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Media Releases November 2015

Much waiting yields Mutch win at Stratford - November 26, 2015

Spectators reckoned Golden Shears champion and 2012 World champion Gavin Mutch looked pretty happy as he shore his way to victory in the Open final at the Stratford A and P Show on Saturday(November 28)..

With good reason, for despite living in the area about 15 years, it was the Whangamomona-based Scotsman's first win at the nearest show to home, and the first time he'd beaten local shearing hero and fellow former World champion Paul Avery in a final at either the show or the Taranaki Shears, which are also held in Stratford, each March.

Not many had beaten Avery at the showgrounds, where the 2008 World champion had won the Open final 15 times in 20 years, with Mutch runner-up four of those times..

The 36-year-old Mutch, who had however won the 2014 Taranaki Shears Open final and gthe events Senior final in 2002, both without Avery in the opposition, last March became the first shearer from overseas to win the most-coveted Golden Shears Open title in Masterton. He had reached six finals in New Zealand since then, but finished no better than third, most recently at the Central Hawke's Bay show in Waipukurau on November 14.

Yesterday, he was focused, blasting through the 15 sheep in 12min 2sec, beating Avery by almost a sheep, with third finalist Jack Fagan, of Te Kuiti, finishing about another two minutes later.

"It was one of the better shears I have had for quite a while," he said..

Fellow farmer Avery, the 2008 World Champion and a multiple Golden Shears and New Open champion didn't have the best of days, however, incurring one "max" penalty and slipping back to third in the final count, allowing 2015 Royal Welsh All-Nations winner Fagan his best placing in an Open final in New Zealand.

There was heavy rain as Mutch left the farm in the morning, and the showgrounds competition organiser Avery was looking at a potential "mud bowl."

The saving graces were that the sheep had been under cover for two days, the weather improved during the day, and there were some big entries in what was almost a United Nations invasion of the lower grades.

"They were coming out of the woodwork," said Avery. "Welsh, Irish, French�I was wondering where they were all coming from. But that's the way shearing's going at the moment."

There were 10 entries in the Open, and just seven in the Senior, the final of which was won by Masterton shearer Dylan McGruddy, his fifth win in the Senior grade in New Zealand. He beat runner-up David Gower, of Stratford, by 0.4pts.

But the Intermediate and Junior grades each attracted 17 entries, while there was also a Novice event.

The numbers meant Avery spent much of the day "juggling" sheep numbers, with the result that there were no semi-finals in the Open and Senior classes.

Gore-based Lionel Taumata backed-up wins at Waimate and Ellesmere in the South Island in October and won the Intermediate final by more than 6pts fromrunner-up and local hope Brent Bellamy, and Connor Puha, of Kimbolton, had his second Junior win, beating runner-up Jordan Hart, from Blenheim, by more than 5pts in their final.

Record-breaking summer ahead - November 28, 2015

At least six World shearing records are expected to be tackled within the space of eight weeks in possibly the biggest tallies season since records were first officially recognised almost 50 years ago.

World Sheep Shearing Records Society secretary Hugh McCarroll said today he is aware of five attempts expected to take place in New Zealand, and one in Australia.

The first is for a vacant three-stand strongwool ewes record over eight hours at Big Hill Station, west of Hastings, on December 22, featuring Hawke's Bay shearers Errol and nephew Kalin Chrystal and Shelford Wilcox, from Gisborne..

In what is expected to be the highest-profile bid, multiple records-holder Stacey Te Huia, originally from Marton but based mainly in Australia, will on January 5 make his third attempt on the premier solo strongwool record of 721 ewes in nine hours record at Mangarata, just north of Masterton.

South Island-based shearers Ringakaha Paewai and Aidan Copp will attempt to get a second entry in the record books when they are joined by Peter-Lee Ratima in a King Country woolshed on January 7 in a bid on the three-stand eight-hour lambs record of 1784, which was set in January 1999. Paewai and Copp shore 618 and 586 respectively in a five-stand record last January.

In the only other challenge confirmed with the society, six Herlihy brothers from Taranaki are angling for the vacant six-stand lambs record for eight hours, possibly heading for the biggest tally in any record attempt since a 9 hours record for six stands in Southland in 2005.

The big day is scheduled for January 26 at Paparatu Station, near Gisborne.

Mr McCarroll said he's also aware of plans for Southland shearer Leon Samuels to tackle Te Huia's eight-hour ewes record of 603 in Southland with a target date of February 8, while a week later Australian shearer Beau Guelfi, who also shears in the Gisborne area for part of each year, is expected to attempt a solo record on merino wethers. He will target the eight-hour record of 466 set by Australia-based New Zealand shearer Cartwright Terry in 2003.

