annual Saturday night showdown. But at Te Kuiti he's also excelled as an administrator, one of only two people to serve on the committee from Day One.

Helping prepare for the championships, which will feature over 200 shearers and woolhandlers and about 3500 sheep � with guests including Prime Minister John Key - the 52-year-old Fagan said: "I guess I've always wanted to be able to come here, just once, as just a competitor. But I guess that's never going to happen now."

While the records show he and stadium announcer John Grainger share the record for committee room involvement, he's unsure whether anyone else has matched his longevity in the Open championship.

"I can't think of anyone else," he said. "I don't know if anyone else would be silly enough."

The committee prides itself on offering the richest prizes in World shearing, with over $20,000 worth available to the winner of the Open Championship, which he's chasing again in the heats which will be held on Friday.

But the extra drawcard is the second of two machine shearing places in the New Zealand team for the World Championships in Ireland in May.

"That's what everyone's coming for," said Fagan, who's won five individual World titles and remains among the favourites for another bid, up against Hawke's Bay stars John Kirkpatrick, Cam Ferguson and Dion King, and such others as Wairarapa farmer David Buick, and Southland gun Nathan Stratford.

In terms of the New Zealand title, they'll all be up against it with defending champion Rowland Smith, of Hastings, the hot favourite who four weeks ago won his second Golden Shears Open title, and the first of the two places in the team.

Open shearers have the chance of a treble, with the New Zealand Shears Circuit and North Island Shearer of the Year titles also at stake, while a range of other national, inter-island and transtasman shearing titles and national woolhandling titles will be decided at the championships, with competitors including the two members of an indigenous Australian team who shore crossbred New Zealand sheep for the first time in two competitions at Waitomo and Stratford last weekend.

Woolhandling heats will dominate the early stages, with the first title to be decided being the Novice shearing.

World champ Gavin Mutch scores big win in Taranaki Shears - March 25, 2014

Taranaki farmer and Scottish shearer Gavin Mutch has scored a major success ahead of his World title defence in May by winning the Taranaki Shears Open title in Stratford on Sunday.

With only a handful of wins events behind him during the New Zealand summer, the Whangamomona-based Mutch beat almost all the top Kiwi hopes, although Golden Shears champion Rowland Smith failed to make yesterday's final.

The runner-up was 2008 and 2012 World teams champion John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, followed in order by five-times World individual champion David Fagan, of Te Kuiti, Wairarapa hope David Buick, of Pongaroa, up-and-coming King Country prospect Mark Grainger, of Te Kuiti, and Axle Reid, of Taihape.

Smith beat Fagan, Kirkpatrick and Grainger in the Waitomo Caves Open on Saturday and this week seeks a third New Zealand Open title in Te Kuiti, where one of his opponents will qualify to join him in the New Zealand team for the World Championships in Gorey, Ireland, in May.

Yesterday's Senior final was won by Casey Bailey, of Masterton, Simon Goss, of Kimbolton, won the Intermediate final, Josh Balme, of Te Kuiti, the Junior final, and the Novice event was won by Golden Shears novice winner Connor Puha, of Kimbolton.

Logan Kamura, of Marton, had his biggest success by winning the Open woolhandling final, Senior title was won by Junior woolhandling titles went to Leah Iremonger, of Matau, near Stratford, and South Island Tectra modern apprentice inter-island challenge team member Kerrie Duff, of Kurow, won the junior final.

Welsh prepare for World Champs after NZ tour - March 10, 2014

The Welsh shearing team of Gareth Daniel and Richard Jones has returned home from a New Zealand tour which despite losses in all four Elders Primary Wool Shearing Series tests has prepared the pair well for the 16th World Championships in Ireland in May.

The value of the tour was highlighted in the last test at the Pahiatua Shears when the Kiwis' winning margin was less than 1.1pts

The big obstacle was the form of current New Zealand star Rowland Smith, of Hastings, who six days later retained the Golden Shears Open title in Masterton.

Daniel, 30, from Machynlleth, and Jones, 25, from Corwen, both beat second New Zealander Tony Coster, from Rakaia, in the South Island.

There was considerable other success for the Welsh pair otherwise on the tour, including a cleansweep of the three regional matches outside of the test series.

