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2017 Shearing Champs News and Media Releases - Day 3

All Nations woolhandling - Henare on for the double - February 10, 2017


New Zealand woolhandling dynamo Joel Henare is in target for a big double at the 40th anniversary World shearing and woolhandling championships after winning support event the Southland All Nations Open title in front of a Friday night crowd of 2000 in Invercargill's ILT Stadium Southland.

The 25-year-old Dunedin-based father-of-three from Gisborne is the warm favourite to regain the World title he won in Masterton in 2012.

But, in his 11th season of Open-class woolhandling and the youngest person ever acclaimed Master Woolhandler, it's been a tough road, pock-marked by his semi-final elimination from his title defence at the 2014 championships in Ireland.

It was moment in time, from which Henare quickly bounced back to win the Ireland All Nations final, never looking back and now on target to complete a century of Open-class wins - at the current rate, by the end of next season.

He has won 14 finals last season, and has now won eight in the current season, his latest being in a toughly-fought six-person final of six second-shear fleeces each, overcoming the determination of Alexandra's Pagan Karauria, who in November just missed selection in the World Championships team.

Rimene had also earlier in the night shorn in the All Nations senior shearing final.

She was ruinner-up to Henare, third place going to Tia Potae, of Milton, and fourth to the final's only overseas qualifier, Welsh World Championships hope Robyn Charlton. Fifth was Angelique Miller, of Gore, and sixth Dallas Mihaere, of Dannevirke

Napier woolhandler Angela Stevens may have some career thinking to do after winning the All Nations senior woolhandling final.

It was the first of the major support-event titles to be presented, the 25-year-old mother-of-one taking a break from a busy computer points-scoring role at the four-day championships to compete, and try to watch husband Ricci in the All Nations Senior machine shearing event, and father John Kirkpatrick in the All Nations Open machine shearing and his fourth attempt to win become World individual champion at his fourth attempt.

It was the highlight of the short career of Angela Stevens in a busy 12 months in which she became New Zealand Junior woolhandling champion last April, the top-ranked New Zealand Junior woolhandler for 2015-2016, got married, and had her first child, the now seven-month-old Carter.

Secretary of Shearing Sports New Zealand's North Island computer points scoring committee, on which she works with mother Raylene, she was non-committal when asked if she would try to somehow one-day emulate her champion shearer father who won two World teams titles in the course of representing New Zealand at World Championships in Norway (2008), Masterton (2012), Ireland (2014) and now Invercargill, as well as winning four Golden Shears open shearing titles and more than 200 other events.

"I was going to finish at Senior," she said.

Stevens hadn't worked most of the season, in which the family has started a new shearing contract run in Hawke's Bay, but burst into contention for such elevated Senior honours when she won the North Island Senior woolhandling title at the Rangitikei Shearing Sports in Marton last Saturday.

All Nations Shearing - Bell and Murray win lower grades - February 10, 2017


Waipawa shearer Aaron Bell is proving some sort of revelation as he targets becoming the first New Zealand Senior grade shearer to reach a World Championships semi-final.

It was the third win in a fortnight for 28-year-old Bell who is at the four-day 40th anniversary World shearing and woolhandling championships to represent Cook Islands, a connection made through his father's mother, from Aitutaki.

Bell was on target for the dream of a World Championships semi-final place when 12th after two of the three rounds of heats, lambs and second-shear sheep, with a fullwool round early on t Saturday, the last day of an event culminating with six finals expected to be watched by a crowd of over 4000 in in Invercargill's ILT Stadium Southland.

The chance for a separate title came as a bonus, and loomed big-time as Bell won the North Island Senior final at the Rangitikei Shearing Sports in Marton six days earlier with one of the biggest margins ever in A-grade show senior competition.

On a day that became a bit of a benefit for Hawke's Bay competitors, Central Hawke's Bay College old boy Bell shore the 10-sheep final in 11min 22sec, 18 seconds quick than next-man-off Ricci Stevens, based in Napier but from Gisborne.

Dipton shearer Linton Palmer picked up the quality points to ultimately claim the runne-up ribbon, beaten by 0.868pts, with Paraki Puna, of Napier, third, followed in order by English shearer Nick Greaves, who has also shorn in Hawke's Bay, Stevens in fifth place, and sixth-placed Pagan Karauria, the tough Alexandra competitor who later finished second in the All Nations Open woolhandling final.

