HOT New Zealand shearing sports favourites, shearer Rowland Smith and wool handler Joel Henare, retained their NZ open shearing and wool-handling titles in Te Kuiti last night.
Each completed a double successful defence of their Golden Shears and New Zealand titles after dominating at competitions during the New Zealand season. Smith won 24 finals, with an unbroken sequence of 17 in the last two months, and Henare won 13, including regaining the title of world wool-handling champion in Invercargill in February.
Completing a clean sweep of the two major open crossbred second-shear titles and the two major multi-breeds series, it was Smith’s fifth New Zealand open title, with previous wins in 2011, 2013, 2014 and last year.
It was a fourth NZ open wool-handling title for Henare, who’s third successive win in the event followed his first in 2010, and a junior title at the championships in 2005 when aged just 12 years old.
It was a particularly special three days in Te Kuiti for Smith, who added the open title to the New Zealand Shears Circuit title he won earlier in the night and the North Island Shearer of the Year title he won on Friday night, becoming the first to win all three at one championships since Te Kuiti legend David Fagan won all three in 2002.
Smith was acclaimed a Master Shearer by national body Shearing Sports New Zealand last August, only to suffer a rare disappointment to finish just third in the New Zealand world championships team selection trial in November, missing out on a chance to retain the world title he won in Ireland in 2014.
Eventual world champion and three-time New Zealand open champion John Kirkpatrick, who had also won the North Island title twice and the circuit once, was runner-up in the open and North Island finals, meaning he had been placed second 11 times in Smith’s winning sequence.
Kirkpatrick was also third in the circuit final in which the runner-up was his world champion team mate, Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill.
The open final was a furious six-man affair over 20 second-shear sheep each, with Te Kuiti shearer Mark Grainger hitting halfway in front at 7min 44sec, almost 10 seconds clear of next man and 2015 winner Dion King, of Alfredton. King hit the lead on the 12th sheep and eventually finished first in 15min 27.58sec, as all finalists except 2012 world champion Gavin Mutch finished in under 16 minutes. King ultimately had to settle for fourth place overall.
Smith and Kirkpatrick are now expected to tour the UK as a New Zealand team in July, but the 30 year-old Smith has another assignment, an attempt on the world record of 605 strong wool ewes in eight hours on July 24 in Cornwall, England, where brother Matthew set the ultimate nine-hour record of 731 last July.
The Te Kuiti championships provided Smith with rich pickings, including $5000 in cash across the three wins, and the open final’s trademark Can-Am Outlander 570 Pro Quad Bike, valued at over $15,000.
Henare dominated wool-handling final
Henare completely dominated the wool handling final winning by almost 40pts from runner-up and six-times winner Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape. First time NZ open finalist Eramiha Neho, of Dannevirke, was third.
Earlier in the night, Taranaki shearer Darren Alexander completed a Golden Shears and New Zealand Championships double when he won the senior final by almost three points from the season’s top-ranked senior competitor Paraki Puna, of Napier. Third place went to Taumarunui shearer Conan Te Kene, who finished almost 40 seconds quicker than the eventual winner and runner-up in shearing the 12 second-shear sheep in 12min 41.15 sec. Alexander had the best quality points in both shearing board and pen points.
Results from the 33rd New Zealand Shearing Championships in Te Kuiti on March 30-April 1, 2017
New Zealand Championships Open final (20 second-shear sheep): Rowland Smith (Hastings) 15min 56.08sec, 54.704pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 15min 42.24pts, 55.962pts, 2; David Buick (Pongaroa) 15min 31.09sec, 56.655pts, 3; Dion King (Alfredton) 15min 27.58sec, 56.829pts, 4; Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 15min 33.18sec, 57.009pts, 5; Gavin Mutch (Scotland/Whangamomona) 16min 33.32sec, 58.616pts, 6.