There were also two particularly significant results for Jones, who a year earlier had won the Open final at the Reeftopn A and P Show on the West Coast of the South Island.

Again mastering the competition's lambs, he won again, beating the runner-up and up-and-coming Southland shearer by more than two points, and a fortnight later shore in the final at the Southern Shears, one of the top five events in New Zealand, with many of the top Kiwi guns blazing ahead of the Golden Shears and the Kiwis' own World Championships selection.

Jones finished fifth, being beaten only by John Kirkpatrick, Smith, David Fagan, and Nathan Stratford, who between them have won more than 900 Open finals.

Daniel and Jones will be joined in the Welsh team for the World championships by blades shearers Elfed Jackson and Gareth Owen and woolhandlers Meinir Evans and Aled W Jones.

A wool and shearing festival is planned for Gorey in County Wexford, from May 17-25, culminating with the All Ireland Nationals and the World Championships.

Building-up to the championships' will be the Donard Shears in County Wicklow on May 11, the Royal Ulster Show on May 14-16, and the Connacht Spring Show on May 17-18.

RESULTS from the 2014 Elders Primary Wool Shearing Series Wales team tour of New Zealand:

January 18:

Invitation Match at Tauranga A and P Show (10 lambs): Wales 86.16pts (Gareth Daniel 8min 59sec, 44.25pts; Richard Jones 9min 38.2sec, 42.11pts) beat Tauranga Show Invitation 92.86pts (Mark Grainger 9min 10..8sec, 44.74pts; Jack Fagan 8min 56.4sec, 48.12pts). :

January 26:

First test, at Rotorua A and P Show at Ngongotaha (15 sheep): New Zealand 105.65pts (Rowland Smith 12min 59sec, 48.883pts; Tony Coster 13min 38sec, 57.767pts) beat Wales 112.9pts (Richard Jones 14min 15sec, 55.017pts; Gareth Daniel 13min 7sec, 57.883pts).

February 1:

Invitation Match at Reefton A and P Show (10 lambs): Wales 95.964pts (Richard Jones 11min 7sec, 42.25pts; Gareth Daniel 10min 36.28sec, 50.714pts) beat Top of the South 100.816pts (Tony Nott 10min 26.32sec, 48.116pts; Chris Jones 12min, 52.7pts).

February 8:

Second Test, at the Otago Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Balclutha 148.7pts (20 sheep): New Zealand (Rowland Smith 20min 28.16sec, 69.808pts; Tony Coster 22min 53.63sec, 78.982pts) beat Wales 158.748pts (Gareth Daniel 21min 56.84sec, 75.792pts; Richard Jones 23min 31.11sec, 82.956pts).

February 15:

Third Test, at the Southern Shears, Gore (15 sheep): New Zealand 108.831pts (Rowland Smith, Hastings, 14min 37.19sec, 52.79pts; Tony Coster, Rakaia, 14min 31.41sec, 56.038pts) beat Wales 116.766pts (Gareth Daniel, Machynlleth, 15min 0.49sec, 58.317pts; Richard Jones, Corwen, 16min 0.98sec, 58.449pts).

February 21:

Invitation Match, at the Taumarunui Jamboree Shears (8 sheep): Wales 78..582pts (Gareth Daniel 9min 18.26sec, 39.288pts; Richard Jones 10min 5.88sec, 39.294pts) beat King Country Invitation 86.952pts (James Ruki 9min 13.97sec, 42.699pts; Jack Fagan 10min 20.05sec, 44.253pts).

February 23:

Fourth Test, at the Pahiatua Shears (10 sheep): New Zealand 87.799pts (Rowland Smith 10min 44.44sec, 42.422pts; Tony Coster 11min 5.53sec, 45.377pts) beat Wales 88.874pts (Gareth Daniel 10min 30.16sec, 44.408pts; Richard Jones 11min 5.31sec, 44.466pts).

New Zealand won the series 4-0.

Ireland here we come - Joel and Ronnie get the nod - March 03, 2014

It was all on for young and not so old as reigning World woolhandling champion Joel Henare today won the right to defend the title at Gorey in Ireland in May.

A few hours ahead of also successfully defending the Golden Shears Open woolhandling title, the 22-year-old Henare, of Gisborne, won the final of a year-long selection series.