Earlier Stevens wife, Angela, won the All Nations Senior woolhandling final, while soon afterwards a third Hawke's Bay win was that of Hastings gun Rowland Smith in the Open shearing final, in which the runner-up was Angela Stevens' father, New Zealand World Championships team member John Kirkpatrick.

The Intermediate final provided the only South Island win in the six All Nations finals, the red ribbon going to Mitchell Murray, of Amberley.

He was first to finish a six-man final of six sheep each, his 9min 37sec just pipping Welsh shearer Jonny Rees, who had also shorn in Hawke's Bay and who had been top qualifier in the heats on the opening day of the championships on Wednesday.

Ultimately second place went to Winton shearer Brandon Maguire Ratima, gathering a reputation as one of the cleanest competition shearers in New Zealand in any grade. Mitchell won by 0.603pts.

Mitchell had been showing consistent form, and got his first win of the season at Ashburton, and was third last Saturday in the Otago Shears Intermediate final won by Maguire Ratima.





Smith a master blaster on big All Nations night - February 10, 2017


Hawke's Bay shearer Rowland Smith lived right up to the acclaim of his newfound status as a Master Shearer when he won the Southland All Nations Open championship on the last night of a near three-year reign as World Champion.

The win, in front of 2000 people in Invercargill's ILT Stadium Southland tonight was some compensation for the two-metre-tall Smith who last year won five of the six preliminary rounds of the 2017 New Zealand team selection series only to finish third in the series final, and miss selection in the two-man machine shearing team and the chance to defend the World title he won in Ireland in 2014.

Tonight's win came on the third night of the four-day 40th anniversary World championships, a short time before Smith was formally bestowed the honour of Master Shearer, as voted by Shearing Sports New Zealand's annual conference last August, two months before he turned 30.

In the time since, Smith has now added another 10 titles to be closing in on a century with 97 wins in Open final since he stepped-up to Open-class at the start of the 2006-2007 season, a few months after adding the Golden Shears Senior title to the Junior title he won in Masterton two years earlier.

Smith started the season with successive wins at Gisborne, Hastings and Feilding, before a rare patch of three third placings, including the disappointment of the selection series final in Christchurch, which he followed the next day with missing the final cut at the Central Hawke's Bay Show in Waipukurau. But he has won seven of his last eight finals with victories successively at Tauranga, Wairoa, Levin and Taihape, a fourth place at Rotorua, and now three more consecutive wins at Dannevirke, Marton and tonight in Invercargill.

While the World Championships final will be shorn over 20 sheep of three wool types, tonight's was shorn on 20 crossbred second-shear sheep each, similar to such events as the Golden Shears Open final in Masterton and the New Zealand championships in Te Kuiti and the sheep of the local conditions.

Smith, who grew up around Ruawai in Northland but who has over the last 10 years shorn mainly in Hawke's Bay where he and wife Ingrid farm a small block west of Hastings, won by almost two points from New Zealand team member John Kirkpatrick, of Napier.

Kirkpatrick made a gallant bid to claim the All Nations title by producing fastest time of 17min 6sec, beating Smith by about 11 seconds. He claimed second place while teammate Nathan Stratford, last off the board in just over 18min 11sec but producing the best quality shear, claimed the third place ribbon, followed by veteran fellow Southlander Darin Forde , James Fagan, from Te Kuiti but now farming at Raglan, and World lambshearing records holder Ivan Scott, of Ireland.

James Fagan, who competes only rarely, is a former Golden Shears Open finalist and New Zealand team member. He was also made a Master Shearer last August and will receive the formal recognition at the New Zealand championships in Te Kuiti on March 30-April 1, emulating the honour achievement by father John Fagan and uncle Sir David Fagan.

