Gippsland’s Amy Rogers wins state open wool handling final in Bendigo

Terry Sim, July 19, 2017

Gippsland wool handler Amy Rogers on her way to winning the 2017 Victorian open wool handling title at Bendigo.

GIPPSLAND wool handler Amy Rogers has won the Victorian state wool handling final in her first year as an open wool handler.

In a hard fought final at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo on Sunday, Rogers toppled current Australian champion Sophie Huf from Hawkesdale by 1.3 points, with Bessiebelle wool handler Mark Purcell 1.94 points away in third.

The three wool handlers will now compete in the Victorian team at the 2017 national titles in Bendigo in October. Broadwater wool handler Clare Price finished fourth just 2.13 points behind Purcell.

Although she was the slowest of the four finalists to finish her six crossbred fleece, the quality of Rogers’ wool work at speed got her through and she was penalised with the least board, back and workskill points.

“I was just really focussed and it obviously just all came together.

“I class a lot of big sheds that are quite fast.”

Rogers said she skirts and classes in one shed with five shearers doing around 50 Merinos a run with all the wool put over a single table. Other sheds do 800-900 sheep a day. Rogers said normally fleece throwing is not her strong point and she doesn’t handle much crossbred wool and was nervous before the final.

“Everyone in that final is really talented.

“It was a good close field and the whole competition was really close,” she said.

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Current Australian wool handling champion Sophie Huf in the state final at Bendigo.

Between her 8-9 sheds a year, the 29 year-old part-time farmer also works on her family’s beef and sheep property at Gelantipy. She has been working in the sheds for about 10 years, classing for seven years and started competing as a wool handler in 2011, doing just a few events a year.

“I’ve done Bendigo every year since 2011 and I’ve always done Omeo over here, but I haven’t done the full circuit.

“The last couple of years I’ve travelled a bit more to get points.”

Rogers has only competed at the open level for the past season and competed as a senior in the state final last year.

“I’ve been to the nationals twice as a senior wool handler.”

Mark Purcell clears some pieces in the state open wool handling final.

Immediate past president of Sports Shear Victoria Tom Kelly said Amy Rogers had a huge weekend, winning a state team berth after qualifying in sixth position for the state wool handling final. She also placed second in the Northern Shears open wool handling final on Saturday behind Tasmanian Mel Morris, with Mark Purcell third.

Mr Kelly said Rogers’ performance might have surprised some people, but she was consistent, beating the same Victorian wool handlers on consecutive days.

“She is in good form.”

It was Rogers’ first time competing in the open state final at national level, he said.

“To the best of my knowledge she is the first open competitor in the wool handling out of Gippsland.”

Wingfield still king of the board in Victoria

Jason Wingfield leading the field in the state open shearing final.

Cobram-based shearer Jason Wingfield was a clear winner on speed in the state open shearing final, finishing his 13 sheep in 17 minutes and 3 seconds, 1 minute 19 seconds ahead of second placegetter, Sam Mackrill, 21, from Nanneella.

Wingfield (74.92 points) finished just 1.1 overall points ahead of Mackrill (76.02 points) after time and quality points, and penalties were tallied.

Sam Mackrill in the state open shearing final.

East Gippsland shearer Dan Mraz, 29, was third with 86.04 points, to join the other two in the Victorian team for the 2017 national titles in October in Bendigo. Nhill shearer Josh Bone was fourth in the state final with 89.62 points.

Dan Mraz in the state open shearing final.

French wins blade final

In the state blade shearing final, Glenisla shearer Ken French recorded the least board, outside and quality penalty points to be a clear winner on 74.92 points. He finished his three sheep in 13 minutes and 25 seconds, to outshear Apsley’s Richie Foster who took 15 minutes and 10 seconds and scored 91.17 penalty points.

Blade shearing finalists, from left, Ken French, 1st; Richie Foster, 2nd; Terry Rowbottom, 3rd and Stuart Jennings 4th.

Broadwater shearer Terry Rowbottom was third in 17 minutes and 34 seconds on 99.37 points, with Edenhope shearer Stuart Jennings fourth in 16 minutes and 27 seconds with 103.02 points.

Other state final results: Wool handling – Senior: Zac Currie, 1; Sharelle Dyson, 2; Kirsty Bone, 3. Novice: Rachael Kramer, 1; Shelby Fraser, 2; Bianca Cobb, 3. Shearing – Intermediate: Tom Colvin, 1; Zachary Dorrington, 2; Leearna Cook, 3; Vaughan Clutterbuck, 4. Senior: Lachy Ward, 1; Jake Sullivan, 2; Leigh Cowland, 3; Clint Atkinson, 4.


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  1. Chris Mackrill, July 19, 2017

    Great article, Terry Sim, you’ve covered every part of a great competition.

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