Two teenagers from a fledgling Southern Hawke's Bay agricultural training farm have become the first winners at the 59th Golden Shears in Masterton.
Former Hastings Boys High School pupil Jesse McIntyre, 18, from Hastings, and former Napier Boys High School pupil Connor McIntyre, 17, from Pongaroa – who are not related – were among the first two intakes of three cadets a year at A.D.B. Williams Trust's Pukemiro Station, east of Dannevirke.
Today they took Pukemiro to victory in the second Golden Shears Life Members Student Shearing Challenge, which also attracted teams from Smedley, in Central Hawke's Bay, Waipaoa, north of Gisborne, and Rathkeale College, near Masterton.
Read more shearing stories here.
Golden Shears president Sam Saunders said it was good to see the young shearers getting a start.
"We hope they get the bug," he said.
The winners had only recently completed their first shearing course, under the guidance of trainers Mark Buick and Russell Knight.
Connor McIntyre showed early signs of "the bug" by competing at the Dannevirke A and P Show on February 1 and the Apiti and District Show last Saturday, when he was third in the novice event.
It was teammate Jesse McIntyre's first competition, but there would be more at Masterton for both.
They each qualified for the semi-finals of the Novice Shearing Championship.
Student Challenge (one sheep each): Pukemiro 8min 45.394sec, 38.27pts, 1; Smedley 8min 25.106pts, 2; Waipaoa 8min 5.993sec, 41.3pts, 3; Rathkeale 11min 33.57sec, 44.679pts, 4.