He will be joined at the World Champs by series runner-up Ronnie Goss, the 2008 Golden Shears Open champion, who may chuckle at the realisation that she is twice her teammate's age, despite still being in her 40s.

It highlighted another of the points of difference the shearing sports enjoy, and the remarkable commitment, while on the other hand the outcome was a disappointment for Te Awamutu's Keryn Herbert, who had qualified second behind Henare for the finals.

Joel Henare Open Woolhandling Winner
A shock elimination in the 2010 World Championships semi-finals in Wales, and third at Gore in 2012 in a final to select two competitors for the championships which were won by Henare in Masterton two weeks later, Herbert was determined to again get to a World championships, and get to the individual final, and possibly win - the best possible gift for a 35th birthday on tour.

Eight woolhandlers had qualified from the 10-round preliminary series, and after a two-round semi-final, the toughest possible contest for the two positions was assured, with 2008 World champion Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape, completing the lineup for the afternoon battle, which to some degree overshadowed the contest for the 30th Golden Shears Open title in the evening.

Having won the selection series final by just 2.8pts, Henare was in total command in the craftwork in the Open final, where Herbert displayed true mettle to be first to finish.

Needing much more to beat Henare than she could achieve on time points, it did enable her to beat fellow finalists Rocky Hape-Taite, of Dannevirke, and Maryanne Baty, and at least enable her to go one better than when third in 2012 and 2013.

Herbert did however retain the North Island Circuit Open final, in which Goss was also the runner-up.

A unique feature of the World Championships selection trial semi-finals was the appearance of former World and Golden Shears champion Tina Rimene and daughters Pagan Rimene and Larnie Morrell, the other qualifier being Amy Ruki.

South Island-based Daine Rehe was a worthy winner of the Senior woolhandling title in which key North Island-based hope Carmen Smith, of Pongaroa, was runner-up, with third place going to local Tumanako Waikare and fourth to Paige Brausch (nee Wakefield), of Porangahau.

The prospect of some real history-making dissipated when the top qualifier from the heats, 15-year-old Connor Puha, of Kimbolton, was eliminated in the semi-final. His performance in the heats had made him event favourite after victory also at the Pre-Shears Championships a few days earlier, and having won the Golden Shears Novice shearing final he had the opportunity to become both the first person to win Golden Shears titles in both shearing and woolhandling, and easily the youngest Golden Shears champion in any discipline and grade other than Novice.

The Junior woolhandling final was won by Creedence Culshaw of Raupunga and who had her first win at the Spring Shears in Waimate in October. Runner-up-today was Nikol Petuha, of Masterton.

They had been first and second in the heats, and second and fourth in the semi-finals, which were headed by ultimate third placegetter Kiriana Brown.

Hometown Golden Shears hero Jeremy Goodger s was denied a 10th Golden Shears men's woolpressing title in a row, and a 12th in 13 years, by brother Vinnie in their final tonight, while earlier Fiona Christensen, also of Masterton, regained the women's title she last won in 2011. The Goodger brothers won the pairs title for a fourth year in a row.

Rowland Smith retains Golden Shears title and heads for World Champs - March 03, 2014

Hawke's Bay shearer Rowland Smith is setting his sights on becoming a World champion after successfully defending the Golden Shears Open shearing title in Masterton.

The 27-year-old, the TAB favourite who grew-up in Northland, was a man possessed as he hammered the opposition in the six-man final and beat runner-up, second-favourite and four-times winner John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, by more than two-and-a-half points.

The 2010 Golden Shears and World champion, Cam Ferguson, of Waipawa, was third, creating the event's third Hawke's Bay trifecta in a row, and meaning that no one from outside Hawke's had been in the first two since the last win by King Country icon David Fagan in 2009.

Smith's win gave him the first of two New Zealand machine shearing positions at the 16th World Championships to be held in Gorey, Ireland, in May, the second being decided in Te Kuiti on March 29 when Smith will be also defending the New Zealand championships Open title.

The two-metre giant with the sweeping long-blow Smith set a bold pace in front of a crowd of over 1000 equally onto the pace from the start, with big support for sole first-time finalist and Pongaroa farmer David Buick, potentially the host region's first winner of the event in its 54-year history.

