Shearing Sports NZ
New Zealand Championships - April 4-6, at Te Kuiti
April 7, 2013
Smith crowns stellar shears year with NZ Champs win
Hastings shearer Rowland Smith crowned a stellar couple of months on the competition circuit with a comfortable New Zealand Open Championship win set to a background of drama in Te Kuiti’s packed Waitomo Cultural and Arts Centre on Saturday night.
The win in a six-man final of what should have been 20 sheep each was the 26-year-old Northland-raised gun’s 14th in 11 weeks, including his first Golden Shears Open win in Masterton on March 2.
But there was drama all-around the winner on Stand 3, most-amazingly next-door on Stand 2 where fellow Hawke’s Bay shearer Dion King was wondering how he’d beaten the all-conquering event favourite Smith by more than a sheep and set a record time, until his worst fears were realised. There’d been only 19 sheep in his pen.
Further along the board Te Kuiti shearer Mark Grainger was wondering why he still had a sheep in his pen, when he knew he’d already done 20.
Neither of the rare calamities affected the ultimate result however, for both King and and 17-times winner, final second-favourite and Te Kuiti legend David Fagan had suffered major quality penalties early in the race, all-but putting them out of contention.
Having sacrificed even more quality points in a bid to compensate with better time points, the 38-year-old World lambshearing record holder King’s initial 14min 46.11sec, later adjusted to accommodate the error, would still not have been sufficient to claim the title.
Ultimately credited with 15min 32.11sec, it was more realistically in the season of the drought more than half-a-minute slower than his time when first to finish last year, but still over half-a-minute quicker than second-man-off and Pongaroa farmer David Buick, 34, finishing in 16min 99. 48sec.
Winner of the North Island Shearer of the Year final 24 hours earlier, Smith repeated a double he’d also achieved in 2011, and won the Open by 2.473pts from the lone South Island finalist, Invercargill’s Nathan Stratford, who produced the night’s best quality points to secure second place, with Buick third, almost four points clear of King.
Youngest finalist Grainger, aged 24, son of 1985 Golden Shears champion Paul Grainger, in his 16th final of the season but yet to win an Open title or any of the championship titles on his home-town stage, claimed fifth place ahead of Fagan, aged 51 and leaving a crack at career No 620 for another day.
Smith’s remarkable run started returning from a honeymoon on January 19 to compete at Wairoa, where he missed qualifying for a four-man final, only to learn he’d been kept out by a scoring error.
He’s since been beaten in only five of 19 finals, a sequence of five consecutive wins up to the weekend before the Golden Shears including the Southern Shears in Gore on February 16 and the Counties Shears the next day in Pukekohe.
At the Golden Shears he gifted his $3000 winning purse to cancer awareness, commenting it was the title that mattered most, but on Saturday, he was happy to accept the richest prize in World shearing, worth over $20,000 and including a Can-Am Outlander Quad Bike, on which he later posed with wife and fellow World shearing record breaker Ingrid (nee Baynes), and prospective champions of the future.
Rowland also wins a place in the New Zealand team to tour the UK for the second time, being joined by Rakaia shearer Tony Coster, who earlier on Saturday night restated his claims as the country’s best multi-breeds shearer with victory in the final of the New Zealand Shears Circuit, shorn on merino wethers, crossbred second-shear ewes, and lambs.
Coster, who’s never shorn in the UK, had had three consecutive wins in the country’s premier multi-breeds event, the PGG Wrightson National, in 2009-2011, and had last month finished runner-up to the then reigning Golden Shears and New Zealand Open champion, Napier’s John Kirkpatrick.
Never further back than third in 37 consecutive competitions over the last 13 months, apart from the less-familiar finewool of the New Zealand Merino Championships in October, Kirkpatrick had a rare semi-final elimination in Saturday’s Open competition, but was a close runner-up to Smith in the NI Shearer of the Year final, and third in the Circuit final.
He did salvage some glory, with victory in the Open Plate, and, with nephew Ian Kirkpatrick, of Gisborne, won the inaugural Province of Origin final, representing East Coast.
Kaeo shearer Bryce Guy extended his family’s remarkable record at the championships over the last three years by winning a 12-sheep Senior final by half-a-point from Mataura’s Brett Roberts. Guy had won the Junior title in 2011 and last year’s Intermediate title, youngest brother Marshall on Friday added the Intermediate tilre to the novice title he won in 2011, and brothers Bevan (2011 Senior) and Charlie (2012 Junior) also feature on the event’s honours board.