Fagan collects what he reckons will be his last Waitomo District Sports Award - November 28, 2015

EVEN though he's retired from competing, Te Kuiti shearing legend David Fagan just keeps on winning. The five-time world champion was on Monday crowned Waitomo District Sportsperson of the Year - the seventh blue ribbon title since the event began in 1994.

He was also named Sporting Personality of the Year and received a standing ovation from the 300-strong crowd for his contribution to the Waitomo community, much of it at the New Zealand Championships in the community cultural centre where the awards were held.

The triumph makes him an automatic finalist in the Waikato Sports Awards in January, having previously won the Waitomo award in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2010, and two titles at the Waikato awards - the teams title with Alan MacDonald in 1995 and the Fair Play title two years later.

"They're making bloody sure I don't come back," he joked after being presented the top prize this week, Te Kuiti newspaper the Waitomo News reported. "But seriously, I'm very proud to come from this area and I'm very proud to win this for the last time. Thanks very much."

One Last Time: David Fagan collects what he reckons will be his last Waitomo District Sports Award. PHOTO/WAITOMO NEWS
Sport Waikato chief executive Matthew Cooper said the term 'legend' is used all too flippantly today, but it is more than appropriate when referring to Fagan.

"It is sad to think that this is the last time that he will be receiving a Sportsperson of the Year award," said Cooper. "So I would just like everyone to acknowledge the great sportsman, the legend that is David Fagan."

Fagan, 54, ended his career on a New Zealand team UK Tour this year, implored to make one last stint in the black singlet after having "retired" at the end of the New Zealand season in April, ranked the No1 open shearer of the season in New Zealand for a 10th time.

During the 2014-2015 season, he shore in 28 finals in shows throughout the country, winning 13, including the Otago Shears, the Southern Shears, the NZ Crossbred lamb shearing championship and the South Island Shearer of the Year, climaxing with a win in the New Zealand Shears circuit final in Te Kuiti.

In August he became chairman of Shearing Sports New Zealand, backed-up with 30 years' experience helping run the New Zealand Shears which he held establish in 1985.

Baigent pace Nott enough to win - November 24, 2015

Nelson shearer and former Top of the South Senior champion Travers Baigent made a bold bid for his first Open title when coming second at the Nelson A and P Show on Saturday(November 21).

The 26-year-old Baigent was finished more than a sheep ahead of his nearest challenger for time honours in the four-man final, but it was ultimately a case of quality over pace as the event was won by event favourite and last-man-off Tony Nott, 54, of Blenheim.

Baigent shore the 10 sheep in 12min 28.22sec, almost four minutes quicker than Nott recent Marlborough and Top of the South Open winner Nott, who must have surprised even himself by making-up the time deficit of almost 12pts to complete a successful defence of the Nelson title.

He got the nod by 0.8pts from Baigent, who managed to hold-out Marlborough veteran Chris Jones, whom he had also beaten off the board by more than two-and-a-half minutes.

Tapawera shearer Jotham Rentoul successfully defended the Senior title, Rob Hervey, of Murchison, added the Intermediate title to the Junior title he won last year, and Kaleb Avery, of Blenheim, backed-up a second-placing at his home Marlborough show a fortnight ago and third in the NZ Corriedale Championships on November 13 by scoring his first win in Saturday's Junior final.

While shearing stalwart Frank Bint was an automatic winner of the Senior woolhandling title, there was keen competition the two other woolhandling finals, particularly the Junior event, won by Natasha Te Rore, of Blenheim but from Whangarei.

It was a big day for local shearing sports, with 39 shearers and woolhandlers, one of the biggest entries in the Nelson-Marlborough area.

Stratford regains title in Tapanui - November 24, 2015

Invercargill shearer Nathan Stratford regained the West Otago A and P Show Open shearing title on Saturday(November 21) in an exciting final which overshadowed any disappointment there may have been over small numbers of entries.

The eight in the Open field, among just 21 entries across three grades, produced a good-quality four shearers for the final in which Nathan beat fellow former national circuit champions Angus Moore and Darin Forde, and rising Open class hopeful and former top lower grades shearer Brett Roberts.

Stratford had last won the West Otago title in 2012 and was runner-up to Forde two years ago. Last year he was unable to compete because he was in Australia with the New Zealand team.

Having opened this season shearing in a transtasman merino shearing match in September, Stratford's win came after finishing second to Australian Damien Boyle in the New Zealand Merino Championship in Alexandra and winning the New Zealand Spring Shears title in Waimate last month, and earlier this month finishing runner-up to fellow Southland shearer Troy Pyper in the New Zealand Corriedale Championships final in Christchurch.