Smith disrobed the first of his 20 ewes in 43 seconds, but Kirkpatrick hit the front over the last five, finishing in 17min 0.139sec, with Smith next 11 seconds later, ahead of the fast finishing Ferguson and 2006 winner Dion King of Hastings, and then Buick.

It was no disgrace to Buick, the 74th person to shear a Golden Shears Open final, and the 24th to finish sixth first-time-in.

The first five were separated by just 32 seconds, with another half-minute to the last-man off, near perennial final battler and Invercargill shearer Nathan Stratford, the time for the first finisher being the slowest since Paul Avery's 17min 0.18sec on the way to winning the 2007 title, but the 1min 4.457sec from first to last since 51.36sec separated David Fagan and fastest-ever last-man-off Gavin Mutch in 2009.

Fagan was the only surprise semi-final elimination, and, the second time in a row, it was still only the fifth time in 31 Golden Shears from his Open final debut in 1984 as runner-up to brother John, that he had not made the top six.

The 52-year-old Fagan was also a semi-final ejection from the PGG Wrightson National Circuit, with nine previous wins in the event and being the TAB favourite as top qualifier after the preliminary rounds at Alexandra, Waimate, Christchurch, Marton and Pahiatua.

It opened the door for second-to-top qualifier and Invercargill shearer Nathan Stratford to score the biggest win of his career, as South Islanders filled the first four placings. Only fourth to finish, his quality enabled him to overtake three faster finishers who had won the event eight times between them. 202009-2011winner Tolny Coster, of Rakaia, was second, while four-times winner and Lornville-based Winton shearer Darin Forde was third - after beating Stratford off the board by 1min 52.184sec.

Stratford has won almost 40 Open titles in an Open career which started in 1997, and this year was the 10th time he'd shorn in the National Circuit final, but he'd never finished better than fourth.

Rowland Smith winner open shearing final

Nathan Stratford winner national circuit final

Brett Roberts winner Senior shearing

PHOTOS/Pete Nikolaison, Golden Shears
On Saturday he was also fourth in what was his fifth Golden Shears Open final, among the best of any South Islander. Snow Quinn shore seven, George Potae six, and Darin Forde also five. On the way to his Open career he shore in the 1994 Golden Shears Intermediate final, and the 1996 and 1997 senior finals,finishing second in the latter to James Fagan. He holds the YFC Open Blue Ribbon record of six consecutive wins from 1997-2002.

Mataura shearer Brett Roberts won his second Golden Shears title with victory by more than a point and a half in what became a classic South v North battle in the Golden Shears Senior final. As a 15-year-old, Roberts won the 50th Golden Shears Junior final in 2010, and had spent an unusual three years in senior class searching for the latest title.

Having recently won the South Island major Senior titles, at the Otago championships in Balclutha and the Southern Shears in Gore, Roberts was launched into battle with Masterton-based Riverton shearer Casey Bailey who at one stage had won nine North Island Senior finals in a row on the season-long buildup road to battle for the golden-inked red ribbon at the Golden Shears.

Bailey was first to finish the rugged 12-sheep, six-shearer showdown in front of more 600 than spectators, finishing in 13min 59.012sec, the only shearer under 14 minutes and beating second-man-off Roberts by just over 11 seconds. But Roberts had comfortably the better shearing quality points.

Other finalists included 2011 Junior winner Michael Rolston, of Levin, and English shearer Sam Bullingham, of Okehampton, Devon.

Anzac spirit helps Australia to shearuing test win over New Zealand - March 02, 2014

The camaraderie of international shearing has again been demonstrated with an Australian transtasman series victory over New Zealand on the Kiwis' home turf - on the back of a tutorial from some of New Zealand's top shearers and instructors.

Visiting shearers Shannon Warnest, Jason Wingfield and Daniel McIntyre hammered New Zealanders Rowland Smith, John Kirkpatrick and Dion Morrell by almost 20 points on the last night of the 54th Golden Shears in Masterton on Saturday.

Later, Warnest, whose 14 years in international shearing have included the record-setting features of 22 transtasman tests, 13 wins, five away victories in Masterton, and being the top individual at least 15 times, said a major factor was the two-day shearing school they spent last week in Palmerston North.

