Rangitikei Shearing Sports treasurer Angela Coleman was on the money at the group's annual competition in Marton at the weekend winning the inaugural Phill Hourigan Memorial Trophy.

The new trophy was named in honour of former longtime president, competitor and Turakina shearing contractor, the late Phill Hourigan who sadly passed away at the relatively young age of 52 last year.

Donated by Rangitikei businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist John Turkington and his wife Angela, the Phill Hourigan Trophy recognises "outstanding commitment to the local shearing community".

It was fitting that Coleman won the inaugural trophy given her ancestry and work ethic that matched that of the trophy's namesake Phill Hourigan who was regarded a true workhorse within the shearing industry before his untimely death.


Coleman is the daughter of Peter Coleman, a longtime shearer who along with Mangamahu farmer Jim Norris, set up the first ever Rangitikei Shearing Sports event in 1963.

Coleman was totally oblivious to who had won the inaugural award until it was presented.
"I had absolutely no idea and I was even at the committee meeing when it was decided," Coleman said.

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"I think I was out doing some printing or some other practical task at the time it was discussed. Anyway, it was a wonderful gesture and great to find yet another way to promote the shearing sports. We are in very good shape at the moment.

Rangitikei Shearing Sports stalwart Marg Martin urged Coleman to join the organisation some seven years back and everything has stemmed from that conversation.

"Marg asked me to join the committee in the lead up to the 50th event. My dad, Peter Coleman and Jim Norris had put on the first event in 1963, a few months before I was born. As my dad had died in 1975, it was significant that it was still taking place every February 50 years on and I joined Phill's team as treasurer.

"It was a bit challenging at times, but we currently have an incredibly strong team led by Jake Moore and have just held our 57th event. I thank Tracy (Hourigan's widow) and Conor Hourigan (son) and the Turkingtons for creating this award and the handsome trophy. I was surprised and deeply honoured to be the first person named on it.

"It has led me to be reflect on legacies and what people with passion leave behind, and how sad it is that they aren't with us anymore to see what happens next. Jake had his young newborn baby there at the weekend and I immediately recognised that was me at the same age - dad used to drag me along to the event every year," Coleman recalled.