Southland All Nations Results - February 10, 2017


Results of the Southland All Nations shearing and woolhandling championships on the third day of the 40th anniversary World championships being held at ILT Stadium Southland, Invercargill, NZ, on February 8-11, 2017:

Shearing:

Open Machines final (20 second-shear sheep): Rowland Smith (Hastings, NZ) 17min 17.569sec, 59.629pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier, NZ) 17min 6.137sec, 61.507pts, 2; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill, NZ) 18min 11.18sec, 62.809pts, 3; Darin Forde (Lorneville, NZ) 17min 47.001sec, 4; James Fagan (Raglan, NZ) 17min 30.785sec, 64.189pts, 5; Ivan Scott (Co Donegal, Ireland) 17min 15.542sec, 64.627pts, 6.

Senior Machines final (10 second-shear sheep): Aaron Bell (Waipawa, NZ) 11min 22.284sec, 45.719pts, 1; Linton Palmer (Dipton, NZ) 12min 39.587sec, 46.378pts, 2; Paraki Puna (Napier, NZ) 11min 58.321sec, 47.316pts, 3; Nick Greaves (Cheshire, England) 12min 19.293sec, 49.365pts, 4; Ricci Stevens (Napier, NZ) 11min 40.637sec, 53.832pts, 5; Pagan Karauria (Alexandra, NZ) 13min 36.489sec, 56.124pts, 6.

Intermediate Machines final (6 second-sheer sheep): Mitchell Murray (Amberley, NZ) 9min 37.305sec, 37.865pts, 1; Brandon Maguire-Ratima (Winton, NZ) 10min 36.111sec, 38.473pts, 2; John James (Aberystwyth, Wales) 10min 45.655sec, 39.283pts, 3; Jonathon Rees (Brecon, Wales) 9min 40.536swec, 41.527pts, 4; Tom Brewer (Naracoorte, South Australia) 10min 23.72sec, 44.186pts, 5; George Olof (Axminster, England) 9min 57.787sec, 44.889pts, 6.

Blade shearing final (six second-shear sheep): Mayenseke Shweni (South Africa) 18min 1.959sec, 71.598pts, 1; Tony Dobbs (Fairlie, NZ) 19min 35.914sec, 83.629pts, 2; Phil Oldfield (Geraldine, NZ) 21min 23.922sec, 88.196pts, 3; Bangani Joel (South Africa) 16min 9.132sec, 93.124pts, 4; Ken French (Australia) 21min 47.675sec, 99.051pts, 5; Allen Gemmell (Rangiora, NZ) 22min 6.89sec, 100.572pts, 6.

Woolhandling:

Open final: Joel Henare (Gisborne, NZ) 39.838pts, 1; Pagan Karauria (Alexandra, NZ) 45.218pts, 2; Tia Potae (Milton, NZ) 46.32pts, 3; Robyn Charlton (Presteigne, Wales) 47.19pts, 4; Angelique Miller (Gore, NZ) 54.354pts, 5; Dallas Mihaere (Dannevirke, NZ) 58.09pts, 6.

Senior final: Angela Stevens (Napier) 47.88pts, 1; Ebony Turipa (Gore) 52.37pts, 2; Lashara Anderson (Christchurch) 58.25pts, 3; Emma-Kate Rabbidge (Wyndham) 60.69pts, 4; Nova Kumeroa-Elers (Mataura) 64.97pts, 5; Krystal Gulliver (Gore) 98.33pts, 6.

Napier woolhandler takes big honours at World champs - February 10, 2017


Napier woolhandler Angela Stevens may have some career thinking to do after scoring the first win of a possible family rout at the World shearing and woolhandling championships in Invercargill when she won the Southland All Nations senior woolhandling final.

It was the first of the major support-event titles to be presented, the 25-year-old mother-of-one taking a break from a busy computer points-scoring role at the four-day championships to compete, and try to watch husband Ricci in the All Nations Senior machine shearing event, and father John Kirkpatrick in the All Nations Open machine shearing and his fourth attempt to win become World individual champion at his fourth attempt.

It was the highlight of the short career of Angela Stevens in a busy 12 months in which she became New Zealand Junior woolhandling champion last April, the top-ranked New Zealand Junior woolhandler for 2015-2016, got married, and had her first child, the now seven-month-old Carter.