Instructors included Taranaki farmer and fellow former World champion Paul Avery, and Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman Gavin Rowland, in his role as head of New Zealand shearing training operation Tectra, which also runs courses across the Tasman for Australia Wool Innovation.

Another biggie was the experience in the team, with Wingfield having shorn 15 transtasman tests since 2003, his eight wins including two in New Zealand.

Both turning 40 later this year, Warnest, a shearer and pub owner from Willalooka, S.A,, and Wingfield, based in Cobram, Vic., were joined in Saturday's win by Daniel McIntyre, from Glen Innes, NSW.

Warnest said the greater prevalence of crossbred sheep in the traditionally finewooled merino flock in Australia was also giving his shearers more experience on animals closer in condition to those more prevalent in New Zealand.

Wingfield was first to finish the 12 sheep contest, taking 17min 22.49sec, followed next by veteran Kiwi merino guru and sole South Island representative Dion Morrell (17:37.8) and McIntyre (7:50.301).

Warnest was next, followed by Kirkpatrick, of Napier, while last to finish was Hastings shearer Rowland Smith, in a near 20-minutes blowout before successfully defending his Golden Shears Open title in another 20-sheep contest soon afterwards.

The Australians took the upper hand in the first half of the test, comprising six merinos each, and never looked back as the Kiwis made-up lost time over the three crossbred ewes and three lambs, but never enough to get the Australians back within their sights.

While Wingfield had the best board shearing points, and Smith saved grace with the best from judging in the pens afterwards, McIntyre, whose experience includes being runner-up in Warnest's second World Championships win, at Toowoomba, Qld, in 2005, had the best overall quality and total points.

It was the 55th transtasman test in an annual home-and-away series which started at Euroa, Vic., in October 1974, but which was suspended for 13 years after industrial aggravation in Australia woolsheds and shearing communities boiled over into violent confrontation between Australian and New Zealand shearers in 1984.

Warnest credits the spirit of the sporting transtasman competition for helping archive those problems of another era, and is now looking forward to meeting New Zealand again at the World championships in Ireland in May, and back in Australia later in the year when he plans doing something about balancing the transtasman books - New Zealand having won 28 of the test, and Australia now 27.

Saturday's win was some compensation for Australia shearing sports pride, after their woolhandling team was beaten by New Zealand on Friday.


Transtasman Shearing Test (12 sheep): Australia 260.81pts (Daniel McInt yre 17min 50.301sec, 84.682pts; Shannon Warnest 18min 0.075sec, 87.087pts; Jason Wingfield 17min 22.49sec, 89.041pts) beat New Zealand 280.21pts (John Kirkpatrick 18min 19.008sec, 88.367pts; Rowland Smith 19min 52.433sec, 95.205pts; Dion Morrell 17min 37.8sec, 96.64pts).


Transtasman Woolhandling Test: New Zealand (Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu, and Tia Potae, of Milton) 370.4pts, beat Australia (Sarah Moran, of Ararat, Vic., and Mel Morris, of Cressy, Tas.) 531.4pts.

Results from the 54th Golden Shears International Shearing and Woolhandling Championships - March 01, 2014

Results from the 54th Golden Shears International Shearing and Woolhandling Championships at Masterton on February 27-March 1, 2014:


Transtasman Shearing Test (12 sheep): Australia 260.81pts (Daniel McInt yre 17min 50.301sec, 84.682pts; Shannon Warnest 18min 0.075sec, 87.087pts; Jason Wingfield 17min 22.49sec, 89.041pts) beat New Zealand 280.21pts (John Kirkpatrick 18min 19..008sec, 88.367pts; Rowland Smith 19min 52.433sec, 95.205pts; Dion Morrell 17min 37.8sec, 96.64pts).


Transtasman Woolhandling Test: New Zealand (Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu, and Tia Potae, of Milton) 370.4pts, beat Australia (Sarah Moran, of Ararat, Vic.., and Mel Morris, of Cressy, Tas.) 531.4pts.


Golden Shears Open final (20 sheep): Rowland Smith (Hastings) 17min 10.992sec, 61.8pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 17min 0.139sec, 65.986pts, 2; Cam Ferguson (Waipawa) 17min 24.719sec, 65.986pts, 3; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 18min 4.596sec, 68.83pts, 4; Dion King (Hastings) 17min 26.901sec, 70..745pts, 5; David Buick (Pongaroa) 17min 32.593sec, 71.38pts, 6.