On Saturday, Forde finished the 14-sheep race first in 13min 24sec, more than a sheep ahead of Stratford. But Stratford had easily the best shearing and quality points on the board and in the pens, and ultimately won by half-a-point from Moore, who had shorn 13min 27sec.

Dipton shearer Linton Palmer showed his class by winning the Senior title by a wide margin from a small field, his pen and board penalties being less than half those of any other finalist.

Jade and Brandon Maguire Ratima, of Winton, were first and second in a close Intermediate final, keeping out Welsh invader James McKenzie, who was third.

Buick takes giant step at CHB show - November 15, 2015

Pongaroa shearer David Buick scored his third win in a row in the North Island when he won the Open final at the Central Hawke's Bay A and P Show in Waipukurau on Saturday(November 14).

While just beaten by reigning Golden Shears champion and Whangamomona-based scots shearer Gavin Mutch in the race for fastest time over 20-sheep each, Buick won by a clear point at the end - his first win in CHB Open final after having to settle for the minor money for four years in a row..

The quality of Napier gun John Kirkpatrick helped him into second place, with Mutch having to settle for third, the first three having all flown from Christchurch after competing at the Canterbury Show the previous day.

Over the previous two weekends Buick had won the Australian Crossbred Championship in Warrnambool, Vic, and the Manawatu A and P Show final in Feilding, each for the second time in a row.

While the entries at Waipukurau were good, with over 120 entries in the shearing and woolhandling, top Hawke's Bay shearers missing from the Open were 2012-2014 winner Cam Ferguson, who has a broken leg, reigning New Zealand open champion Dion King, who is moving from Hastings to Wairarapa, and World champion and recent Great Raihania Shears Hawke's Bay Show winner Rowland Smith.

The four Senior finalists had had just win between them - from former top lower grades shearer David Gordon's debut in the class at Gisborne in 2013.

Thus it was a major triumph for Hastings shearer Jean Pierre Bouyer, who had not won in any grade and whose only final last season was also at Waipukurau, yet burned-off both Gordon and former top Golden Shears and New Zealand championships Junior finalist Tui Pene, of Waipawa.

Napier-based reigning New Zealand Junior champion Ricci Stevens, originally from Gisborne, scored a unique double by winning the Intermediate shearing and Novice woolhandling finals, while Eli Raheke, of Porangahau, won his third Junior title, having also on a week earlier at Feilding and his maiden victory at the Great Raihania Shears in Hastings in October.

Golden Shears and former World champion Joel Henare scored his fifth win of the season with victory in the Open woolhandling final, two days after winning the New Zealand Corriedale Championships Open woolhandling final in Christchurch. Another former World champion, multiple New Zealand Open champion Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape, was runner-up, and Samantha Gordon, of Masterton, contested an Open final for the first time and finished third.

Rahna Williams, of Flaxmere, won the Senior title and guaranteed promotion to Open woolhandling class next season, while Nye Kerekere, of Gisborne, claimed her third Junior win of the season, after winning at her home Poverty Bay Show and at the Manawatu Show in Feilding.

French tv crew Stephane Jacques(left) and Quentin Wardavoir, both from Paris, at the Central Hawke's Bay Show recording for a 20-minute segment on prime-time French Tv show, to be shown in March. They learnt of the shootings and bombings just as the Waipukurau events were getting under way. There was some success on the board for France, with Loic Jauberthie, working in Waipukurau for contractors Shearing NZ, reaching the Intermediate finals.

A well-earned smile from Hawke's Bay shearer Jean-Pierre Bouyer after winning the Senior final, his first win in any grade.

Tony O'Reilly, 73, hadn't shorn a sheep for over a year until called-on to remove the 18.8kg fleece of stud ram Shagger of Tikokino, part of the fundraising efforts in Waipukurau. Now living in Waipukurau, O'Reilly was soon recalled as the man who came third to George Potae and Kerry Johnstone in the 1969 Golden Shears Open final and who had a few years earlier become one of the first to shear 500 in a day.

The Junior woolhandling finalists in their moment of celebration, a red ribbon to Gisborne's Nye Kerekere(right) after her third win of the season.

Invercargill shearer wins big Canterbury double - November 15, 2015

Invercargill shearer and rising national hope Troy Pyper completed the biggest year of his competition career by winning the Canterbury Circuit and New Zealand Corriedale Championships double at the Canterbury Show on November 12-13.

It was a year of firsts for the now 31-year-old Pyper, who late last season had his first Open final wins in New Zealand, and reached a Golden Shears Open final for the first time.

