Southern shearers opened a big weekend of shearing sports in New Zealand with a near clean sweep of all five places in the open shearing final at the Northern Southland Community Shears near Lumsden last Friday.
The rout in the Selbie family's Five Rivers woolshed, including the biggest open-class win in the career of former double Golden Shears lower grades champion Brett Roberts, 24, of Mataura, came in the first of two-back-to-back A-grade Southland shows this weekend.
Often referred to as the national longwool championship, it was followed on Saturday by the Southland Shears national crossbred lamb shearing championships at the Winton A and P Show, while four other shows were held during the weekend throughout the rest of the country.
Top qualifier from the heats, and second-to-top going into the final, Roberts said he had no idea of the final outcome until the announcement.
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Shearing on Stand 3, Roberts finished almost 22 seconds behind Invercargill shearer Troy Pyper, shearing behind him on Stand 5, the first to finish the 20 sheep taking 19min 2.43sec, the top qualifier for the final, gunning for a seventh finals win in a row since October.
The time difference represented just over one competition point, but in the end it was former Golden Shears Senior champion Casey Bailey, of Riverton, who, with the best points in sheep-judging in the pens, came closest, runner-up with a gap of just 0.255pts.
Pyper had to settle for third, the southern domination completed with event favourite and New Zealand representative Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, and Jordan Boyes, of Owaka, fourth and fifth respectively.
The Open had attracted 22 entries, among 30 across the four grades, and among those to miss the final were North Island hopes Jack Fagan, of Te Kuiti, and David Buick, of Pongaroa, who were 6th and 7th in the semi-finals.
New Master Woolhandler Pagan Karauria, of Alexandra, took another confidence-boosting step towards World Championships selection when she won the Open Woolhandling Final at North Range.
To gain selection for the World Championships, she must finish in the top four in a Southland preliminary series and first or second in the national final during the Golden Shears in March.
Last Friday she was first to finish and beat series favourite and defending two-times World Champion Joel Henare by a comfortable 27pts, with Cheri Peterson, of Milton, third, and Chelsea Collier, of Gore, fourth.
The senior shearing final was won by Linton Palmer, of Dipton, the intermediate by Tyson Crown, of Mataura, and Scottish shearer Katie Reid the junior final, in which only one competitor was from New Zealand.
Tyler Hira, of Onewhero, won the senior woolhandling title, indicating her stay in the grade could be limited to just one season after dominating the junior grade last season, and Amber Poihipi, of Ohai, won the junior woolhandling final.
RESULTS from the Northern Southland Community Shears at Lumsden on Friday, January 18, 2019:
Open final (20 sheep): Brett Roberts (Mataura) 19min 2.43sec, 64.2715pts, Casey Bailey (Riverton) 19min 27.53sec, 64.5265pts, 2; Troy Pyper (Invercargill) 18min 40.69sec, 64.5845pts, 3; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 20min 10.75sec, 66.7875pts, 4; Jordan Boyes (Owaka) 20min 55.5sec, 71.225pts, 5.
Senior final 12 sheep): Linton Palmer (Dipton) 15min 56.3pts, 54.4982pts, 1; David Gordon (Masterton) 15min 24.93sec, 55.2465pts, 2; Barney Cummings (Winton) 14min 54.75sec, 55.6542pts, 3; Brandon Maguire Ratima (Winton) 16min 17sec, 56.2667pts, 4; Luis Pincol (Chile/Waimate) 15min 48sec, 56.0667pts, 5.
Intermediate final (8 sheep): Tyson Crown (Mataura) 13min 10.31sec, 48.5155pts, 1; Stacey Whitu (Gore) 12min 47.44sec, 48.747pts, 2; Brayden Clifford (Gore) 13min 39.13sec, 51.5815pts, 3; Andy Meister (Switzerland) 16min 54.82pts, 58.741pts, 4; Simon Zaugg (Switzerland) 16min 7.19sec, 59.8595pts, 5.
Junior final (5 sheep): Katie Reid (Scotland) 11min 54.94sec, 47.347pts, 1; Matt Woollaston (England) 14min 1.53sec, 51.8765pts, 2; William Ballantyne (Scotland) 13min 19sec, 52.35pts, 3; Murray Craig (Scotland) 13min 4.21sec, 57.6105pts, 4; Adam Gordon (Masterton) 15min 35.53sec, 62.1765pts, 5.
Open final: Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 167.456pts, 1; Joel Henare (Gisborne/Gisborne) 194.78sec, 2; Cheri Peterson (Milton) 222.87pts, 3; Chelsea Collier (Gore) 285.66pts, 4.
Senior final: Tyler Hira (Onewhero) 207.84pts, 1; Krystal Gulliver (Eketahuna) 258.162pts, 2; Nova Kumeroa Elers (Mataura) 261.34pts, 3; Val Weatherburn (Mataura) 277.59pts, 4.
Junior final: Amber Poihipi (Ohai) 261.22pts, 1; Sunnii Te Whare (Ohai) 340.53pts, 2; Pip Maclean (Gore) 341.5pts, 3; Ashley Clarke (Gore) 478.4pts, 4.