A late change of plans to fly home in mid-March was just the ticket for Dorset farmer's son Henry Mayo on Friday as he became the first overseas shearer in 28 years to win a New Zealand Shears title in Te Kuiti.
Based for the summer at Pleasant Point in the South Island, the 20-year-old would have been 20,000kms away helping with the family on Manor Farm, Hermitage, in England, but for winning travel and accommodation in Te Kuiti in a Canterbury/Marlborough Development Circuit final at Sefton on March 10.
Read more shearing articles here.
He wasted no time changing the flights, and it all paid-off on Friday when, again wasting no time, he scored his 10th win in 13 finals this season, with a margin of almost one-and-a-half points from runner-up and Northern Hawke's Bay teenager Atawhai Hadfield, who had won ten finals during the season in the North Island.
Mayo was the first shearer from overseas to win a Te Kuiti title since Andrew Devereall, also of England, but now long-time New Zealand-based and living in Tauranga, won the New Zealand Shears senior final in 1991.
It came at a time when most of the annual flight of young UK shearers to New Zealand had already headed home to the lambing beats more than a month ago.
While new to the sheep of the North Island, it took Mayo just 8min 15.7sec for the five second-shear sheep, almost 50 seconds quicker than next-man-off and fellow Canterbury Marlborough circuit representative Ben Forrester, of Leithfield.
Fourth to finish, Hadfield closed the gap with the best quality points but it wasn't enough to take the major prize."
It completed a second season in New Zealand for Mayo, his wins this season dating back to the Waimate Spring Shears in the second weekend of October.
He had his first win downunder the previous January.
"This is definitely a bonus," he said as he prepared to celebrate the last few days in New Zealand in the family environment of the New Zealand Shears.
With dues to employer and open-class shearer Ant Frew, of Pleasant Point, and New Zealand-based Scotsman and former world champion Tom Wilson and crew from Elite Shearer Training, he flies home today to start work again with brother Charlie and parents Anthony and Charlotte.
The second day of the championships also provided another thrill in the short career of 18-year-old former Hastings Boyd High School pupil Jesse McIntyre.
He won the novice shearing final, four weeks after his first triumph on the shearing board, in a pairing from the Pukemiro Station farm training course which won a students challenge at the Golden Shears in Masterton on February 28.
On Thursday, 2017-2018 Golden Shears and New Zealand Shears junior woolhandling champion Ngaira Puha, of Kimbolton, culminated her domination of the next grade up by winning Te Kuiti's senior final, while Vinnie Phillips, of Taumarunui, won the junior title, a first winning ribbon in five finals since starting to figure in competition at the end of January.
Results from the Zealand Shears shearing and woolhandling championships at Te Kuiti on Thursday-Saturday, March 26-28, 2019:
Open final (20 sheep): Rowland Smith (Maraekakaho) 16min 8.55sec, 54.678pts, 1; Cam Ferguson (Waipawa) 16min 30.58sec, 56.329pts, 2; David Buick (Pongaroa) 3; 15min 53.5sec, 56.525pts, 3; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 16min 55.44sec, 56.822pts, 4; Gavin Mutch (Scotland/Whangamomona) 15min 48.94sec, 56.997pts, 5; John Kirkpatrick (Napier/Pakipaki) 16min 37.33sec, 57.567pts, 6.
New Zealand Shears Open Circuit final (5 merinos, 5 second-shear strongwool, 5 lambs): Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 19min 19.42sec, 73.028pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 18min 35.26sec, 75.963pts, 2; Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 18min 20.15sec, 77.608pts, 3; Leon Samuels (Ohai) 17min 58.46sec, 77.857pts, 4; Paerata Abraham (Masterton) 18min 34.54sec, 81.927pts, 5; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 21min 51.73sec, 84.92pts, 6.
North Island Shearer of the Year final (10 ewes, 10 lambs): Rowland Smith (Maraekakaho) 15min 51.63sec, 53.932pts, 1; David Buick (Pongaroa) 15min 50.21sec, 55.561pts, 2; Gavin Mutch (Scotland/Whangamomona) 16min 1.85sec, 57.343pts, 3; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 17min 6.28sec, 57.664pts, 4; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 16min 6.24sec, 58.562pts, 5; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 18min 0.27sec, 60.664pts, 6.
Open Plate (10 sheep): Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 8min 42.94sec, 37.34pts, 1; Pete Chilcott (Whananaki/Napier) 9min 33.69sec, 37.58pts, 2; Casey Bailey (Riverton) 9min 18.48sec, 48.02pts, 3; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 8min 44.86sec, 38.24pts, 4; James Fagan (Te Kuiti/Raglan) 9min 46sec, 40.7pts, 5; Digger Balme (Te Kuiti) 7min 42.85sec, 60.04pts, 6.
Open Challenger (10 sheep): Marshall Guy (Kaeo) 9min 13.7sec, 39.785pts, 1; Axle Reid (Taihape) 10min 25.27sec, 39.964pts, 2; Hemi Braddick (Eketahuna) 9min 33.14sec, 41.257pts, 3; Darren Alexander (Whangamomona/Havelock North) 10min 23.34sec, 42.467pts, 4; Willy McSkimming (Taumarunui) 9min 56.6sec, 43.53pts, 5; Dylan McGruddy (Masterton) 9min 41.27sec, 45.764pts, 6.