His star continued in the ascendancy in the new season as he represented New Zealand for the first time in a transtasman test, at Hamilton, Vic, in September, beat Master shearers Tony Coster and Grant Smith, both of Rakaia, to win the Ellesmere and Ashburton A and P show titles in October, and succeeded with the "short-term" goal of winning at Christchurch.

It was psycholigically boosting pair of wins ahead of New Zealand's World Championships selection series which starts in Lumsden and Winton on January 15-16.

The series ends with a final at the Canterbury Show next November, with Pyper hoping to give his home town at least one place in Golden Shears World Championships Southland 2017, in Invercargill on February 9-11, 2017.

Also with a prospect of making the two-man machine shearing component of the team is fellow Southland shearer Nathan Stratford.

At 41 and shearing with a back injury, Stratford was runner-up in the Corriedale Championship final, which he had won just once before, in 2005, when the other finalists included four of the seven different shearers who have now won the title in the last seven years.

The consecutive winners have been David Fagan(2009), John Kirkpatrick (2010), Australian shearer Shannon Warnest (2011), Jason Win (2012), Tony Coster (2013), Irish World record breaker Ivan Scott (2014, and now Pyper.

Pyper later told the Southland Times, it was the first time he'd beaten Stratford to win a title. "I think it's just the start of my career," he said. "It's all just coming together after many years of shearing, it's all falling into place."

"I was very happy, it was a big win for me," said Pyper, who is in his 10th season in Open class since exiting Senior ranks with eight wins in 2005-2006. Those performances included third place in the 2006 Golden Shears Senior final to now current World champion Rowland Smith and a reversal of those placings a few weeks later when Pyper won the New Zealand Championships Senior title in Te Kuiti.

He had had two Open-class wins in Australia, at Esperance, W.A., in 2012 and 2013.

In the circuit final Pyper denied Rolleston shearer Abraham Berkelaar of what would have been one of the biggest surprises in Open shearing competition.

Beaten off the board only by Grant Smith, who shore the 10 sheep in 15min 19.28sec, Pyper beat Berkelaar by 17 seconds, the 0.65pts time points buffer closing to just 0.25pts when all points were counted.

The pair combined as a Canterbury Circuit selection to beat Queensland shearers Phil Schoff and Dave Grant in the Lister Transtasman Teams Challenge.

Pyper was just third to finish the 10 sheep of the Corriedale championships final, beaten by defending champion Coster who was first-off in 13min 32.56sec. Fifth to finish, Stratford closed the gap with better quality points but Pyper won by 1.33pts.

Fairlie farmer and World Championships representative Tony Dobbs won the Blades final for a third year in a row, beating runner-up Scott McKay, of Christchurch, by almost three points, while in other machine finals Geraldine's Paul Hodges won the Senior title by 0.834pts from Lyell Windleburn, from Waiau, Marlborough shearer Alex Drake was a surprise winner of the Intermediate final, and James Webster, of Christchurch, won the Junior final. .

The first day was dominated by the woolhandling events, highlighted by South Island-based Gisborne athlete, 2012 World champion and reigning Golden Shears champion Joel Henare regaining the Open title, after finishing runner-up at Christchurch last year.

Beating Cushla Abraham, of Masterton, and Amy Ferguson(nee Ruki), of Invercargill, in the final, it was the Master woolhandler's fourth win of the season, and at least the 65th in an Open-class career now in its 10th season.

Chonelle Kawana, of Masterton, the North Island Junior Circuit winner last season, had her first Senior win, and Sharni Newton, of Gore, claimed her second Junior win, having also triumphed at Waimate in October.

Buick completes a double in Manawatu shearing - November 11, 2015

The new first couple of shearing sports found a novel way to celebrate their relatively private nuptials by completing a unique treble with a double in the Open and Senjor woolhandling at the Manawatu A and P Show in Feilding on Saturday(November 7).

As Joel Henare and Erica Reti they started their eight days in paradise with wins in the Open and Senior woolhandling finals respectively at the Wairarapa A and P Show at Clareville.

They married during the week, and then celebrated another double with the Open and Senior woolhandling titles at Manfeild.

It wasn't the only double doing the rounds, with Pongaroa shearer David Buick adding the Open shearing title to the Australian Romney Shears crossbred title he won in Warrnambool the previous weekend. He was defending champion in both events.

At Manfeild he again shut-out home-town shearer and new Manawatu event organiser Murray Henderson, who was runner-up for the second year in a row. Buick shore the 15 sheep in the three-man final in 14min 9sec, and ultimately won by 2.5pts.