PGG Wrightson National Circuit final, incorporating McSkimming Memorial Triple Crown (15 sheep): Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 20min 38.977sec, 86.618pts, 1; Tony Coster (Rakaia) 19min 56.936sec, 88.247pts, 2; Darin Forde (Invercargill) 18min 46.793sec, 89..006pts, 3; Grant Smith (Rakaia) 21min 43.965sec, 89.265pts, 4; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 19min 46.549sec, 91.794pts, 5; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 21min 48.452sec, 96.623pts, 6.

Golden Shears Senior final (12 sheep): Brett Roberts (Mataura) 14min 10.031sec, 51.418pts, 1; Casey Bailey (Masterton and Riverton) 13min 59.012sec, 53.034pts, 2; Turi Edmonds (Raetihi) 14min 54.142sec, 57.29pts, 3; Michael Rolston (Levin) 15min 28.317sec, 60.416pts, 4; Sam Bullingham (Okehampton, England) 16min 17.446sec, 60.456pts, 5; Robert Mudgway (Taihape) 15min 36.302sec, 64.815pts, 6.

Golden Shears Intermediate final (8 sheep): Alun Lloyd Jones (Wales) 12min 10.317sec, 45.518pts, 1; Bevan Pere (Gisborne) 12min 24.728sec, 46.111pts, 2; Darren Alexander (Whangamomona) 12min 24.038sec, 47.577pts, 3; Catherine Mullooly (Matawai) 13min 26.25sec, 49.438pts, 4; Sion Lewis (Wales) 12min 13.254sec, 50.413pts, 5; Marshall Guy (Kaeo) 13min 28.299sec, 53.415pts, 6.

Golden Shears Junior final (6 sheep): Hefin Rowlands (Wales) 8min 53.506sec, 38..675pts, 1; Tegwyn Bradley (Woodville) 10min 0.402sec, 49.42pts, 2; Josh Balme (Te Kuiti) 10min 22.459sec, 39.523pts, 3; Lionel Taumata (Gore) 10min 3.872sec, 40.794pts, 4; Joel R ichards (Oamaru) 9min 3.449sec, 41.372pts, 5; Neil Bryant (Levin) 9min 18.03sec, 42.301pts, 6.

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

Tui Invitation (6 sheep): Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 6min 24.88sec, 30.411pts, 1; Axle Reid (Taihape) 6min 55.645sec, 31.449pts, 2; Gavin Mutch (Whangamomona and Scotland) 5min 55.578sec, 33.112pts, Murray Henderson (Feilding) 6min 19.762sec, 37.321pts, 4; Doug Smith (Ruawai) 6min 12.954sec, 37.648pts, 5; Paerata Abraham (Dannevirke) 6min 11.975sec, 38.265pts, 6.

Golden Shears Women's Invitation Shearing (5 sheep): Emily Welch (Waikaretu) 7min 53.974sec, 34.499pts, 1; Catherine Mullooly (Matawai) 8min 36.77sec, 35.239pts, 2; Te Atakura Crtawford (Te Karaka) 8min 10.418sec, 37.521pts, 3; Kirstie Hogg (Wakefield) 8min 10.248sec, 37.712pts, 4; Sarah Goss (Kimbolton) 9min 33.918sec, 41.096pts, 5; Jills Angus Burney (Featherston) 8min 8.327sec, 45.616pts, 6.

Maori Pakeha Teams (8 sheep): Noel Gardiner (Whanganui) and Bart Hadfield (Wairoa) 79.021pts, 1; Matene Mason (Masterton) and Peter Clendon (Masterton) 81.265pts, 2; Matthew Tumohe (Balclutha) and Grant Smith (Rakaia) 88.543pts, 3.


Golden Shears Open final: Joel Henare (Gisborne) 195.2pts, 1; Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu) 345pts, 2; Rocky Hape-Taite (Dannevirke) 347.8pts, 3; Maryanne Baty (Gisborne) 360pts, 4. World Championships New Zealand Team selection trial (first two represent New Zealand at World

Championships in Ireland in May): Joel Henare (Gisborne) 185pts, 1; Ronnie Goss (Kimbolton) 187.8pts, 2; Sheree Alabaster (Taihape) 200..4pts, 3; Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu) 207pts, 4.

