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2017 Shearing Champs News and Media Releases

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The big night ahead - February 11, 2017


Welsh shearers Gwion Jones and Ian Jones were possibly the surprise packet as they qualified in fourth place for tonight's teams final at the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Invercargill.

Regarded as a new team and one for the future, they also shore in the individual semi-finals, where they were eliminated from the title race.

The six finalists for the individual machine shearing title, the glamour event, include three favourites, two of them among the three finalists who also shore in the 2014 final in Ireland, and World lamb shearing records holder Ivan Scvott, of Ireland.

Qualifiers for the machine shearing final: John Kirkpatrick (New Zealand), Gavin Mutch (Scotland), Nathan Stratford (New Zealand), Ivan Scott (Ireland), Jack Robinson (Northern Ireland), Hamish Mitchell (Scotland) Qualifiers for the Machine Shearing teams final: New Zealand (John Kirkpatrick/Nathan Stratford), Scotland (Hamish Mitchell/Gavin Mutch), Wales (Gwion Evans/Ian Jones), Northern Ireland (Ian Montgomery/Jack Robinson), Ireland (Stranley Allingham/Ivan Scott), Australia (Shannon Warnest/Jason Wingfield).

Qualifiers for blade shearing individual final: Mayenserke Shweni (South Affrica), Tony Dobbs (New Zealand), Phil Oldfield (New Zealand), Bangani Joel (South SAfrica), Ken French (Australia), Johnathon Dalla (Australia)

Favourite Henare and the three newbies - February 11, 2017


Three newcomers to World Championships shearing sports have made their way to the final of the individual woolhandling in front of about 4000 spectators in Invercar gill's ILT Stadium Southland tonight.

The four qualifiers are headed by favourite and 2012 champion Joel Henare, of New Zealand, who will have for opposition New Zealand-based Cook Islands representative Tina Elers, of Mataura, Sophie Huff(pictured), of Australia, and second New Zealand woolhandler Mary-Anne Baty.

The final will be one of six World individual and teams machine shearing, blade shearing and woolhandling contested tonight.

The Prime Minister and Sir David - February 11, 2017


Prime Minister Bill English today had one of the biggest victories of his short term at the helm when he beat shearing legend Sir David Fagan a one-sheep-match on the final afternoon of the four-day 40th anniversary World shearing and woolhandling championships today in ILT Stadium Southland, Invercargill.

The PM was right at home in his home region, and shore the fastest-ever long blow and blasted Sir David away down the last side.

The shearing champion from Te Kuiti, winner of 642 titles worldwide, including five individual World championships, was later gracious in defeat at the hands of the Prime Minister, who was apparently scoring his first win on the shearing board, and possibly his last, although he was, as a farmer, no newcomer to the nuances of the woolshed.

"He won it fair and square," said Sir David, who retired from competitive shearing in 2015, although, as he put it: "I can still shear."

Mr English said: "I did one a couple of years ago at the Southern Fieldays and I reckon it would be 15 years before that, so two in 15 years."

"I've just got such deep respect for the skill and the work ethic and the athleticism of these shearers," he said. "Always admired it since I was a young guy and actually hearing about (Sir) Dave when he was 18 or 19 and so it's just fantastic to have the opportunity to be here, to get up on the board, just showing respect to these guys."

"It's brilliant to have it here in Invercargill and great to see the huge public support, the Stadium here is spectacular, just right for this kind of event and the public have got behind it," he said.

"But of course it all comes down to the brilliance of these shearers and the woolhandlers and what they do for the sheep industry in New Zealand and for our export industries, and that's important to me as Prime Minister."

"I've followed the sport and have had some of my family involved as pretty good shearers and one of my sisters has been a physio for World Records, so I've always kept an eye on it and it's such a display of total excellence, with these top shearers."

Mr English is due to be among the 4000 expected for the six individual and team machine shearing, blade shearing and woolhandling finals tonight.



Favourites lead the way to machines semi-finals - February 11, 2017


The World Championships achine shearing favourites have lived up to predictions by filling the first three places among the top 12 bfor the semi-finals to be shorn this afternoon in ILT Stadium Southland, Invercargill.

The 2012 champion, Gavin Mutch, of Scotland, led the qualifiers, followed by New Zealand hopes John Kirkpatrick and Nathan Stratford, while two-times champion Shannon Warnest (pictured), of Australia was also in the top 12.

The 12 qualifiers in order are (aggregated points after three rounds of heats): Gavin Mutch (Scotland) 71.647pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 74.462pts, 2; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 76.513pts, 3; Ivan Scott (Ireland) 81.376pts, 4; Gwion Evans (Wales) 81.714pts, 5; Shannon Warnest (Australia) 84.026pts, 6; Jack Robinson (Northern Ireland) 84.131pts, 7; Dean Nelme (England) 84.215pts, 8; Ian Jones (Wales) 87.126pts, 9; Lee Molkenbuhr (Falkland Islands) 89.925pts, 10; Hamish Mitchell (Scotland) 91.671pts, 11; Ian Montgomery (Northern Ireland) 91.836pts, 12.

Next man in and unlucky to miss out was Aaron Bell (Cook Islands).