Meanwhile, a prospective school teacher who hasn’t worked in a woolshed for at least three years and who hadn’t competed for 12 months, caused a boilover by winning the Open woollhandling final.
Aged 28, living in Te Kuiti with Welsh shearer Delwyn Jones with children Cari, 3, and Kaiana, 2, but still a Hawke’s Bay girl from Porangahau, Hanatia Tipene said an hour after her win: “I’m still coming down. I only entered to support the local show.”
It highlighted that while taking time out to raise children and this year start studying at Waikato University in pursuit of a dream to go primary school teaching, she hadn’t lost the touch which had made her NZ Junior champion in 2004, and a New Zealand Transtasman Series representative in 2007-2008.
The final was missing reigning World champion and new Golden Shears champion Joel Henare, of Gisborne, 2008 champion Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape, and 2000 and 2005 World champion team member and Hawarden-based Tina Rimene, from Masterton, all of whom were eliminated in the semi-final.
But she still had to overcome 1999 and 2003 winner Ronnie Goss, of Kimbolton, and Te Awamutu’s Keryn Herbert, who was on Saturday acclaimed as a Master Woolhandler, and also for the second year in a row the top-ranked Open woolhandler of the season, with 7 wins in 18 competitions, from Winton in the South, to Rotorua in the North.
Tipene dominated on Saturday with consistent points across the aspects of board-judging, blend, oddments and fleece, with Goss finishing second, and Herbert third.
Open final (20 sheep): Rowland Smith (Hastings) 16min 11.74sec, 63.987pts, 1; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 17min 18.2sec, 66.46pts, 2; David Buick (Pongaroa) 16min 9.48sec, 66.624pts, 3; Dion King (Hastings) 15min 32.11sec, 70.556pts, 4; Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 16min 32.44sec, 70.872pts, 5; David Fagan (Te Kuiti) 16min 59.91sec, 73.946pts, 6.
Senior final (12 sheep): Bryce Guy (Kaeo) 11min 48.37sec, 54.169pts, 1; Brett Roberts (Mataura) 12min 30.33sec, 54.6pts, 2; Lachie Baynes (Wairoa) 13min 30.7sec, 56.285pts, 3; Hemi Braddick (Eketahuna) 12min 31.54sec, 57.327pts, 4; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 12min 45.24sec, 58.512pts, 5; Steven Hanson (Eketahuna) 13min 13.23sec, 59.995pts, 6.
Intermediate final (8 sheep): David Gordon (Masterton) 11min 21.84sec, 46.217pts, 1; Phoenix Hawkins (Martinborough) 11min 38.1sec, 47.53pts, 2; Dylan McGruddy (Masterton and Australia): 11min 33.81sec, 47.53pts, 3; Ethan Pankhurst (Masterton) 11min 12.45sec, 50.248pts, 4; Charlie Guy (Kaeo) 10min 54.32sec, 50.341pts, 5; Cory Green (Rakaia) 11min 55.78sec, 53.414pts, 6.
Junior final (5 sheep): Marshall Guy (Kaeo) 8min 38.44sec, 36.722pts, 1; Corey Smith (Rakaia) 8min 28.11sec, 38.006pts, 2; Kahn Culshaw (Mataura) 8min 27.23sec, 39.362pts, 3; Ramone Smith (Gisborne) 10min 12.63sec, 40.232pts, 4; Pagan Rimene (Masterton) 8min 29.1sec, 44.655pts, 5; Josh Balme (Te Kuiti) 9min 37.26sec, 56.263pts, 6.
Novice final (2 sheep): Matt MacRae (Masterton) 7min 24.95sec, 36.248pts, 1; Laura Bradley (Woodville) 6min 38.37sec, 37.419pts, 2; Ricci Stevens (Gisborne) 6min 37.66sec, 38.883pts, 3; Blake Clinch (Eketahuna) 8min 50.41sec, 45.021pts, 4; Shaun Turton (Dannevirke) 7min 39.78sec, 46.989pts, 5; James Alford (Gisborne) 8min 2.02sec, 50.626pts, 6.
