NEW Zealand’s world championship wool handling hope Pagan Karauria has passed another milestone with a win in the historic first NZ Shearing Championships’ women’s shearing final last week.
The event on March 29, the second day of the 2019 championships, attracted 14 entries and a full-house for the six-shearer final in Te Kuiti’s Les Munro Centre.
Up against three world record breakers and a Canadian world championships shearing representative, Karauria, 30, of Alexandra, was first to finish, shearing the eight second-shear sheep in 11 minutes and 10.42 seconds.
She was 10 seconds quicker than event instigator and world women’s nine-hours lamb shearing record holder Emily Welch, of Waikaretu, who won a women’s event at the Golden Shears four weeks ago.
Karauria also had the best points in judging on the shearing board last night and second-best quality overall to win by 1.022pts.
Senior class shearer Laura Bradley, of Woodville, had the best quality points overall and claimed third place, and fourth place went to Ingrid Smith, a former world women’s eight-hour lamb shearing record holder and wife of 2014 world champion and multiple Golden Shears and New Zealand titles winner Rowland Smith.
Canadian world championships representative Pauline Bolay, who has shorn several New Zealand seasons for Welch, was fifth, and sixth was Masterton lawyer, freelance writer, former Labour Party general election hopeful and former world ewes record holder Jills Angus Burney.
Karauria, who suffered serious back injuries in a work van crash in 2008, was, along with Welch and Angus Burney, one of the five female shearers featured in the docu-movie She Shears, which was launched at last year’s New Zealand Film Festival.
Along with the growing number of women reaching finals in competitions around the country, the movie was one of the catalysts for the move by Welch and husband and fellow world record breaker Sam to get major shows to establish women’s events, in addition to the grades in which women have been competing against men with increasing success. The ultimate aim is to establish a women’s world title.
It’s been 12 months of ticking boxes for Karauria, who in August was recognised by Shearing Sports New Zealand as a master wool handler. This emulated the acclaim achieved by shearing father Dion Morrell and wool-handling mother Tina Rimene, and who at the Golden Shears on March 2 won a New Zealand world wool-handling team selection event and a trip to France to go for a world title in July.
Karauria has been busy helping to manage her father’s shearing run and hasn’t had a lot of time shearing, so was surprised to beat others, who she believed would have been preparing especially for the event.
“I’ve only had about three days’ shearing in the last few months.
“I didn’t know I had it in me,” she said.
“This is awesome.
“When I won, I thought, this is quite cool.”
Among her previous better achievements as a shearer were a sixth place in the All Nations senior world championships support event final in Invercargill two years ago and a fifth in a New Zealand championships junior final in 2013.
Result: Women’s final (8 sheep): Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 11min 10.42sec, 44.146pts, 1; Emily Welch (Waikaretu) 11min 20.85sec, 45.168pts, 2; Laura Bradley (Woodville) 12min 13.74sec, 47.062pts, 3; Ingrid Smith (Maraekakaho) 12min 36.7sec, 49.46pts, 4; Pauline Bolay (Canada) 12min 27.26sec, 50.613pts, 5; Jills Angus Burney (Masterton) 11min 32.72sec, 54.261pts, 6.
Source: Doug Laing, SSNZ.