SPEED shearing competition is set to heat up in New Zealand in the next two weeks after recent events and the return of top competitors from Australia.
In New Zealand, Gore shearer Lionel Taumata enhanced some sort of claim to the unofficial crown of speed shears King of the South when he won the Waiau Rugby Club’s Open Speedshear final in North Canterbury on Saturday.
In his fifth season in the open class, since nine senior show competition wins to become Shearing Sports New Zealand’s No 1-ranked senior shearer in the 2018-2019 season, Taumata has had just four open speedshear wins, in a pursuit dominated by the likes of North Island guns Jimmy Samuels, Jack Fagan and Paerata Abraham.
Taumata has won his last three events; at the Railway Tavern in Rakaia on October 27, the Woodbourne Tavern, near Blenheim on November 4, and now at Waiau, where the $1500 first prize takes him to $5000 in prizemoney in just over three weeks.
Taumata is now headed north to work and chase more speed shear prizes at such places as the Toko Tavern in Taranaki, after the Stratford A and P Show next Saturday, the Matiere Cosmopolitan Club on December 1, and in his old home town at the Taumarunui Speedshear on December 23.
The opposition hots up with the return from Australia of the top guns, including Jack Fagan who won $A15,000 Mundijong Open Quick Shear in the outer suburbs of Perth on November 4, and Samuels, who, after finishing second at Mundijong won at the Dinninup show in the south-west region of West Australia on November 7. On Saturday, still in Australia, Samuels, see below in the Shear Pride video, won the $A10,000 first prize at the Harden Red Devils Rugby Club Quick Shear, between Canberra and Sydney, with an unofficial fastest time for a sheep in the fast-form competition in Australia, a slick 16.78 seconds. This beat the unofficial Australian speed shear record of 17.2 seconds.
Samuels, with Sam Henderson and Levi Neil made an attempt at setting an nine hour three-stand crossbred lamb record on 3 November. It had to be called off due to the lambs’ fleeces not making the required average weight, but the shearers still managed an unofficial record tally of 1937 lambs.
RESULTS from the Waiau Rugby Club Speedshear on Saturday, November 18, 2023:
Open: Lionel Taumata (Gore) 1, Lyall Windleburn (Rangiora) 2, Taare Edwards (Ashburton) 3, Scott Wilson 4, Toko Hapuku 5, Sam Thomson 6.
Intermediate: Jason White (Waimate) 1, Aaron Magee (Ireland) 2, Alice Watson (Seddon) 3.
Women: Penny Bell (England) 1, Kelly McDonald (Domett) 2, Hannah Knox (Cheviot) 3.
Farmers: Roger Marsh 1, Ross Dobby 2, Wayde Waller 3.