Gisborne shearer Bevan Pere backed-up his first Senior win a week ago at the Wairarapa show by claiming another victory, although this time it was just 0.2pts. The Intermediate final was won by Woodville shearer Tegwyn Bradley, whose sister, Laura, was third, and the Junior final was won by Porangahau teenager Eli Raheke.

The Junior woolhandling final produced a second win for Nye Kerekere, of Gisborne.

Nott repeats Marlborough and Top of the South double - November 07, 2015

Part-time Blenheim shearer Tony Nott today(November 7) won the Marlborough and Top of the South open finals double for the third time in four years.

It was also his fourth Top of the South title in a row, having won at Nelson in 2012 and 2013 and in Blenheim last year.

Nott, 54, won the Top of the South final by almost 7pts from fellow Marlborough stalwart Chris Jones, now the Marlborough A and P Society president. But it was Jones who won the race, just pipping Nott at the end and shearing the 12 sheep in 16min 50.28sec.

A short while earlier Nott had been first to finish the 10-sheep Marlborough final, shearing its 10 sheep in 14min 18.88sec.

Takaka-based Mongolian shearer Enkhnasan Cluluubaatar had the second and biggest win of his career when he won the Intermediate final. His first had been against just one other opponent at the Golden Bay A and P Show in Takaka last January.

In the final today was Kelly Macdonald who last season shore 10 junior finals from Winton to Sefton, including winning the Spring Shears junior final in Waimate. Also in a field of seven Intermediate entries today were eventual fourth placegetter Rob Hervey and Duncan Higgins, who did not make the final. Last season they won nine Junior finals between them.

Tony Nott at the Canterbury Show in 2012. A part-time shearer for several years, he kicked-off the new season at his home Marlborough A and P Show in Blenheim, and won the Open final and the Top of the South title.

Andrew Ferguson crossed the hills from the Nelson region to won the Senior final, a match against only other entry Mark Rogers, of Brightwater.

Jordan Hart, 23-year-old son of shearing contractor and competitions stalwart Ken Hart, won a Junior final which highlighted an emergence of new talent in the Marlborough region.

Taking a break from university studies, he's worked in woolsheds around Dannevirke and Alexandra this year, fitting himself well for his first win, by less than a point from fellow Blenheim hopeful Kaleb Avery.

Coster ends long wait for Pleasant Point win - November 07, 2015

New Zealand representative Tony Coster won the Pleasant Point Gymkhana Shears Open final for the first time in 11 years today(November 7).

Coster had reached the final five times since last winning the event in 2004 and was runner-up last year as the major prize was scooped-up by Te Kutii shearing legend David Fagan.

With no Fagan on hand this year, the Rakaia gun was second to finish the 20-sheep final in which Eli Cummings was the only shearer to average less than a minute a sheep.

But Coster was able to call on his trademark quality shear to win by three-points from runner-up Angus Moore, of Kaitangata.

While Coster has more than 60 wins in an Open career dating back over 25 years, Moore's placing was the 2007 Golden Shears Senior champion's best in an Open final since winning the 2012 PGG Wrightson McSkimming Triple Crown national circuit.

Geraldine shearer Paul Hodges successfully defended the Pleasant Point Senior title and also scored his second win in a row, beating runner-up Corey White, of Waimate, by almost five points, while the Intermediate event was won by Rawiri Goss, of Fairlie, and the Junior by Edward Harrington, of Akaroa.

World Championships 2017 to be held in Invercargill - November 06, 2015

The next World shearing and woolhandling championships will be held in Invercargill on February 9-11, 2017.

The event, expected to attract competitors from about 30 countries, will be held at ILT Stadium Southland and be known as Golden Shears World Championships Southland 2017.

The event is held every 2-4 years, and the championships in Invercargill will be the 17th, marking the 40th anniversary of the first, held in England in 1977.

At the 16th championships in Ireland last year, it was announced the event would be held in Christchurch.

But a new location has been confirmed in an announcement by new Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman David Fagan and fellow former major title winner Tom Wilson, chairman of the New Zealand Shearing Foundation, a trust formed to manage revenue from the event.

Sponsorship and other funding is now being sought with the cost of staging the championships like to be several hundred thousand dollars, Mr Fagan said.

The international flavour and camaraderie of the international shearing world was highlighted when Australian shearer Shannon Warnest, of Australia, and Joanne Kumeroa, of New Zealand, both champions, trained together before the 2008 World championships in Norway. The next chamnpionships will be held in Invercargill, New Zealand, on February 9-11, 2017. Joanne Kumeroa, who won two individual and three teams World titles, died earlier this year.
Mr Fagan, of Te Kuiti, won the championships' glamour open machine shearing title five times, in 1988, 1992, 1996, 1998 and 2003, while Mr Wilson, a Scotsman now living in New Zealand, won the title in 1984.