Secretary of Shearing Sports New Zealand's North Island computer points scoring committee, on which she works with mother Raylene, she was non-committal when asked if she would try to somehow one-day emulate her champion shearer father who won two World teams titles in the course of representing New Zealand at World Championships in Norway (2008), Masterton (2012), Ireland (2014) and now Invercargill, as well as winning four Golden Shears open shearing titles and more than 200 other events.

"I was going to finish at Senior," she said tentatively as husband Ricci stepped forward for the congratulatory hug, before heading-off to prepare for the All Nations Senior shearing final in front of a crowd expected to be over 2000 people tonight.

Kirkpatrick hadn't worked most of the season, in which the family has started a new shearing contract run in Hawke's Bay, but burst into contention for such elevated Senior honours when she won the North Island Senior woolhandling title at the Rangitikei Shearing Sports in Marton last Saturday.

The form continued with second place in a field of 32 in the All Nations heats on the opening day of the championships on Wednesday and a repeat effort in the semi-finals.

Result:

Southland All Nations Senior woolhandling final: Angela Stevens (Napier) 47.88pts, 1; Ebony Turipa (Gore) 52.37pts, 2; Lashara Anderson (Christchurch) 58.25pts, 3; Emma-Kate Rabbidge (Wyndham) 60.69pts, 4; Nova Kumeroa-Elers (Mataura) 64.97pts, 5; Krystal Gulliver (Gore) 98.33pts, 6.

Stratford at home in bid for World shears double - February 10, 2017


Home town hope Nathan Stratford has made a bold bid to claim a big double at the World shearing and woolhandling championships in Invercargill as top qualifier for tonight's Southland All Nations Open machine shearing final.

Stratford, New Zealand teammate John Kirkpatrick and All Nations favourite and reigning World Champion Rowland Smith, who narrowly missed selection in the New Zealand and thus the opportunity to defend his title, all made it into the six-man final set to all-but detonate the ILT Stadium Southland, expected to have at a crowd of at least 2000.

It's expected to be the biggest crowd to watch a shearing event in New Zealand since the regulations-relaxed heydays of Masterton's Golden Shears when crowds topping 2000 were regular for its Open final on the first Saturday night of each March - fire safety and other regulations now limiting the Masterton crowd to considerably less.

Having shorn in front of many of them, Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman Sir David Fagan said: "This is going to be bigger than anything we;'ve seen in New Zealand. And tomorrow night (the World Championship finals) will be even bigger."

World Championships heats leader Gavin Mutch, of Scotland, was eliminated from the All Nations in the quarterfinals, finishing 13, missing the next stage by one place and being left to concentrate on his World Championships hopes tomorrow.

Results of the Southland All Nations machine shearing Open championship semifinals (10 sheep, top six to final tonight): Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 36.855pts, 1; Rowland Smith (Hastings) 37.258pts, 2; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 37.571pts, 3; James Fagan (Raglan) 38.752pts, 4; Darin Forde (Lorneville) 39.051pts, 5; Ivan Scott (Ireland) 39.2pts, 6; Casey Bailey 39.527pts, 7; Ryan Miller (Gore) 39.822pts, 8; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 40.019pts, 9; Jordan Boyes (Owaka) 40.926pts, 10; Tony Coster (Rakaia) 41.248pts, 11; Axle Reid (Taihape) 44.211pts, 12.

Defending champ bolts ahead in blades heats - February 10, 2017


South African Mayenzeke Shweni has taken a huge step towards successfully defending his World blade shearing title with a commanding performance in the opening round of the event on the third day of the

the 40th anniversary shearing and woolhandling championships in Invercargill.

A crowd of about 800 watched spellbound as Shweni polished his three second-shear sheep to take a leading margin of almost 12 points heading to the second round on fullwool sheep tomorrow - despite being beaten by New Zealand hopeful and Fairlie farmer Tony Dobbs in the battle for fastest time.

Dobbs outpaced the 22-strong field which represented 13 of the 32 countries which entered the championships across the categories of blade shearing, machine shearing and woolhandling, and finished with best time off 11min 37.858sec. Second South African representative Bangani Joel was next two seconds slowerand Shweni next in 11min 43.021sec.

But Shweni had clearly the best quality points, both in the board judging of second cuts and the pen marks on the finished job.