Golden Shears Senior final: Daine Rehe (Te Teko) 182pts, 1; Carmen Smith (Pongaroa) 216pts, 2; Tumanako Waikare (Masterton) 239pts, 3; Paige Brausch (Porangahau) 265pts, 4. Golden Shears Junior final (four fleeces): Creedence Culshaw (Raupunga) 182pts, 1; Nikol Petuha (Masterton) 206pts, 2; Kiriana Brown (Martinborough) 212pts, 3; Geraldine Turipa (Feilding) 290pts, 4.

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

North Island Circuit Open woolhandling circuit: Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu) 168pts, 1; Ronnie Goss (Kimbolton) 202pts, 2; Sheree Alabaster (Taihape) 203pts, 3; Ema Braddick (Eketahuna) 207pts, 4.


Men's final: Vinnie Goodger (Masterton) 89.4pts, 1; Jeremy Goodger (Masterton) 128.3pts, 2.

Women's final: Fiona Christensen (Masterton) 93.9pts, 1; Carmen Smith (Pongaroa) 119.9pts, 2.

Pairs final: Vinnie and Jeremy Goodger (Masterton) 72.8pts, 1; Jonathan andCam Hicks (Marton) 140.8pts, 2.

Triathlon (shearing, woolhandling, pressing): Vinnie Goodger (Masterton) 213.101pts, 1; Tane Matiaha (Masterton) 242.743pts, 2; Carmen Smith (Pongaroa) 245.684pts, 3.

Young Farmers Clubs:

YFC Blue Ribbon final (6 sheep): Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 7min 12.772sec, 32.972pts, 1; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 7min 34.142sec, 33.04pts, 2; Corey Palmer (Dipton) 8min 31.616sec, 38.247pts, 3; Linton Palmer (Dipton) 9min 35.255sec, 39..429pts, 4; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 10min 18.342sec, 40.25pts, 5; Brett Langrell (Temuka) 9min 56.667sec, 52pts, 6.

Inter-District shearing and woolhandling: Manawatu 263.4pts, 1; Aorangi 272.8pts, 2.