They said that the facilities in Invercargill will be possibly the best in the World for the event, and there is a "huge groundswell" of support from the Invercargill City Council, other local bodies in the area, and rural Southland, which already hosts three of the major events on the Shearing Sports New Zealand calendar each summer.

The venue, already known as a significant indoor sports stadium, will hold 7-8000 people, which organisers hope will be attracted to the major titles showdowns, the individual and teams machine shearing, blades shearing and woolhandling finals.

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt is enthusiastic, telling the Southland Times: "It's certainly is an exciting event."

The championships are run under the auspices of the Golden Shears World Council, which takes its name from the Golden Shears international championships held in Masterton annually since 1961.

The World Championships have been held in Masterton four times, but the 2017 championships will be the first in the South Island.

New shearing pavilion at Marlborough Show - November 05, 2015

There'll be a bit of luxury at the Marlborough A and P Show on Saturday with the opening of a new pavilion.

The shearing starts with Junior heats from 10.30am, and the four-stand pavilion, which has been designed for much wider use than just shearing at the showgrounds in Blenheim will be opened about 10.45am by three-times Golden Shears Open champion and former MP Colin King.

The day features the Top of the South finals, with Marlborough guns now going for a fifth win in a row in the Open class.

Chris Jones, now the Marlborough A and P Society president, won in 2011, and Tony Nott, who shears occasionally but also runs a concrete pumping business.

Both have qualified for Saturday's final, along with 2014 Marlborough winner Mark Herlihy, and Blenheim's Richard Sampey.

The pavilion was built at a cost of $60,000, with $20,000 raised by Marlborough A&P, $20,000 from Canterbury Community Trust and the balance from Marlborough District Council.

It's a multi-purpose building to be used by the whole community, with other events including a regular Farmers Market.

Winners at the Marlborough A and P Show shears over the last 10 years:

Open: 2005 Sam Win, 2006 Jason Win, 2007 Ivan Scott, 2008 Chris Jones, 2009 Paul Avery, 2010 Dave Brooker, 2011 Tony Nott, 2012 Tony Nott, 2013 Tony Nott, 2014 Mark Herlihy.

Senior: 2005 Angus Moore, 2006 Geoff Redpath, 2007 Richard Miller, 2008 Kerry Irvine, 2009 Shane Hackett, 2010 Mike Bramley, 2011 Rowan Nesbit, 2012 Rowan Nesbit, 2013 Rowan Nesbit, 2014 Jotham Rentoul.

Intermediate: 2005 Kerry Snell, 2006 Benny Douglas, 2007 Malcolm Sweeney, 2008 Shane Hackett, 2009 Aaron Booker, 2010 Aaron Booker, 2011 Jotham Rentoul, 2012 Joseph Stephens, 2013 Lyall Windleburn, 2014

Junior: 2005 Leanne Pacey, 2006 Nathan Smith, 2007 Tarn Mills, 2008 Luke McCarthy, 2009 Travers Baigent, 2010 Pamela Best, 2011 Pamela Best, 2012 Sam Murray, 2013 Joel Richards, 2014 Duncan Higgins.

Top of the South: 2005(Nelson) Jason Win, 2006(Nelson) Jason Win, 2008(Nelson) Jason Win, 2009(Nelson) Chris Jones, 2010(Nelson) Sam Win, 2011(Nelson) Chris Jones, 2012(Nelson) Tony Nott, 2013(Nelson) Tony Nott, 2014(Blenheim) Tony Nott.

The guns are ready to fire at Pleasant Point - November 04, 2015

The Pleasant Point Gymkhana Shears on Saturday(November 7) are shaping as an unofficial South Island championship as the best of Canterbury prepare to welcome an invasion from the south.

Competition convener John Walsh said he's expecting 6-7 Open-class shearers who were not at the Ashburton Show last Saturday.

"We usually get 15-20 Open shearers all-up," he said.

At stake is a $1000 winning purse, and Mr Walsh said among those planning to make the trip is Invercargill gun Nathan Stratford, who last won the Pleasant Point final in 2009.

The event, in Pleasant Point's main street, which will be closed to traffic for the day, has had its share of top winners, with Irish shearer Ivan Scott, Southlander Darin Forde, Napier gun John Kirkpatrick, and now-retired David Fagan having all triumphed in recent years.

But their successes have made it possibly the only Canterbury event not to have been won by Rakaia shearer Tony Coster in the last 10 years.

He won in 1996 and 2004, and is now sitting on a pair of second placings, in 2013 and 2014.

