NEW Zealand shearer Leon Samuels has capped his biggest season with victory in the nation’s lamb shearing championships open final at the Mackenzie Shears in Fairlie on Monday.
The Southland shearer won the title in the last event of the 2022-2023 Shearing Sports New Zealand season by just 0.947pts from surprise runner-up Hugh De Lacy, of Rangiora.
Samuels’ victory came just nine days after his historic win in the New Zealand Shears Open final in Te Kuiti claimed him a place in the New Zealand singlet at the Golden Shears World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Scotland on June 22-25.
It was also Samuels’ ninth win in national title events in four seasons – after victories in the Otago Shears Open and South Island Shearer of the Year finals in 2020, the Otago Shears, the Southern Shears, the New Zealand Shears Circuit, PGG Wrightson Vetmed National Shearing Circuit and Waimate Shears New Zealand Spring Shearing Championships finals in 2021, and the Southern Shears final again, in February.
He has had just four other wins in New Zealand in an open-class career dating back to 2012.
Monday’s win came after a six-man final with Samuels and Scotsman and Southern Hawke’s Bay farmer and shearer Gavin Mutch heading the race for time honours. Mutch was ultimately first by just over five seconds after completing the 19 lambs in 17min 7.25sec.
Third to finish was Te Kuiti shearer Jack Fagan, who won the crossbred lambs title in Winton in January. De Lacy was next, but better quality pointsd enabled him to claim second place overall.
Invercargill veteran Nathan Stratford completed his 26th season of open-class shearing with again the best quality points overall, to claim fourth place after shearing the 19 lambs in 18min 45.47sec, Fagan was placed fifth and sixth was Pleasant Point shearer and contractor Ant Frew.
North Island shearer Cory Barrowcliffe claimed his third win of the season in the senior final, by less than a point from runner-up Blake Crooks of Timaru, and the intermediate final was won by Dre Roberts, of Mataura, by just 0.0788pts from Emma Martin, of Gore, both stepping up to the intermediate grade after she won the New Zealand Shears Junior final in Te Kuiti on April 1.
Although last to finish the six lambs, Martin had easily the best quality points, but not quite good enough to claim the title.
The junior final was won by Caleb Brooking, also of Mataura and who had scored his first win at the Oxford A and P Show nine days earlier, and the novice final, shorn as a Cleanshear, was won by Caleb Clark-Fleury, of Waimate.
Local blade shearer Tony Dobbs, with more than 40 years of shearing behind him, added to his list of more than 100 blades shearing wins by turning the tables on Allan Oldfield, from Geraldine, who had won the blades final at Oxford the previous weekend. Dobbs had earlier this season won blades titles at Waimate and Ashburton.
RESULTS from the Mackenzie Shears, at the 125th anniversary Mackenzie Aand P Show, Fairlie, on Monday, 10 April, 2023:
Open final (19 lambs): Leon Samuels (Invercargill/Roxburgh) 17min 12.69sec, 62.7398pts, 1; Hugh De Lacy (Rangiora) 17min 31.63sec, 63.6868pts, 2; Gavin Mutch (Scotland/Dannevirke) 17min 7.25sec, 64.4678pts, 3; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 18min 45.47sec, 64.8524pts, 4; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 17min 20.03sec, 65.7099pts, 5; Ant Frew (Pleasant Point) 19min 11.64sec, 68.0557pts, 6.
Senior final (9 lambs): Cory Barrowcliffe (Piopio) 10min 42.91sec, 42.8122pts, 1; Blake Crooks (Timaru) 10min 38.18sec, 43.5757pts, 2; Josef Winders (Invercargill) 10min 37.68sec, 45.5507pts, 3; Alex Clapham (England) 10min 36.28sec, 45.6529pts, 4; Liam Norrie (Cheviot) 12min 46.47sec, 47.2124pts, 5; Gabriel Winders (Invercargill) 11min 21.25sec, 47.6181pts, 6.
Intermediate final (6 lambs): Dre Roberts (Mataura) 10min 36.37sec, 41.4852pts, 1; Emma Martin (Gore) 11min 41.28sec, 41.564pts, 2; Matthew Smith (Otorohanga) 10min 35.82sec, 41.791pts, 3; Jessie Sullivan (-) 9min 38.07sec, 41.9035pts, 4; Cody Waihape (Gore) 11min 13.63sec, 47.1815pts, 5; George Gill (-) 11min 15.68sec, 57.284pts, 6.
Junior final (3 lambs): Caleb Brooking (Mataura) 6min 39.47sec, 30.3068pts, 1; Robyn Krause (Germany/Pleasant Point) 7min 35.78sec, 32.4557pts, 2; Coby Lambert (Te Kuiti) 7min 25.65sec, 33.1158pts, 3; Tracey Paton (Timaru) 8min 12/69sec, 47.6345pts, 4; Brodi Ropata (Waimate) 8min 8.65sec, 50.4325pts, 5; Justin Tata (Mohaka) 8min 6.09sec, 64.9712pts, 6.
Novice (Cleanshear, 1 lamb): Caleb Clark-Fleury (Waimate) 6pts, 1; Jake Dickson (Dunedin) 7pts, 2; Kalem Kingi (-) 9pts, 3; Brody Gallagher (Fairlie) 13pts, 4; Josh Youngman (Timaru) and Amber Gallagher (Fairlie) 16pts, 5eq.
Blades final (5 lambs): Tony Dobbs (Fairlie) 13min 43.18sec, 48.959pts, 1; Allan Oldfield (Geraldine) 13min 27.6sec, 50.98pts, 2; Phil Oldfield (Geraldine) 15min 18.5sec, 56.925pts, 3; Tim Hogg (Rolleston) 14min 31.44sec, 60.372pts, 4; Shaun Burgess (Rakaia) 17min 39.29sec, 106.9645pts, 5.
Source – Doug Laing, Shearing Sports New Zealand.
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