Reigning world woolhandling champion Joel Henare took another step towards a defence of his title when he won the New Zealand Corriedale Championships open final at the New Zealand Agricultural Show in Christchurch yesterday.
It was his second win in the first three events in the South Island phase of a New Zealand team selection series which ends with an inter-island final at the Golden Shears in Masterton in March, to find two representatives for the World Championships in France four months later.
Also with a second placing in the opening event in Alexandra and victory a week later at Waimate, Henare is coasting into a place in the South Island's top four, with four more events before selection showdown qualifiers are decided at the Southern Shears in Gore in February.
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It was Henare's fourth win at Christchurch, having previously won the final in 2013, 2015 and 2016.
Lashara Anderson, of Christchurch, won the senior final, her second win in two seasons in the grade, and Makayla Crawford, from Palmerston North, added the junior title to the New Zealand Spring Shears junior title she won in her first final at Waimate five weeks ago.
Gore shearer Ringakaha Paewai won the Canterbury Circuit Open shearing final, the first of the country's three multi-breeds shearing events. His victory, by almost five points over defending champion, runner-up and veteran former New Zealand representative Grant Smith, of Rakaia, was just his second in 12 years of trying at Open competition, his first having come in March at Sefton in North Canterbury.
Paewai was the fifth different winner of the circuit final since the last of multiple winner Tony Coster's wins in the event in 2014.
The championships in Christchurch end with shearing events today, with Paewai among the field in the open grade.
Canterbury Circuit final (12 sheep): Ringakaha Paewai (Gore) 13min 3.97sec, 48.3985pts, 1; Grant Smith (Rakaia) 13min 5.41sec, 53.1705pts, 2; Lyall Windleburn (Rangiora) 12min 55.47sec, 54.7735pts, 3; Paul Hodges (Geraldine/Reefton) 15min 15.69sec, 57.5845pts, 4; Delwyn Henriksen (Waipara) 13min 7.32sec, 58.666pts, 5; Chris Jones (Blenheim) 14min 24.25sec, 61.4125pts, 6.
Open final: Joel Henare (Gisborne/Motueka) 139.85pts, 1; Chelsea Collier (Gore) 176.65pts, 2; Tia Potae (Milton) 186.4pts, 3.
Senior final: Lashara Anderson (Christchurch) 131.33pts, 1; Summer Ashcroft (Geraldine) 153.25pts, 2; Natalie Collier (Gore) 161.062pts, 3.
Junior final: Makayla Crawford (Palmerston North) 96.144pts, 1; Sunnii Te Whare (Ohai) 111.32pts, 2; Amber Poihipi (Ohai) 113.532pts, 3.