Mr Walsh said he hopes the young guns will also turn-out for the Junior, Intermediate and Senior class, the first of which start the day at 9.30am.

Winners over the last 10 years at the Pleasant Point Gymkhana Shears:

Open: 2005 Justin Meikle, 2006 Justin Meikle, 2007 Ivan Scott, 2008 Nathan Stratford, 2009 Nathan Stratford, 2010 Darin Forde, 2011 John Kirkpatrick, 2012 rained-out, 2013 Darin Forde, 2014 David Fagan.

Senior: 2005 Mark Agnew, 2006 Geoff Redpath, 2007 Ant Frew, 2008 Malcolm Sweeney, 2009 Rob Mainland, 2010 Malcolm Sweeney, 2011 Shaun Matheson, 2012 rained-out, 2013 Jock Barrett, 2014 Paul Hodges.

Intermediate: 2005 Chris Kyle, 2006 Rob Mainland, 2007 Mason Adams, 2008 Michael Windleburn, 2009 Brook Todd, 2010 Shaun Matheson, 2011 Linton Palmer, 2012 rained-out, 2013 Corey Smith, 2014 Corey White.

Junior: 2005 Nick Braid, 2006 Kaleb Godsiff, 2007 Don McArthur, 2008 Harawera Edwards, 2009 Brett Roberts, 2010 Kaea Kingi, 2011 Pat McCarthy, 2012 rained-out, 2013 Joe Bubbett, 2014 Emily Te Kapa.

Buick and Kahukura land double for the Kiwis in Warrnambool - November 04, 2015

Pongaroa shearer David Buick successfully defended the Romney Shears Australian crossbred championship title in another New Zealand domination of the final at the Warrnambool Show on Saturday(October 31).

It was also a big day for Central Otago woolhandler Anne Maree Kahunkura, who won the Open woolhandling title.

Buick, 37, put in a particularly classy performance to finish his 17 sheep in 15 min 52sec, more than a sheep ahead of Te Kuiti veteran Dean Ball the two New Zealand Shears Te Kuiti team members being separated by 1.56pts in finishing winner and runner-up in the final count.

Buick finished with 64.75 total points, and Ball, with best quality points, finished with 66.31pts. Less than one penalty point separated the next four, headed by Queensland-based Jovan Taiki, from Porangahau, with 68.25 points. Former Australian champion Jason Wingfield from Tocumwal, was fourth on 68.34pts, Te Kuiti shearer James Fagan fifth with 68.64pts, Glen Stephens, from Heywood, Vic. sixth with 69.20pts.

Stephens had earlier won the Coopworth Challenge for Australian shearers, shearing eight crossbreds in 9min 11sec, and ultimately beating runner-up Roger Mifsud by just under 2pts.

The woolhandling triumph by former Golden Shears junior woolhandling champion Anne Maree Kahukura was her first in Open competition. She had reached an Open final for the first time at Balclutha last February. Fellow New Zealanders Pagan Rimene and Candy Hiri were fourth and sixth respectively on Saturday.

In the popular Warrnambool versus Te Kuiti Test events, Australian shearers Stephens, Mifsud and Brian Wallden beat the NZ Shears Te Kuiti team of Ball Buick and Fagan, while Australian woolhandlers Luke Rowbottom, Sophie Huf and Clare Price beat the Kiwi trio of Kahukura, Rimene and Hiri.

David Buick wins his second Australian Romney Shears title in Warrnambool, Vic. PHOTO/Tery Sims

New Zealand woolhandlers Pagan Rimene and Cany Hiri at work on the table in the transtasman challenge at Warrnambool.

Pere breaks through for first Senior win - November 02, 2015

A big year just became even bigger for Gisborne shearer Bevan Pere as he won the first Senior shearing title of his career at the Wairarapa A and P Show at Clareville, Carterton, on Saturday(October 31).

The 25-year-old Pere and his partner bought their first home and had their first child this year. Some things had to give, and as a result his annual shearing trip to Australia was cut to six weeks, before returning home to be with the family.

"That was more than enough time away from them," said the budding champion for whom working in the shearing is living a dream which never entered his mind in the days he was at Rongotai College after leaving Gisborne with his mum to live in Wellington for five years.

Bevan Pere winning a Senior title for the first time

It started when he returned to Gisborne and began pressing for shearing contractors Ian and Beth Kirkpatrick, but he says: "It was only meant to be a part-time job while I figured out what I wanted to do with myself."

"One day Ian asked what I wanted to do in the future," he says. "I told him I wanted to work, travel, and see the World."

"He said to me I could see the World and work at the same time if I was a shearer, and that stuck in my head and got me thinking."