Senior final (12 sheep): David Gordon (Masterton) 13min 24.71sec, 50.569pts 1; Jade Maguire Ratima (Winton) 12min 42.25sec, 51.779pts, 2; Alex Smith (Rakaia) 13min 22.51sec, 51.876pts, 3; Jayden Mainland (Wellsford) 13min 27.67sec, 51.967pts, 4; Lionel Taumata (Taumarunui/Gore) 12min 53.79sec, 52.273pts, 5; Willy Tahere (Taumarunui) 13min 32.56sec, 52.795pts, 6.
Intermediate final (8 sheep): Kyle Mita (Masterton) 10min 45.2sec, 40.01pts, 1; Paora Moanaroa (Eketahuna) 11min 2.12sec, 41.356pts, 2; Chris Dickson (Masterton) 11min 24.81sec, 43.241pts, 3; Mitchell Menzies (Ranfurly) 11min 35.79sec, 43.915pts, 4; Liam Pritchard (Pongaroa) 11min 14.92sec, 44.246pts, 5; Daniel Biggs (Mangamahu) 11min 54.58sec, 44.979pts, 6.
Junior final (5 sheep): Henry Mayo (Dorset, England) 8min 15.7sec, 34.185pts, 1; Atawhai Hadfield (Ruakituri) 9min 31.93ec, 35.597pts, 2; Topia Barrowcliffe (Piopio) 10min 3.08sec, 40.354spts, 3; Ben Forrester (Leithfield) 9min 4.14sec, 41.007pts, 4; Blake Crooks (Wellington) 9min 14.91sec, 43.146pts, 5; Levi King (Motu) 10min 56.74sec, 49.037pts, 6.
Novice final (2 sheep): Jesse McIntyre (Hastings) 8min 37.17sec, 34.359pts, 1; Gus Berger (Ahuroa) 8min 29.76sec, 35.488pts, 2; Devon Ball (Te Kuiti) 8min 33.33sec, 37.667pts, 3; Renee Biggs (Mangamahu) 10min 39sec, 40.45pts, 4; Keahrey Manson (Piopio) 9min 52.97sec, 41.149pts, 5; Michael Buick (Pongaroa) 10min 17.91sec, 45.896pts, 6.
Women's final (8 sheep): Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 11min 10.42sec, 44.146pts, 1; Emily Welch (Waikaretu) 11min 20.85sec, 45.168pts, 2; Laura Bradley (Woodville) 12min 13.74sec, 47.062pts, 3; Ingrid Smith (Maraekakaho) 12min 36.7sec, 49.46pts, 4; Pauline Bolay (Canada) 12min 27.26sec, 50,613pts, 5; Jills Angus Burney (Masterton) 11min 32.72sec, 54.261pts, 6.
Transtasman (4 merinos, 4 second-shear strongwool)): New Zealand Shears (Mark Grainger 11min 52.76sec, 56.638pts; Gavin Mutch 11min 10.85sec, 56.668pts; Ricci Stevens 13min 52.94sec, 66.397pts) 179.703pts beat Warrnambool, Vic (Roger Mifsud 13min 10.10sec, 63.755pts; Vaughan Clutterbuck 12min 53.13sec, 65.282pts; Dion Morrell 11min 13.16sec, 66.033pts) 195.07pts.
Development teams relay (5 sheep): King Country Circuit (Cory Barrowcliffe/Matthew Smith) 8min 26.24sec, 33.512pts, 1; King Country Circuit (Daniel Biggs/Rakai Barrett) 9min 17.1sec, 40.255pts, 2; North Canterbury-Marlborough Circuit (Ben Forrester/Mitchell Menzies) 8min 42.89sec, 40.545pts, 3; North Canterbury-Marlborough Circuit Henry Mayo, Brayden Clifford) 9min 25.34sec, 41.26pts, 4.
Open final: Sheree Alabaster (Taihape) 51.374pts, 1; Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 62.686pts, 2; Keryn Herbert (Te Kuiti) 68.226pts, 3; Joel Henare (Gisborne) 85.808pts, 4; Chelsea Collier (Gore) 88.688pts, 5.
Senior final: Ngaira Puha (Kimbolton) 72.78pts, 1; Ricci Stevens (Napier) 84.25pts, 2; Tyler Hira (Onewhero) 88.41pts, 3; Lucky Garrett (Eketahuna) 99.5pts, 4; Gina Whare (Taumarunui) 132.79pts, 5.
Junior final: Vinnie Phillips (Taumarunui) 68.25pts, 1; Lucas Broughton (Whanganui) 71.22pts, 2; Cortez Ostler (Dannevirke) 81.344pts, 3; Teanna Phillips (Taumarunui) 88.13pts, 4; Savvy Taitoko (Piopio) 104.72pts, 5.
Interisland shearing and woolhandling: North Island (shearers Rowland Smith, John Kirkpatrick, David Buick; woolhandlers Sheree Alabaster, Keryn Herbert, Eramiha Neho) 205.5pts beat South Island (shearers Leon Samuels, Nathan Stratford, Casey Bailey; woolhandlers Pagan Karauria, Monica Potae, Joel Henare) 221.5pts.