St David's Day triumph for Welsh at Golden Shears - March 01, 2014

They'd be calling it the St David's Day Massacre after two Welsh shearers annihilated the more favoured New Zealanders to win Wales' first two titles at the famed Golden Shears International Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in New Zealand for 23 years.. The two wins came in less than an hour today, when 24-year-old Hefin Rowlands, originally from Ruthin, of won the Junior final and 19-year-old AlynLloyd Jones, of Corwen, won the Intermediate final in Masterton's War Memorial Stadium, where the Golden Shears have been held every year since they began in 1961. Only two Welsh shearers had ever won titles at the Golden Shears, most recently in 1991 when the Junior final was won by Alwyn Manzini, of Bala. Both Rowlands and Jones have been working in Hawke's Bay, Rowlands for Hastings contractor Colin Watson Paul and based mainly this season in Waipukurau, and Jones for Napier contractor Brendan Mahony. Rowlands had been in several finals in his career but never won until today, handsome consolation for having to give up rugby in which, as a sprinter at Breynhyfryd High School in North Wales, he showed some promise before fracturing a hip at the age of 16. It was about four years ago that a friend suggested shearing as a possible career and otherwise destined for a farming lifestyle he took a British Wool Board course, soon afterwards entered the infectious environment of the Corwen Shears, and never looked back. His aspirations became clear when he headed for New Zealand last summer and worked in Hawke's Bay, and even clearer when, having been in the Bay again since November, he took to the stand today to battle three from the North Island and two from the South Island in a contest over five-sheep each, in which he was first to finish in 8min 53.506sec. He beat favourite Joel Richards, of Oamaru, by 10 seconds - leaving an anxious few minutes waiting before judges quality points and the final result was announced. At the final count, Richards faded and the runner-up was Woodville shearer Tegwyn Bradley, whose mother is from Wales. Rowlands, beaming from ear to ear, told the crowd of over 600 after his win by 1.745pts was announced: "I've been making a few finals, but this is the first red sash I've had." Overwhelmed by the text message support from home on the other side of the World, he was quick to commend the Kiwi input of Hastings contractor and Hawke's Bay Great Raihania Shears organiser Colin Watson Paul and senior staff member Marc Ludlow, and other supporters from fiancé Katie Hughes with him in Masterton to Wales, where mum Rhian was watching the event live-streamed over the internet. Originally from Ruthin in North Wales, he's heading home on Tuesday to a party he expects is already under way around Llaithddu in Powys, Mid-Wales, where he reckoned he grew the population from 10 to 11 when he moved-in about two years ago. Jones, coaxed into shearing by Welsh industry identity Arwyn Jones, had already had significasnt success, winning the Royal Welsh Show and Corwen Shears Junioor titles a few days apart two years ago. He too faced an anxious wait after being first to finish, the eight sheep in his final taking 12min 10.317sec, three seconds quicker than second-off and fellow Welshh shearer Sion Lewis, of Lampeter. Jones also had to contend with Matawai shearer Catherine Mullooly, who after a string of wins in Intermediate competitions in the Lower North Island was a popular pick to score the biggest win by female in Golden Shears shearing events. Ultimately it was Gisborne shearer Bevan Pere who came through for second, beaten by Jones by 0.595pts. Overseas shearers reached four of the five shearing finals at Golden Shears, the others being Ifan Owen, from Wales and who was third in the Novice final, and fifth-placed Senior finalist Sam Bullingham, from Okehampton, Devon, in England. Gavin Mutch, from Scotland, Shannon Warnest from Australia, and Dean Nelmes, from England, all shore in the Open Championship Top 30 quarterfinal Shootout, Mutch also making it to the semi-final, and Dion Edwards, of Wales, English shearers Nick Greaves and Mark Radmore, and Russel Mason, from the US, shore in the senior semi-finals, Edwards just missing-out on joining Rowlands in the final.

Hefin Rowlands winner junior shearing

Hefin Rowlands winner junior shearing

Alun Lloyd Jones winner intermediate shearing

PHOTOS/Pete Nikolaison, Golden Shears

Creedence takes one for tiny Raupunga at Golden Shears - March 01, 2014

A long-time struggling Northern Hawke's Bay community's revival through the growth of one of the area's biggest shearing businesses had some crowning glory today as Raupunga's Creedence Culshaw won the Golden Shears Junior woolhandling title in Masterton.

The 22-year-old daughter of Pahauwera Shearing contractors Boy and Ngaire Culshaw reckoned she wasn't that certain after she and three other finalists finished their four fleeces each in fron of a crowd bof over 600 people and awaited the result of the final judging.

"But everyone else reckon I looked alright," she said as she sat with boyfriend and shearer Patrick Duncan and other supporters who'd watched at close quarters as she competed on the stand closest to their corner of Masterton's War Memorial Stadium, venue of the Golden Shears since the World-famed festival was first held in 1961.

Creedence Culshaw, of Raupunga, winning the Golden Shears Junior woolhandling final. PHOTO/Pete Nikolaison, Golden Shears
She was first to finish, and maintained enough quality to take the title comfortably, but, with the red sash of triumph safely in hand, she said: "I'm still shaking."

In those days of long ago, Raupunga, on State Highway 2 between Napier and Wairoa was the centre of a thriving country community, with jobs for all on the roads, the railways and big opportunities in the forests, as well as those on the local farms.

But the loss of the jobs from the mid-1980s did not serve such communities well, some of the slack now being picked up by shearing, which despite dwindling national sheep flock numbers provides dozens of jobs in the right seasons in the area.

As the business has developed so have the aspirations of the young community, which came to Masterton with several hopes in woolhandling and shearing events, but it was Culshaw who came through, a contender all season after finishing runner-up in her first competition in Alexandra at the start of October, and winning a week later at Waimate's New Zealand Spring Shears.

She later spent a month working out of Katanning in West Australia, and, planning to compete at the New Zealand Championships in Te Kuiti at the end of this month, expects to return to Australia in July.

Meanwhile, the Senior woolhandling final today was won by Daine Rehe, who works mainly in the South Island but who is from Te Teko, in the Bay of Plenty.

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