He started watching the shearers closely and "finally tried to shear a sheep."

"I loved it," he says. "I pressed for a few seasons till Ian gave me a stand," he remembers. But until I got a stand I was shearing for someone else every hour, taking turns on any stand I could."

"When I got my stand I never looked back," he says, and the World opened up.

A few months later he went to Australia with cousin Nicki Green to learn to shear merinos, and they've been going back every year since, last year stretching the horizons to spend a season shearing in the UK.

Encouraged to shear in competition he soon showed he had the talent, and in 2013-2014 he won three Intermediate finals and reached the Golden Shears and New Zealand Championships finals in Masterton and Te Kuiti respectively.

In his first Senior season his best effort was third at the Golden Shears last March.

While the four finalists on Saturday had had just one Senior win between them - Marton shearer Jacob Moore's victory at Tauranga last January - the four on the board produced the best final of the day as Clareville basked in the sun of a fine and warm day.

Pere, Moore and Masterton teenager David Gordon shore blow-for-blow on the last of the 10-sheep, Pere just getting the nod and finishing in 14min 13sec for the 10 sheep, carried to ultimate victory by the better quality points.

Napier gun John Kirkpatrick comfortably won a 15-sheep final of the Open competition which had just six entries. In an innovative step to compensate, shearers each shore two heats before the top four for the final were decided.

Kirkpatrick, shearing the 15 hoggets in 15min 27sec, beat nearest rival Murray Henderson, of Feilding, by half-a-minute and ultimately by more than 5 points.

The Intermediate grade had 16 entries, almost as many as the three other grades put together. It was bolstered by the arrival of Woodville shearer Laura Bradley from studying and shearing in the South Island, along with Gore-based Waimate and Ellesmere winner Lionel Taumata and Amy Silcock, from Murchison. The win, however, went to Raupunga teenager Hemi Lambert, backing-up after winning eight days earlier in Hastings.

The Junior final, including another traveller in James Dickson, from Gore, provided the first Junior shearing win for 2014 Golden Shears and New Zealand championships Novice winner Connor Puha, of Kimbolton. Puha had had a win at Clareville before in the 2010 Junior woolhandling final.

South Island-based Joel Henare won the Open woolhandling final, which was matched by partner Erica Reti's win in the Senior woolhandling final.

The Open woolhandling attracted another good field, of 16, and second place went to Sheree Alabaster, from Taihape, while Logan Kamura, from Marton, was third.

Reti, who like Henare was bouncing back from a second placing at the Great Raihania Shears in Hastings, beat Rahna Williams, from Flaxmere, and former Golden Shears secretary Angeline Colquhoun.

While it was Henare's first win at Carterton, it was Reti's second, having won the 2013 Junior woolhandling final. Saturday's Junior woolhandling final was won by Kiriana Brown, of Martinborough.

Pyper bags second win of season at Ashburton - November 01, 2015

Invercargill shearer Troy Pyper has put the pressure on New Zealand transtasman series teammate Tony Coster in the race for the Canterbury Circuit by winning the Ashburton A and P Show Open final on Saturday(October 31).

It was the second time in a fortnight that Pyper had wrestled a provincial shows title from Coster, warning Coster that he is unlikely to have things all his own way in his defence of the all-breeds title at the Canterbury Show in Christchurch on November 13.

Pyper put in an impressive performance in cutting under a minute a sheep to finish the 18-sheep Ashburton contest in 17min 47sec and beating Coster by half-a-minute.

But Rakaia gun and four-times national circuit champion Coster scored easily the best shearing points and ultimately Pyper won by just 0.73pts.

Paul Hodges, of Geraldine, won the Senior final by just 0.27pts from 2014 New Zealand Shears Intermediate champion Darren Alexander, of Whangamomona. It was Hodges' fourth Senior win and an indication that both he and Alexander will soon be chalking-up the victories heading towards Open class.

It was a big day for Amberley shearer Mitchell Murray who finished more than one-and-a-half minutes clear of the next-man-off in the five-sheep Intermediate final, and ultimately won by seven points from runner-up Rob McQueen,of Roxburgh.

Likewise, Akaroa shearer Edward Harrington returned to the winner's circle with victory in the Junior final. He has shorn in more than 10 Junior finals, mainly smaller shows, but has had two previous wins in the grade, and was placed at the Waimate Shears last month.

It was however a close call, with Harrington winning by just 0.05pts from Darcy Tong, from Timaru. New Zealand representative Tony Dobbs returned to competition after missing the Northern A and P Show at Rangiora to win the blades final, repeating a win he had at Waimate.

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