Among the semi-final hopefuls is the most-experienced of all World Championships competitors, England shearer George Mudge(pictured). He first shore in the elite company at the second World Championships in Masterton in 1980, and reached the machine shearing final in England four years later.

He soon retired but came back as a blade shearer in 1998 and at the age of 69, the second oldest entrant, is competing in his 11th World Championships, and nestled in seventh place, heading teammate and son Andrew Mudge, wwho was in 11th place and hoping to stay in the top 12 for the semi-finals, targeting a place in the top six for Saturday night's final.

The leading 12 in the first round (3 second sheep) were): Mayenzeke Shweni (South Africa) 11min 43.021sec, 48.484pts, 1; Tony Dobbs (New Zealand) 11min 37.858sec, 60.226pts, 2; Phil Oldfield (New Zealand) 12min 28.573sec, 60.429pts, 3; Johnathon Dalla (Australia) 13min 49.517sec, 61.809pts, 4; Ken French (Australia) 14min 33.503sec, 63.675pts, 5; Bangani Joel (South Africa) 11min 39.864pts, 6; George Mudge (England) 14min 36.903sec, 69.178pts, 7; Peter Heraty (Ireland) 15min 11.573sec, 69.245pts, 8; Noel Joyce (Ireland) 17min 31.457sec, 78.906pts, 9; Mark Armstrong (Scotland) 17min 12.976sec, 80.315pts, 10; Andrew Mudge (England) 13min 34.232sec, 81.712pts, 11; Gareth Owen (Wales) 14min 50.922sec, 86.879pts, 12.

Estonian shearer packs a lot of power - February 10, 2017


Estonian shearer Peedo Fiks is in a class of his own at the World shearing and woolhandling championships in Invercargill, even if the inevitable is that his competition will end in the heats.

One of only "five" shearers in Estonia - another is son Ando - the 64-year-old shearing his third World championships comes with his own portable shearing plant, a plug-in power pack which can run on solar energy and battery power, and comes complete with pig-tail power lead.

He developed the plant and runs a business which distributes it.

Fiks(pictured), from Estonia capital Tallinn, which with a population of 440,000 is among the bigger home towns of any of the competitors at the four-day championships in Invercargill's ILT Stadium Southland, shore with the unit on the lambs in the first round of the machine shearing championships yesterday, again on the second-shear ewes of the second round today, and will do so again in the fullwool round tomorrow.

He tailed the 54-strong field in the first round, but was 51st in the second, and he said: "Today it was quite good, much better than yesterday. I can still do a little bit better."

The opportunities are not vast, with a nationwide Estonian sheep flock of about 100,000, but Fiks has been a committed leader of the way since his first World Championships appearance at the Royal Welsh Show in 2010, and hopes for better.

"Our level is what it is just now," he said. We hope we can improve a little bit."

Woolhandling surprise at World champs - February 10, 2017


The Cook Islands has emerged as an unlikely World shearing and woolhandling championships hope after Southlander Tina Elers' performance to lead a field of 34 after the first round of the woolhandling championship in Invercargill's ILT Stadium today.

Elers,, from Mataura, was in the same heat as 2012 champion and New Zealand Master Woolhandler Joel Henare and managed to avoid the glare shone on the warm favourite for the event.

But at the end she was in front after the lambswool round, Henare surprisingly being only seventh going into the second round tomorrow on fullwool, after which the top eight, based on points combined from the two rounds, will go to the semi-final.

Cook Islands had already been performing impressively, with Waipawa shearer Aaron Bell maintaining a place in the top 12 in the machine shearing championship with a round to go before the top 12 shearersd are identified for the semi-finals. Second place today was held by new Australian representative Sophie Huff, with second New Zealand representative Mary-Anne Baty placed third.

The top 12 in the first round were : Tina Elers (Mataura) 45.07pts, 1; Sophie Huff (Australia) 49.768pts, 2; Mary-Anne Baty (New Zealand) 50.63pts, 3; Jonathon Haakul (Norway) 54.22pts, 4; Mel Morris (Australia) 63.28pts, 5; Adele LeMercier (France) 66.47pts, 6; Joel Henare (New Zealand) 68.12pts, 7; Robyn Charlton (Wales) 72.93pts, 8; Rachel Lumley (England) 73.25pts, 9; Audrey Lamb (Scotland) 74.25pts, 10; Taoya Rossel (Spain) 75.53pts, 11; Margaret Passino (USA) 79.59pts, 12.

