Wairarapa shearer David Buick ended a near two-season run of mainly top-four minor placings on the shearing sports circuit when he won the Mackenzie Shears national lambshearing championships Open final yesterday.
Shearing in a six-man final at Fairlie in Canterbury, the farmer from remote Pongaroa in Northern Wairarapa clearly dominated a six-man final at the end of which everyone else was still on lamb number 17 or 18 as his 20th went through the porthole and he switched-off for the last time.
Finishing in 17min 2.28sec, a minute and 40 seconds quicker than next-man-off Tony Coster, of Rakaia, and a margin which was crucial to the win by a comfortable 3.136pts from Nathan Stratford, an acclaimed Master Shearer from Southland who was last to finish, in 18min 59sec, but who had the best quality points.
Third place went to up-and-coming Geraldine shearer Paul Hodges, who had in the last two months won other lambshearing titles at Reefton and Methven.
Coster had to settle for fourth overall in a rare performance after announcing last year his retirement from regular competition shearing.
It was Buick's first win since the Manawatu A and P Show in November 2016, since when he's shorn in 24 finals and been runner-up nine times, including the Golden Shears Open final four week ago when he just missed becoming the first home Wairarapa region shearer to win the coveted title in its 58 years.
The sequence over the last year-and-a-half has also included 5 third placings and 6 fourth placings, most of his efforts chasing home Hawke's Bay shearer Rowland Smith, who on Saturday at the Royal Easter Show in Auckland had his 40th finals win in a row.
Smith wasn't present in Fairlie to defend the lambs title he won last year, but Buick's triumph adds needle to their likely three clashes in the New Zealand Open, the New Zealand Shears Circuit and the North Island Shearer of the Year events which wrap up the 2017-2018 season at the New Zealand Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Te Kuiti from Thursday to Saturday this week.
Woodville shearer Tegwyn Bradley scored his 14th win of the season in yesterday's Senior final, beating runner-up Jade Maguire Ratima, of Winton, by more than four points, just two days after Golden Sheares Senior champion Bradley won the Royal Easer Show's Senior final in Auckland.
Golden Shears Intermediate champion Brandon Maguire Ratima, of Winton, scored his 11th and 12th wins of the season by claiming an Oxford A and P Show title on Saturday and another at Fairlie yesterday, but it was a rookie triumph in yesterday's Junior final, won by 16-year-old Napier shearer Date Hohepa, who had on Saturday at Oxford been runner-up in what was his first attempt at competition shearing.
Another feature of the Oxford show was the successful Open final winning return to competition of New Zealand team member and former Gokden Shears Open finalist Troy Pyper.
Results from the Mackenzie Shears and New Zealand Lambshearing Championships at Fairlie on Easter Monday, April 2, 2018:
Open final (20 lambs): David Buick (Pongaroa) 17min 2.28sec, 62.614pts, 1; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 18min 59sec, 65.75pts, 2; Paul Hodges (Geraldine/Reefton) 18min 47.72sec, 67.286pts, 3; Tony Coster (Rakaia) 18min 42.66sec, 69.033pts, 4; Brett Roberts (Mataura) 18min 58.62sec, 70.181pts, 5; Ant Frew (Pleasant Pt) 18min 47.5sec, 70.425pts, 6.
Senior final (10 lambs): Tegwyn Bradley (Woodville) 10min 52.875sec, 45.4435pts, 1; Jade Maguire Ratima (Winton) 11min 12.4sec, 49.92pts, 2; Luis Pincol (Chile/Geraldine) 13min 21.25sec, 50.1625pts, 3; Alex Smith (Rakaia) 13min 7.37sec, 51.3685pts, 4; Mitchell Murray (Amberley) 12min 15.09sec, 53.8545pts, 5; Josef Winders (Winton) 13min 43.41sec, 66.6705pts, 6.
Intermediate final (5 lambs): Brandon Maguire Ratima (Witnon) 8min 48.07sec, 35.2035pts, 1; Daniel Seed (Woodville) 8min 18.28sec, 37.314pts, 2; Liam Norrie (Cheviot) 8min 52.43sec, 40.8215pts, 3; Sam Bryan (Darfield) 8min 40.72sec, 46.236pts, 4; Adam Hodges (Geraldine) 8min 54.44sec, 46.922pts, 5; James Webster (Christchurch) 8min 24.25sec, 49.0125pts, 6.
Junior final (3 lambs): Dante Hohepa (Napier) 6min 47.65sec, 34.0492pts, 1; Brayden Clifford (Gore) 7min 49.78sec, 36.489pts, 2; Gabriel Winders (Winyon) 7min 32.35sec, 40.2842pts, 3; Cody Davidson (Hakatere) 6min 48.75sec, 40.7708pts, 4; Colvin Radcliffe (Ashburton) 5min 29.5sec, 44.1417pts, 5; Darcy Tong (Taihape) 8min 37.34sec, 44.5337pts, 6.
Blades final (5 lambs): Allan Oldfield (Geraldine) 13min 57.63sec, 52.0815pts, 1; Tony Dobbs (Fairlie) 13min 30.57sec, 52.1285pts, 2; Mike McConnell (Timaru) 14min 22.5sec, 57.525pts, 3; Phil Oldfield (Geraldine) 13min 49.6sec, 57.68pts, 4; Allen Gemmell (Rangiora) 13min 5.75sec, 68.8875pts, 5; Bill Michelle (Timaru) 12min 39.19sec, 70.1595pts, 6.
Results from Oxford A and P Show Shears at Oxford on Saturday, March 31, 2018 Open final (12 sheep):
Troy Pyper (Invercargill) 12min 55.53sec, 50.61pts, 1; Ringakaha Paewai (Gore) 13min 42.34sec, 51.12pts, 2; Shaun Burgess (Rakaia) 13min 36.5sec, 55.66pts, 3; Grant Smith (Rakaia) 14min 6.53sec, 57.67pts, 4.
Senior final (8 sheep): Luis Pincol (Chile/Geraldine) 11min 58.41sec, 43.2pts, 1; Mitchell Murray (Amberley) 12min 10.75sec, 44.91pts, 2; Alex Smith (Rakaia) 11min 50.85sec, 47.42pts, 3.ey
Intermediate final (4 sheep): Brandon Maguire Ratima (Winton) 8min 6.53sec, 31.08pts, 1; Liam Norrie (Cheviot) 7min 48.75sec, 32.44pts, 2; Sam Bryan (Darfield) 8min 23.12sec, 37.91pts, 3; James Dickson (Gore) 8min 52sec, 39.1pts, 4.
Junior final (3 sheep): Braydon Clifford (Gore) 8min 30.53sec, 33.19pts, 1; Dante Hohepa (Napier) 8min 29.47sec, 36.47pts, 2; Cody Davidson (Hakatere) 8min 44.25sec, 41.88pts, 3; Jonah Collins (Mataura) 8min 28.94sec, 43.78pts, 4.
Blades final (4 sheep): Tony Dobbs (Fairlie) 12min 23.32sec, 45.17pts, 1; Mike McConnell (Timaru) 13min 50.78sec, 55.54pts, 2; Allan Oldfield (Geraldine) 14min 22.91sec, 56.4pts, 3; Phil Oldfield (Geraldine) 16min 30.06sec, 67pts, 4.