New Zealand Shears Circuit final (10 second-shear ewes, 10 lambs): Rowland Smith (Hastings) 18min 2.03sec, 74.035pts, 1; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 18min 56.9sec, 76.112pts, 2; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 18min 24.60sec, 77.497pts, 3; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 1min 58.49sec, 80.125pts, 4; Troy Pyper (Winton) 19min 28.81sec, 81.375pts, 5; Digger Balme (Te Kuiti) 17min 57.85sec, 86.827pts, 6.
North Island Shearer of the Year final (10 ewes, 10 lambs): Rowland Smith (Hastings) 16min 8sec, 56.05pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 15min 42.3sec, 57.415pts, 2; Dion King (Hastings/Alfredton) 16min 7.01sec, 59.901pts, 3; David Buick (Pongaroa) 15min 51.96sec, 60.248pts, 4; Gavin Mutch (Scotland/Whangamomona) 16min 44.01sec, 61.301pts, 5; Paerata Abraham (Masterton) 18min 14.21sec, 64.611pts, 6.
New Zealand Championships Open plate (10 second-shear sheep): Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 9min 31.38sec, 37.269pts, 1; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 9min 12.05se, 39.403pts, 2; Troy Pyper (Winton) 9min 2.82sec, 40.841pts, 3; Murray Henderson (Halcombe) 9min 55.55sec, 41.978pts, 4; Tama Niania (Gisborne) 9min 17.93sec, 42.697pts, 5; James Fagan (Raglan) 9min 10.9sec, 44.145pts, 6.
New Zealand Championships Open Challenger (no Open wins, 10 sheep): Turi Edmonds (Raetihi) 10min 4.56sec, 39.228pts, 1; Jimmy Samuels (Marton) 10min 33.73sec, 40.787pts, 2; Kelvin Walker (Taumarunui) 9min 48.63sec, 41.732pts, 3; Floyde Neil (Taumarunui) 11min 26.51sec, 42.526pts, 4; Delwyn Jones (Wales/Te Kuiti) 10min 54.71sec, 43.236pts, 5; Jacob Moore (England) 10min 58.44sec, 43.722pts, 6.
New Zealand Championship Senior final (12 second-shear sheep): Darren Alexander (Whangamomona) 13min 18.23sec, 49.829pts, 1; Paraki Puna (Napier) 13min 20.59sec, 52.613pts, 2; Conan Te Kene (Taumarunui) 12min 41.15sec, 53.558pts, 3; Lionel Taumata (Gore/Taumarunui) 13min 40.45sec, 54.439pts, 4; Tegwyn Bradley (Woodville) 13min 21.58sec, 54.663pts, 5; Hura Edwards (Taumarunui) 13min 45.14sec, 55.757pts, 6.
New Zealand Championships Intermediate final (8 second-shear sheep): Sean Gouk (Hamilton/Masterton) 11min 9.32sec, 41.216pts, 1; Mitcherll Murray (Amberley) 10min 54.71sec, 42.736pts, 2; Laura Bradley (Woodville) 11min 39.03sec, 44.202pts, 3; Daniel Seed (Woodville) 12min 2.43sec, 44.997pts, 4; Jordan Hart (Blenheim) 11min 29.04sec, 45.202pts, 5; Jayden Paul (Taumarunui) 11min 17.94sec, 49.397pts, 6.
New Zealand Championships Junior final (5 second-shear sheep): Mark Ferguson (Kahuranaki) 9min 26.62sec, 33.931pts, 1; Liam Norrie (Cheviot) 9min 57.93sec, 36.497pts, 2; Keith Swann (Wairoa) 9min 57.75sec, 3; Steve Hakaraia (Napier) 9min 47.59sec, 39.78pts, 4; Reuben Alabaster (Taihape) 10min 34.71sec, 40.536pts, 5; Cory Barrowcliffe (Piopio) 11min 43.21sec, 43.161pts, 6.
