NZ wool handler’s disbelief at gaining world championship team berth

Doug Laing, Shearing Sports NZ, November 10, 2016


NZ wool handler Maryanne Baty in action. Picture- Shearing Sports NZ.

NZ wool handler Maryanne Baty in action. Picture- Shearing Sports NZ.

IT may have been a day late but it didn’t matter to Gisborne wool handler Maryanne Baty today as she gained a dramatic selection in the CP Wool Shearing Sports New Zealand team for the 2017 World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Invercargill.

Baty turned 31 on Wednesday and celebrated today at the Canterbury Show in Christchurch by being runner-up in the top-three final of a selection series of true survival, and which started 10 months ago in Southland.

She joins fellow Gisborne woolhandler and series favourite Joel Henare, who won the trial, meaning the 2012 world champion is set represent New Zealand at his third world championships at the age of just 25.

Both wool handlers showed some emotion for Alexandra wool handler Pagan Karauria, who had flown from Australia for the final, as she had done for the last points round three weeks ago, and was denied at the last hurdle.

“I know how hard she worked,” Henare said.

While Henare won five of the six points rounds, which culled an original field of over 20 to just six for the Christchurch semi-final and final showdown, Baty hadn’t given herself a show when she went to the Royal Show in Hastings on October 21 in 10th place, putting her a seemingly near-impossible gap of four points from the sixth place.

But with third place on the day, and second-place points in the series, she scraped in on a countback of best placings. Today she placed third in the first round, ousting three more favoured opponents, including 2008 World champion Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape, and her 2010 teams champions partner Keryn Herbert, of Te Kuiti.

Baty, whose sole open class win was at the Hawke’s Bay Show’s Great Raihania Shears last year, told how the “self-doubt” in Hastings turned to ‘giving it a go’ because it was the last chance, and she flew to Christchurch in disbelief, fare paid by employers Ian and Lilybeth Kirkpatrick Patrick.

“Everything hit home being here,” she said, soon after Henare had draped her with a New Zealand team blazer that appeared from the crowd.

“Seeing everyone here with the same mission. I definitely didn’t think I could do it.”

Daughter Erana, 12, and partner and shearer D.J. were not able to be in Christchurch but were able to watch via one of several live feeds on Facebook.

“Erana wanted to be here,” Baty said. “She was here, I could hear her voice.”

There’s little rest for Baty, who having to rearrange a flight so that she can be present for team photos tomorrow (Friday), plans to travel from Gisborne to Waipukurau on Saturday to compete at the Central Hawke’s Bay Show.

Joel Henare will compete in his third world championship.

Joel Henare will compete in his third world championship. Picture: Shearing Sports NZ.

Joel Henare, determined to get the world wool handling title back after being a semi-final elimination in Ireland two years ago, will miss the CHB Show, having to get back to wife Erica and children Keanu, 3, Hikurangi, 2, and Lee, 1.

“I wouldn’t have got here without my sponsor PGG Wrightson Gisborne and Erica and the children,” he said.

Fairlie farmer Tony Dobbs has already guaranteed a place at the championships as one of two bladeshearers, the other place to be decided in tomorrow’s (Friday’s) New Zealand Corriedale Championships bladeshearing championship.

The two machine shearing positions will be decided tomorrow (Friday) in a six-man selection series final headed by 2014 World champion Rowland Smith, of Hastings.

The 2017 world championships will be held in Invercargill’s ILT Stadium Southland on February 8-11. A record 32 countries have entered.

Results of the Shearing Sports New Zealand World Championships woolhandling team selection final at the Canterbury Show in Christchurch today: Joel Henare (Gisborne) 136.6pts, 1; Maryanne Baty (Gisborne) 210.568pts, 2; Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 228.624pts, 3. Henare and Baty will represent New Zealand in the woolhandling at the 40th anniversary World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Invercargill on February 8-11.

Source: Doug Laing, media officer, Shearing Sports New Zealand.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Sheep Central's news headlines emailed to you -