Top three hopes lead the way in World shears- February 10, 2017


The three leading World machine shearing title hopes are living to pre-championships form by hogging the top three places after the second of three preliminary rounds at the World shearing and woolhandling championships in Invercargill. Former champion Gavin Mutch has maintained his place at the top of the rankings.

The Scots hope, who lives in New Zealand and farms at remote Whangamomona in Taranaki, headed the 54-strong field at the end of the first round on lambs yesterday, and second in the second-shear round today.

His combined total of 48.6pts after the two rounds of five sheep each kept him in front in a contest-within-a-contest with Kiwi shearers and fellow title favourites John Kirkpatrick (49.186pts), of Napier, and hometoen hope Nathan Stratford (49.931pts).

Next placed is England shearer Dean Nelmes, who as a Senior class shearer first made the England team in 2012, and whoi was in fourth place today, having been second in the first round yesterday.

World lambshearing record holder and Irish shearer Ivan Scott (pictured) remained in fifth place overall in a list in which the first 12 in the first round all remained in the top dozen today, striving for places in the eventual top 12 for the semi-finals after the final preliminary round on fullwool ewes tomorrow.

Scott, from Co Donegal, holds the two major solo lamshearing records of 744 in eight hours shorn near Taupo in 2012, and the 867 he shore in nine hours in England last July, breaking by a single lamb the previous record set by New Zealand shearer Dion King in 2007.

But now in his fourth World Championships has shorn in just one final, fourth in the teams final at home in Ireland three years ago.

The top 12 provisionally after the second round were Gavin Mutch (Scotland) 48.6pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (New Zealand) 49.186pts, 2; Nathan Stratford (New Zealand) 49.331pts, 3; Dean Nelmes (England) 53.301pts, 4; Ivan Scott (Ireland) 53.926pts, 5; Jack Robinson (Northern Ireland) 55.845pts, 6; Gwion Evans ((Wales) 56.574pts, 7; Shannon Warnest (Australia) 56.792pts, 8; Ian Jones (Wales) 58.431pts, 9; Ian Montgomery(Northern Ireland) 59.743pts, `0; Lee Molkenbuhr (Falkland Islands) 60.081pts, 11; Aaron Bell (Cook Islands) 62.044pts, 12;

Iceland shearer Heoia stands out in crowd - February 10, 2017


Farmer and sheep scanner Heoia Guony poses a unique figure as she goes through the rounds of the machine shearing at the World shearing and woolhandling championships in Invercargill.

On one hand she's from Iceland, and on another she's the only female in the World championships machine shearing, although there were several others in the open-entry Southland All Nations Championships support events, and the woolhandling field is predominantly female.

On another, at the age of 38 she's already been farming 15 years, taking over the 6460 hectares and 500 sheep farm Ljotarstadir when she was just 23, as her now late father became unable to farm the property.

After shearing in yesterday's opening round on lambs and today's second-shear round in the three-round World Championships machine preliminaries, she revealed her path to the championships.

Her teammate, Haflioi Saevarsson is three-times winner of the Iceland championship, which was first held in 2008. "You could say I won the ladies," she said.

But it didn't come with any big rewards, they've paid their own way to New Zealand.

"I was just crazy enough to go," said Guony (pictured). "I just love shearing."

The conditions in New Zealand varied greatly from those in Iceland where there is just one breed, softer wool and climatically suited to conditions in which they are generally housed about seven months of the year.

Arriving in New Zealand in January she had managed a few days' shearing, but attended pre-championships training courses in which she says she learned more in a couple of days than she had in her five years of shearing.

The instructors included 40th anniversary championships committee chairman Tom Wilson and veteran King Country shearer Alan MacDonald, the World champions in 1984 and 1994 respectively.

She managed 52nd place in the first round, in a field reduced from the original 59 to 54 with a small number of late withdrawals.

Shearers accumulate points through the three rounds ending with the fullwool stage tomorrow, the top 12 going to the semi-finals aiming for the places in the six-man final and the championships' glamour title tomorrow night.






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