New Zealand Championships Novice final (2 second-shear sheep): Ariana Hadfield (Wairoa) 8min 11.91sec, 33.596pts, 1; Angelo Manttan (Wairoa) 8min 6.74sec, 35.837pts, 2; Leam Pritchard (Pongaroa) 7min 8.85sec, 36.443pts, 3; Paiaka Muraahi (Piopio) 7min 33.62sec, 41.181pts, 4; Levi King (Motu) 7min 56.09sec, 49.305pts, 5; Joseph Pounamu (Te Kuiti) 6min 43.81sec, 59.691pts, 6.
New Zealand Championships Open final (6 second-shear sheep): Joel Henare (Gisborne/Dunedin) 65.2pts, 1; Sheree Alabaster (Taihape) 105.16pts, 2; Eramiha Neho (Dannevirke) 108.82pts, 3; Hanatia Tipene (Te Kuiti) 111.78pts, 4; Jo Tarrant (Mortlake,
New Zealand Championships Senior final (5 second-shear sheep): Brittany Tibble (Gisborne) 69.87pts, 1; Angela Stevens (Napier) 73.56pts, 2; Ash Boyce (Dannevirke) 75.84pts, 3; Raniera Whare (Taumarunui) 84.72pts, 4; Jamie McLean (Taihape) 95.93pts, 5.
New Zealand Championships Junior final (5 second-shear sheep): Ricci Stevens (Napier) 54.84pts, 1; Darryl Harrison (Dannevirke) 72.97pts, 2; Summer Pritchard (Pongaroa) 73.462pts, 3; Bianca Hawea (Masterton) 81.53pts, 4; Jodie Hogg (Te Kuiti) 111.81pts, 5.
Trans Tasman Shearing Challenge (4 merinos, 4 NZ second-shear): Te Kuiti NZ Shears 190.644pts (Gavin Mutch 10min 28.4sec, 55.295pts’ David Buick 11min 12.17sec, 62.109pts; Conan Te Kene 12min 9.79sec, 73.24pts) beat Warrnambool Romney Shears 218.663pts (Sam Mackrill 10min 26.15sec, 67.308pts; Roger Mifsud 12min 20.23sec, 74.887pts; Lee Harris 13min 41.85sec, 76.468pts).
Inter-Island Shearing and Wool-handling (6 second-shear sheep): North Island (shearers – Mark Grainger, John Kirkpatrick, Rowland Smith; wool handlers – Sheree Albaster, Keryn Herbert, Sue Turner) 229.327pts, beat South Island (shearers – Andy Mainland, Troy Pyper, Brett Roberts; wool handlers – Joel Henare, Angelique Miller, Monica Potae) 258.224pts.
Local Contractors Relay (10 second-shear sheep): Central Shearing, Taumarunui (Hura Edwards, Floyde Neil, Roger Neil) 11min 3.44sec, 44.372pts, 1; Fagan Shearing No 2, Te Kuiti (Jack Fagan, Jimmy Haupokia, Delwyn Jones) 11min 44.36sec, 47.518pts, 2; C.T.Shearing, Te Kuiti (Kelly Brill, MNark Grainger, Sam Murphy) 11min 44.63sec, 48.352pts, 3; Barrowcliffe Shearing, Piopio (Jason Ballantyne, Craig Fagan, Catherine Mullooly) 11min 30.02sec, 49.601pts, 4; Fagan Shearing No 1, Te Kuiti (Digger Balme, Mike Hegglin, Anaru Moerua) 11min 3.39sec, 50.77pts, 5; Fagan No 3, Te Kuiti (Turi Edmonds, Riley Kawerau, James Ruki) 12min 23.96sec, 52.198pts, 6.
Speed shears: Open – Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 20.44sec, 1; Deano Smith (Gisborne) 20.82sec, 2; Senior – Conan Te Kene (Taumarunui) 24.18sec, 1; Hura Edwards (Taumarunui) 28.32sec, 2.
Source: Shearing Sports NZ.