You had to be tough and strong to take on the Herlihy's SWA (Sheep With Attitude) at the annual Whanga Shears held at the end of February in the Whangamomona Republic.

There was plenty of action on and off the board.

Sweat, blood, flying sheep all added to the mix - a virtual feast for WorkSafe!

The kids stepped up to the plate first with the hotly-contested crutching.


It was straight in to the finals for the novice, junior and intermediate events, with local hero Walter Pease taking the coveted Wayne Donaldson Trophy in the intermediate.

Shaggy Herlihy repeated his success in the senior title while Shane Rawlinson's time and quality gave him the open title.

Thanks are due to the Herlihy clan for supplying and preparing both sheep and venue.

Thanks also to the generosity of all the sponsors -Whanga Republic, Wayne Donaldson Shearing Services, Kerry Jensen, Whangamomona Hotel, Toko Homekill, Farmlands, Elder Primary Wools, Whanga Bridge House, PGG Wrightson, TK Meats, Jury Shearing and Tracy Turner. The day runs like a well oiled machine. Thanks to all the workers - the judges, rousies, pressers, time keepers, MCs, catchers, points ladies, rehydration experts and master chefs.

Nothing like a hot snarler and bread washed down by a beer to round off another good old day in the Republic, so mark it on the calendar for 2019 - it's always the last Sunday in February.

Congratulations to Gavin Mutch who was fourth in the Open Golden Shears Final recently.

The Republic is growing and we have another two potential Dean Cup players with the birth of Jack McFarlane and Harvey Nicols. Well done to Shell and JimBob and Em and Alex. Of course, the fact that Harvey lives in the UK is a minor detail. I'm sure we can change that eventually!

Don't forget the Whanga Trail Bike Ride will be on Sunday, April 1. It's always a great day, so come along and spend Easter Sunday out in the Republic.

Another date is January 19 next year - the next Republic Day and marking 30 years since Whangamomona first became a republic. Who would have thought we would still be alive and kicking?

Shearing results: Boys crutching: 1st-Darren Pease, 2nd - Max Hutchinson, 3rd - Mac Rawlinson.
Girls crutching: 1st - Dre 2nd - Morgan Rawlinson 3rd - Lily.
Novice: 1st - Reuben Pease, 2nd - Paige Adams
Junior- 1st - Rakai Barrett, 2nd - Hamu Dunster
Intermediate- 1st - Walter Pease 2nd - JJ Houpapa, 3rd - JimBob McFarlane
Senior:1st - Shaggy Herlihy,2nd - JimBob McFarlane, 3rd - President John Herlihy
Open: 1st - Shane Rawlinson, 2nd - Dean Herlihy, 3rd - Clint Bellamy.