Cook Islands chance to win World champs woolhandling? - February 11, 2017


A New Zealand-based Cook Islands team has exceeded all of its expectations by launching its way into at least one of the six finals on the last night of the four-day 40th anniversary World shearing and woolhandling championships in ILT Stadium Southland.

Mother-and-daughter Tina(pictured) and Maiden Elers, of Mataura, will get a first-three ribbon after qualifying for the three-team woolhandling final, while Tina Elers is also through toe top eight for the Indiviual title's semi-finalsd.

The New Zealand team of Dunedin-based Joel Henare and Maryann Baty, both from the East Coast, established firm favouritism to win both titles by being the top two qualifiers for the individual semi-finals, and heading the rankings for the teams final, with Australian team Sofie Huff the other team into the final. Qualifiers for the World woolhandling championship semi-final in Invercargill(in order of qualifying): Joel Henare (New Zealand) 130.62pts, 1; Maryann Baty (New Zealand) 163.6pts, 2; Sofie Huf (Australia) 168.388pts, 3; Mel Morris (Australia) 180.74pts, 4; Johnathon Haakull (Norway) 191.59pts, 5; Tina Elers (Cook Islands) 202.64pts, 6; Adele LeMercier (France) 2344.07pts, 7; Robyn Charlton (Wales) 242.74pts, 8.

Blade Qualifiers - February 11, 2017


The New Zealand bladeshearers have roared into serious contention for a win on the last night of the World Shearing Championships in Invercargill, despite the domination by defending champion and South African shearer Mayenseke Shweni in the Southland All Nations final last night.

Fairlie farmer Tony Dobbs and Geraldine blades supplier Phil Oldfield, who were a promising second and third in the All Nations final in front of a Friday-night crowd of 2000 people in Invercargill's ILT Stadium Southland, today headed-off Shweni and teammate Bangani Joel for top-ranking in the World Championships teams blade shearing final to be shorn in front of a crowd twice the size tonight.

The teams finalists were decided on accumulation of points during the individual heats, the second round of which was held today, Dobbs and Oldfield being second third on the individual rankings behind Shweni, with South Australian farmer Johnayhon Dalla pipping Joel for fifth in the list of 12 qualifiers.

The most experienced World Championships competitor, 69-year-old George Mudge, of England qualified in sixth place in his 11th World Championships. He shore in the second championships in 1980 in Masterton as a machine shearer and made the final four years later in England. He then retired, but came back as a blade shearer for the 1998 championships in Ireland.

His son, Andrew Mudge, also qualified, but the oldest of the 116 who were entered in the World Championshoips, American veteran Kevin Ford, 71, missed qualifying for the semi-finals by just one place.

The semi-finals will be later today, the final tonight in front of a crowd expected to top 4000.

Result:

World championships blade- shearing semi-final qualifiers (points totalled from two rounds): Mayenseke Shweni (South Africa) 108.512pts, 1; Tony Dobbs (New Zealand) 111.848pts, 2; Phil Oldfield (New Zealand) 124.701pts, 3; Johnathon Dallas (Australia) 134.646pts, 4; Bangani Joel (South Africa) 135.948pts, 5; George Mudge (England) 139.724pts, 6; Ken French (Australia) 142.008pts, 7; Peter Heraty (Ireland) 142.786pts, 8; Andrew Mudge (England) 156.293pts, 9; Mark Armstrong (156.978pts, 10; Noel Joyce (Ireland) 163.602pts, 11; Gareth Owen (Wales) 168.75pts, 12. Qualifiers for the Teams final: New Zealand 236.549pts, 1; South Africa 244.046pts, 2; Australia 276.654pts, 3; England 296.017pts, 4; Ireland 306.388pts, 5; Wales 343.013pts, 6.

Kiwis leap ahead in title hopes - February 11, 2017


The New Zealand bladeshearers have roared into serious contention for a win on the last night of the World Shearing Championships in Invercargill, despite the domination by defending champion and South African shearer Mayenseke Shweni in the Southland All Nations final last night.

Fairlie farmer Tony Dobbs and Geraldine blades supplier Phil Oldfield, who were a promising second and third in the All Nations final in front of a Friday-night crowd of 2000 people in Invercargill's ILT Stadium Southland, today headed-off Shweni and teammate Bangani Joel for top-ranking in the EWorld Championships teasms blade shearing final to be shorn in front of a crowd twice the size tonight.

The teams finalists were decided on accumulation of points during the individual heats, the second round of which was held today.

Shweni nevertheless stamped a big mark on the championships when he won the All Nations blade shearing title.

He won a similar lead-up event at the 2012 World championships in Masterton, where the World Championships final was won by South African teammate Zweliwile Hans.

But Shweni atoned two years later by winning the World title in Gorey, Ireland, in 2014, and has since remained a favourite to win again at the 40th anniversary championships - with one individual World title and two teams titles already in the kit.

Shweni won by more than 12 points from runner-up Dobbs. Oldfield, who won the Reefton Show's final in the absence of the South Africans and Doibbs last Saturday, was third, while Joel slipped to fourth place after shearing the six sheep in the fastest time of 16min 9sec, almost two minutes quicker than his teammate who was second to finish.

It was the 11th anniversary of Joel's tally of 215 merino lambs in eight hours in a World two-stand blade shearing record in South Africa in 2006.

Fifth place went to Australian team member Ken French and sixth to former New Zealand team member Allen Gemmell.










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