Former world champion woolhandler Sheree Alabaster was a busy woman helping in the office at the Taihape and Districts A and P Show on Saturday.

The local schoolteacher has won about 60 titles at the top level, including the World Championship final in Norway in 2008.

Alabaster also had time to get the monkey off her back at her home show where she has won the glamour woolhandling event just once in 16 years of trying.

"Not sure when it was, but I know it was a long time ago," she said after winning the first North Island second-shear woolhandling competition of the season.


"I'm stoked."

The facts are that it was in 2006 and she'd since been runner-up six times and third twice.

The win means she scored more maximum points in the World Championship national team selection North Island series.

The five-handler final included three leading South Island series contenders that Alabaster is likely to meet in an interisland showdown at the Golden Shears in Masterton in March.

At that event the two woolhandlers that represent New Zealand in July's World Championships in France will be decided.

Alabaster is second in the North Island series behind 2010 World Teams champion teammate Keryn Herbert from Te Kuiti who failed to qualify for Saturday's final.

Runner-up on Saturday was former New Zealand championships senior Brittany Tibble from Gisborne, who is yet to win an open final.

She showed the breakthrough could be near by beating Gore's Chelsea Collier, Alexandra's Pagan Karauria and reigning world champion Joel Henare from Gisborne.


2014 world shearing champion Rowland Smith took another step on a determined path towards trying to regain the title with a crushing victory over the reigning world champion.

Scoring a third win in eight days, he reinforced his favouritism to retain the Golden Shears and New Zealand titles, which will decide the two world title contenders.

Smith ripped through the 20 sheep in 17min 2sec, putting a full sheep around the others in the six-man final, except Pongaroa shearer David Buick, who finished in 17min 41sec.

Also claiming the best quality points and with Buick suffering in the pen judging, Smith scored his fourth consecutive Taihape Open win by beating runner-up Kirkpatrick by 5.4pts, with third place going to King Country shearer Mark Grainger.

Buick was fourth and New England World Championships shearer Stuart Connor was fifth in his first open final in New Zealand.

The Puha family left Taihape with a bootload of prizes after Golden Shears title-winning brother-and-sister Connor and Ngaira Puha won the senior shearing and woolhandling finals respectively, while nephew Cortez Ostler won the junior woolhandling final.

Eketehuna shearer Paora Moanaroa won the intermediate shearing final by 1.3pts from 15-year-old runner-up and 2018 New Zealand junior champion Reuben Alabaster.

The Junior event today provided a one-two finish for Wales, with victory to Emlyn Jones, of Capel-Curig.

It was not so successful for the Welsh touring team however, with members Lloyd Rees and Aled Jones beaten for the second time in two matches against local show selections, brothers Jimmy and Leon Samuels.