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Smith brings up 100 in Pukekohe

Northland-raised Hawke's Bay shearing champion Rowland Smith became possibly only the fourth person to win 100 Open-class shearing titles with three victories about 24hours and 1700km apart during the weekend.

He raised the century at the Counties Shears in Pukekohe yesterday (Sunday), a few hours after arriving from Gore, in Southland, where on Saturday he won the South Island Shearer of the Year final and the Southern Shears Open final on Saturday.

It was a repeat of a unique treble he also scored last year, the 100th win being achieved at the same show where he scored where he has been unbeaten in six finals dating back to his first Open A-grade show win in 2010, following previous wins at the Kaikohe and North Kaipara shows in Northland and at Devon County in England.

The only other shearers thought to have cracked the century are multiple World champion Sir David Fagan, who retired with 642 wins, Napier gun John Kirkpatrick, who was runner-up yesterday and has a list of over 200 wins including a long-sought World Championship win in Invercargill on February 11, and 2008 World Champion and Taranaki farmer Paul Avery, who was recorded to have won 178 finals.

Although just 30 years old, living at Maraekakaho, near Hastings, with fellow shearing-record breaker Ingrid and their two children record, Smith first shore in a Junior final when aged just 15, and was well known by the time he hit Open ranks in 2006, with 23 wins in lower grades including the Golden Shears Junior title in 2004 and the shears' Senior title two years later.

His wins include three Golden Shears Open titles and four New Zealand Open titles, and 14 wins abroad including the 2014 World Championships final in Ireland.

He has scored 34 of his wins in the last 16 months, with 19 in the 2015-2016 season, two in the UK including the Royal Welsh Show title, and now 13 this season, including the February 10 Southland All Nations at the recent World Championships in Invercargill, after last November just missing out on a place in the New Zealand team.

In August last year he was acclaimed a Master Shearer by Shearing Sports New Zealand.

In Gore, Dunedin-based Gisborne World Champion woolhandler Joel Henare won the Southern Shears Open woolhandling title on Friday, his 92nd win in an open-class career which also started in the 2006-2007 season. Although aged just 25 and also acclaimed a Master at woolhandling, Henare is shaping-up to become only the second person to achieve 100 Open woolhandling wins, succeeding late mentor and multliple World, Golden Shears and New Zealand champion Joanne Kumeroa.


 

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