A shearing final win after breaking a hand piece comb tooth and replacing the hand piece provided a world class highlight at the Wairoa A and P show.
Few noticed Hawke's Bay gun and 2014 world champion Rowland Smith's blip at the show on Saturday, but one who did was Napier shearing contractor Wiki Staples who despite a lifetime in the industry was still amazed.
"Breaks a comb, changes the hand piece, changes another cutter, and still wins," she mused afterwards.
"Who does that? A world champion…That's who."
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More astounding, she said, was that 34-year-old Smith, the winner of more than 160 open shearing finals, still managed to win the four-man final by half a sheep and more than half a point from fellow Hawke's Bay shearer John Kirkpatrick, the 2017 world champion and with about 190 finals the world's second most successful shearer behind Te Kuiti great Sir David Fagan.
Smith later confirmed the incident, saying it happened just after a standard mid-final change of hand piece.
A sheep kicked the hand piece clear, the tooth on the comb broke and the shearer held the sheep while switching back to the original hand piece and shearing out the sheep before also changing the clogged cutter.
Smith shore the 20 sheep in 16min 28sec, with Kirkpatrick next in 16min 55sec, closing the gap to 0.55pts with the better quality points.
Smith said it was the first time he'd had a broken comb in more than 20 years of
With the show's sheep dog trials held midweek, and won by stalwart trialist Sheena Martin and Stretch, the shearing was one of three major attractions for the show, equestrian events and the rodeo, which each had near record entries.
Despite the absence of the major amusement rides now bypassing many smaller shows, there was plenty of interest in other entertainment and competitions, and gate takings were also at near record levels, despite a low-cost $5 entry fee on Friday and the dropping of Saturday adult entry from $15 to $10, said A and P society president Ian Denton.