AUSTRALIA’S top shearers and wool handlers have achieved their best world championship team results in more than 10 years at the 2017 World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in New Zealand on the weekend.
Sports Shear Australia president Stephanie Brooker-Jones said it was the best finals teams results by an Australian team since the Golden Shears championships in Toowomba in 2005.
“All our blade and machine shearers, and our wool handlers, got through to the teams event finals, which is a big first for us, although we didn’t win.
Victorian wool handler Sophie Huf recorded the best individual performance, placing fourth in the open final, and with team mate Mel Morris from Tasmania, placed second in the teams event to the New Zealand team, Joel Henare and Mary-Ann Baty. The Cook Islands team was third in the teams event.
Click here to get the latest Sheep Central story links sent to your email inbox.
Huf excels with speed and oddment preparation
Ms Brooker-Jones said it was exciting to have Sophie Huf in the open wool handling final in her first world championship.
“She has competed at Golden Shears before, but when you are roustabouting in front of 4000 people under the lights, it is like a television production.”
The wool handlers had to handle a mix of full wool and prem shorn fleeces in the competition, as well as throwing big bulky Romney fleeces.
“Sophie did some great throws and I think is where the Aussies came across well, because we know how to throw a fleece.”
Ms Brooker-Jones said Huf was quick in the final – the second fastest finisher – and did well “out the back” in the oddments assessment, recording equal lowest penalty points with eventual winner Joel Henare from New Zealand.
“It can look good out the front with your throw and your clean-up, but if you make a mistake in your oddments …. I think they had 10 different boxes to choose from.”
Henare was a clear winner in the open final – finishing almost 45 points ahead of NZ team mate Mary-Ann Baty — to regain the wool handling title he won at the Golden Shears in Masterton in 2012. Team mate and surprise New Zealand selection Mary-Anne Baty was second. Cook Islands wool handler Tina Elers was third in the final and combined with her daughter Tina to place third in the wool handling teams event.
Aussie blade shearers place third
Australia’s blade shearers John Dalla and Ken French placed third in the teams event, behind the New Zealand team of Tony Dobbs and Phil Oldfield, and the dominant South Africans, Mayenseke Shweni and Bongani Joel.
In the open blade shearing final, Shweni narrowly defeated Dobbs – by just 1.8 points – to defend his world blade shearing title, with Oldfield in third place and Joel in fourth. French placed fifth, followed by Dalla in sixth place.
New Zealander wins machine shearing final
Ms Brooker-Jones said the New Zealand team had a definite home advantage with the Invercargill spectators, wildly cheering Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick onto his first world title in four attempts.
“They definitely didn’t want another Scotsman winning it, like they did in 2012.
“Everybody was really happy to see Johnny Kirkpatrick get, because he has been there for a long time and is such a great guy,” Ms Brooker-Jones said.
“Nathan Stratford was well supported too, because he is from Invercargill.”
Kirkpatrick finished just 1.35 points ahead of Scotland’s Gavin Mutch, who completed his 20 sheep first, but lost out on board and pen points. Nathan Stratford from New Zealand was third, followed by Ivan Scott from Ireland, Hamish Mitchell from Scotland and Jack Robinson from Northern Ireland. Kirkpatrick and Stratford won the teams event from the Scots by just 0.79 points.
Shannon Warnest made it to the semi-finals of the world open shearing, placing eighth and missing out by less than one quality point in gaining a top six berth to contest the final.
“That’s 14 seconds over 10 sheep,” Ms Brooker-Jones said.
In the teams event, Warnest and his team mate Jason Wingfield finished third, less than five overall points behind the Scots, who were less than one point behind the winning New Zealand team.
2017 World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships results
Machine Shearing final (20 sheep – six fullwool, eight second-shear, six lambs): John Kirkpatrick (New Zealand) 17min 22.079sec, 61.554pts, 1; Gavin Mutch (Scotland) 16min 56.139sec, 62.907pts, 2; Nathan Stratford (New Zealand) 18min 3.357sec, 63.818pts, 3; Ivan Scott (Ireland) 18min 20.599sec, 66.53pts, 4; Hamish Mitchell (Scotland) 16min 50.75sec, 67.688pts, 5; Jack Robinson (Northern Ireland) 19min 22.71sec, 70.986pts, 6.
Blade shearing final (6 sheep – 3 second-shear, 3 longwool): Mayenseke Shweni (South Africa) 18min 7.101sec, 74.189pts, 1; Tony Dobbs (New Zealand) 19min 53.177sec, 75.992pts, 2; Phil Oldfield (New Zealand) 19min 59.129sec, 81.123pts, 3; Bongani Joel (South Africa) 21min 40.674sec, 84.034pts, 4; Ken French (Australia) 21min 41.956sec, 92.098pts, 5; Johnathon Dalla (Australia) 22min 10.601se, 93.697pts, 6.
Woolhandling final (8 fleeces – 4 second-shear, 4 longwool): Joel Henare (New Zealand) 107.82pts, 1; Mary-Anne Baty (New Zealand) 152.47pts, 2; Tina Elers (Cook Islands) 205.28pts, 3; Sophie Huf (Australia) 224.69pts, 4.
Machine Shearing final (20 sheep – six fullwool, eight second-shear, six lambs): New Zealand (John Kirkpatrick/Nathan Stratford) 18min 56.464sec, 66.373pts, 1; Scotland (Hamish Mitchell/Gavin Mutch) 18min 25.655sec, 67.083pts, 2; Australia (Shannon Warnest/Jason Wingfield) 19min 49.475sec, 72.674pts, 3; Northern Ireland (Ian Montgomery/Jack Robinson) 21min 43.667sec, 74.183pts, 4; Wales (Gwion Evans/Ian Jones) 20min 44.186sec, 75.409pts, 5; Ireland (Stanley Allingham/Ivan Scott) 21min 56.458sec, 77.273pts, 6.
Blade shearing final (6 sheep – 3 second-shear, 3 longwool): South Africa (Bongani Joel/Mayenseke Shweni) 18min 29.292sec, 78.299pts, 1; New Zealand (Tony Dobbs/Phil Oldfield) 19min 42.985sec, 84.816pts, 2; Australia (Johnathon Dalla/Ken French) 21min 20.142sec, 100.507pts, 3; Ireland (Peter Heraty/Noel Joyce) 27min 19.759sec, 114.821pts, 4; England (Andrew Mudge/George Mudge) 26min 34.698sec, 115.902pts, 5; Wales (Elfed Jackson/Gareth Owen) 25min 1.558sec, 122.078pts, 6.
Woolhandling final (8 fleeces – 4 second-shear, 4 longwool): New Zealand (Mary-Anne Baty/Joel Henare) 99.762pts, 1; Australia (Sophie Huf/Mel Morris) 141.464pts, 2; Cook Islands (Maiden Elers/Tina Elers) 169.75pts, 3.
For all results please click here.