Hastings shearer Dion King maintained his domination of the Great Raihania Shears on Friday with a fifth win in its nine Open finals since the event was established to revive the Hawke's Bay Show's shearing in 2004.
But, having won the first three finals and the 2010 title, it was still possibly the proudest of home shows for King who, soon after the final, was presented with a trophy recognising him as a Master Shearer, which was decided at the recent annual meeting of Shearing Sports New Zealand.
The 2006 Golden Shears champion and World nine-hour lambshearing record holder told more than 200 spectators that achieving Master Status was one of his goals when he first competed 14 years ago. "You'll get there if you stick at it," he told younger shearers embarking on the same path.
Starting the season with 40 Open final wins in New Zealand since his first at Tikokino in March 2002, King warranted favouritism for Friday's final after winning the first North Island show Open final in Gisborne six days earlier.
But he still had to get past the other two contestants to win the Great Raihania title - defending champion and reigning Golden Shears and New Zealand Open champion John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, who had also won in Hastings in 2007 and 2008, and 2009 winner and King Country icon David Fagan.
It was King who made the pace in the four-man final over 20 full-wool sheep, which he shore in 17min 13sec, heading Kirkpatrick by 11 seconds, both well clear of third-man-off and Hawke's Bay-based Northland Rowland Smith, another 41 seconds adrift but ultimately named runner-up after all time and quality points were calculated.
Fagan, with still two to shear when King had finished, had to settle for fourth place.
Three World champions were in the Open Woolhandling final won by Gisborne man-of-the moment Joel Henare.
Henare, who won the World individual and teams titles in Masterton last March, has been invincible in the first three finals of the new season, winning the NZ Merino Open woolhandling title at Alexandra a fortnight ago and his first Poverty Bay Open title.
On Friday, 2008 World champion Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape, was runner-up and her 2010 World champion teams partner and defending Great Raihania Shears champion, Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu, was third. Tokomaru Bay-based South Otago woolhandler Monica Potae was fourth.
Brett Roberts, of Mataura, provided his Gisborne and Northern Hawke's Bay whanau with plenty to celebrate as he beat Fagan's son, Jack, in the Senior shearing final. The Intermediate and Junior finals produced a special double, being won by Central Hawke's Bay brothers Fraser and Liam Quinlivan respectively.
Another special result was in the Junior woolhandling final, won by Intermediate shearing finalist, former national Junior lambshearing champion and 2010 50th Golden Shears Novice shearing winner David Gordon, of Masterton. His first win on the tables emulated the versatility of sister Cushla who has also won finals at shearing and woolhandling.
The Senior woolhandling final was won by Annette Maki, of Te Kuiti.
The Fagans, father and son, still made the winners' circle on their day-trip to Hawke's Bay, with respective wins in the Open and Senior classes of a Speedshear held on Friday night at the Hawke's Bay Sports Fishing Club, beside the Napier Inner Harbour entrance.
David Fagan won the Open first-place cheque of $1000 with a best time of 22.14sec, while Jack Fagan won the senior final with a best time of 26.86sec.
A novelty pie-beer-and-shear saw sponsors doing the eating and drinking in teaming up with the shearing identities, but it was won by a team from a Raupunga shearing gang, including a growing teenager on pie duty.
Fishing club acting president Shane King said that while the cold conditions detracted from the event, it was still a success and the club intended doing it all again next year. "I don't think people realise how quickly these guys can shear a sheep," he said. "It was good. We'll be doing a few different things this year."
Results of the Great Raihania Shears at 149th Hawke's Bay Show, Hastings, October 19, 2012:
Open final (20 sheep): Dion King (Hastings) 17min 13sec, 68.35pts, 1; Rowland Smith (Hastings) 18min 5sec, 69.35pts, 2; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 17min 24sec, 70.25pts, 3; David Fagan (Te Kuiti) 19min 5sec, 71.65pts, 4.
Senior final (8 sheep): Brett Roberts (Mataura) 10min 15sec, 51pts, 1; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 9min 48sec, 53.525pts, 2; Hemi Dellow (Hastings) 10min 24sec, 54.075pts, 3; Mohi Gray (Waipukurau) 10min 16sec, 54.925pts, 4.
Intermediate final (5 sheep): Frazer Quinlivan (Waipukurau) 7min 46sec, 45.7pts, 1; Alex Smith (Gisborne) 8min 34sec, 49.3pts, 2; Adam Morton (Wairoa) 8min 5sec, 49.65pts, 3; David Gordon (Masterton) 8min 10sec, 52.3pts, 4.
Junior final (3 sheep): Liam Quinlivan (Waipukurau) 6min 20sec, 42.33pts, 1; Quinton Sanson (Feilding) 8min 10sec, 49.5pts, 2; Tegwyn Bradley (Woodville) 8min 38sec, 53.24pts, 3; Duran Smith (Gisborne) 7min 7sec, 55.01pts, 4.
Open final: Joel Henare (Gisborne) 144pts, 1; Sheree Alabaster (Taihape) 203pts, 2; Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu) 212pts, 3; Monica Potae (Tokomaru Bay) 260pts, 4.
Senior final: Annette Maki (Te Kuiti) 184pts, 1; Kyle Wihongi (Hastings) 190pts, 2; Brittany Tibble (Gisborne) 228pts, 3; Maiden Elers (Mataura) 252pts, 4.
Junior final: David Gordon (Masterton) 157pts, Kandy Huata (Raupunga) 173pts, 2; Kyle Ellen (Waipukurau) 173pts, 3; Blaze Peneha (Waipawa) 216pts, 4.
Hawke's Bay Sport Fishing Club Speedshear:
Open: David Fagan 26.22sec, 1; Matt Smith 23.52sec, 2; John Kirkpatrick 26.22sec, 3.
Senior: Jack Fagan 26.86sec, 1; Tui Pene 27.58sec, 2; T.T. Thompson 43.38sec, 3.