New Zealand Shears Circuit final (5 merino wethers, 5 crossbred ewes, 5 lambs): Tony Coster (Rakaia) 19min 47.7sec, 88.319pts, 1; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 20min 55.21sec, 90.561pts, 2; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 19min 28.64sec, 91.765pts, 3; Gavin Mutch (Whangamomona and Scotland) 20min 17.64sec, 95.682pts, 4; Digger Balme (Te Kuiti) 18min 47.12sec, 98.023pts, 5; David Fagan (Te Kuiti) 18min 46.85sec, 99.209pts, 6.
North Island Shearer of the Year final (10 ewes, 10 lambs): Rowland Smith (Hastings) 16min 9.59sec, 63.48pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 15min 49.93sec, 63.647pts, 2; David Fagan (Te Kuiti) 16min 17.45sec, 67.173pts, 3; Digger Balme (Te Kuiti) 15min 32.14sec, 70.407pts, 4; Gavin Mutch (Whangamomona and Scotland) 17min 29.95sec, 72.148pts, 5; Dion King (Hastings) 15min 39.55sec, 72.378pts, 6.
Open Plate (10 sheep): John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 8min 50.58sec, 38.229pts, 1; Adam Brausch (Dannevirke) 8min 32.01sec, 40.301pts, 2; Dean Ball (Te Kuiti) 9min 15.29sec, 41.465pts, 3; Peter Jackson (Weber) 9min 28.03sec, 46.702pts, 4; Gavin Mutch (Whangamomona and Scotland) 8min 17.24sec, 47.362pts, 5; Digger Balme (Te Kuiti) 8min 11.8sec, 51.99pts, 6.
Open Challenger (8 sheep): Ian Kirkpatrick (Gisborne) 7min 39.56sec, 45.478pts, 1; Bevan Guy (Kaeo) 7min 37.52sec, 46.251pts, 2; Paerata Abraham (Dannevirke) 8min 50.25sec, 46.638pts, 3; Tipene Te Whata (Tautoro) 8min 44.31sec, 47.216pts, 4; Phil Wedd (Napier) 9min 12.05sec, 48.478pts, 5; Shaun Burgess (Rakaia) 9min 42.53sec, 50.627pts, 6.
Open final: Hanatia Tipene (Te Kuiti) 71.974pts, 1; Veronica (Ronnie) Goss (Kimbolton) 86pts, 2; Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu) 88.47pts, 3; Ngaio Braddick (Eketahuna) 90.56sec, 4; Lisa Fagan (Te Kuiti) 127.65pts, 5.
Senior final: Samantha Gordon (Masterton) 83.29pts, 1; Peggy-Sue Tohengaroa (Aria) 91.5pts, 2; Logan Kamura (Marton) 96.25pts, 3; Pania Piwari (Masterton) 106.66pts, 4; Victoria Kumeroa (Whanganui) 133.53pts, 5.
Junior final: Tiffany Kumeroa (Whanganui) 81.38pts, 1; Annette Hohepa (Hawke’s Bay) 91.66pts, 2; Joanne Shuttleworth (England) 95.78pts, 3; David Gordon (Masterton) 104.41pts, 4; Tara Chapman (Matiere) 106.03pts, 5.
Transtasman shearing (4 merinos, 4 second shear): Warrnambool Aus 266.858pts (Wayne Hosie 13min 22.18sec, 74.859pts; Roger Mifsud 15min 42.02sec, 89.851pts; Nick Hearn 18min 2.96sec, 102.148pts) beat Te Kuiti NZ 276.093pts (Dion King 12min 50sec, 82.25pts; Rowland Smith 14min 52.86sec, 85.768pts; Lachie Baynes 17min 11.5sec, 108.075pts).
Shearing Province of Origin: East Coast (John Kirkpatrick, Ian Kirkpatrick) 33.596pts, 1; Hawke’s Bay (Paerata Abraham, Adam Brausch) 34.51pts, 2; Hawke’s Bay (Dion King, Phil Wedd) 34.619pts, 3; King Country (Peter Jackson, Dean Ball) 35.171pts, 4; Wairarapa (Nuki Gordon, David Buick) 36.969pts, 5; Northland (Nevill Osborne, Rowland Smith) 39.565pts, 6.
Inter-Island Teams Challenge: North Island (shearers David Fagan, John Kirkpatrick, Rowland Smith; woolhandlers Sheree Alabaster, Cushla Abraham, Keryn Herbert) 263.9pts beat South Island (shearers Nathan Stratford, Andy Mainland, Tony Coster; woolhandlers (Pagan Rimene, Tina Rimene, Joel Henare) 294.1pts.