It was a case of many happy returns to Gisborne for the two open champions at the Poverty Bay A and P Show Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Gisborne.

World champion shearer in 2017, John Kirkpatrick 49, won the open title, while Angelique Gage, 37 took out the open woolhandling final.

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Kirkpatrick was all composure and class as he won the open title for the 13th time, beating runner-up, defending champion and New Zealand representative David Buick, of Pongaroa, by a comfortable 2.4pts in a four-man final over 15 longwool sheep each.

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Gage greeted her open woolhandling final win with 'shock', after being back in hometown Gisborne just five months.

This was after years away in the South Island and Australia. Gage was competing in only her second final since winning the New Zealand Corriedale Championships at the Canterbury Show two years ago.

Having once been an air hostess and now studying for a future career in hospitality, and with son R.J. 9, and daughter Keisha, 6, along for the day at the show, Gage had never won at what she still regards as her home show.

"This one's for Nan," she said, recognising the late Tana Godbold who with husband Jim ran the shearing gangs with which Gage was introduced to the woolsheds around Gisborne more than 20 years ago.

Angelique Gage happy in her work on her way to winning the poverty Bay Shears Open woolhandling final in Gisborne on Saturday. Photo / SSNZ
Angelique Gage happy in her work on her way to winning the poverty Bay Shears Open woolhandling final in Gisborne on Saturday. Photo / SSNZ

The open finals were special moments for both winners.

Kirkpatrick firstly paid tribute to events commentator Koro Mullins, of Dannevirke, who died suddenly last month.

Mullins presence was missed at the show, Kirkpatrick said, and it would be missed at other shows.

Mullins' role was taken on by Nuki Gordon, of Masterton, and Chris Runga, of Wairoa, while South Island commentator Norm Harraway is travelling to Hastings to take on the role at the Great Raihania Shears at the Royal New Zealand Show on Friday.

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Kirkpatrick also mentioned his brother and sister-in-law, Gisborne shearing contractors Ian and Beth Kirkpatrick who called for younger ones to run the Poverty Bay competition, as the couple indicated their plans to do "a few other things".

Simon Goss, of Mangamahu and formerly of Kimbolton, winning his first Senior shearing title, in Gisborne on Saturday. Photo / SSNZ
Simon Goss, of Mangamahu and formerly of Kimbolton, winning his first Senior shearing title, in Gisborne on Saturday. Photo / SSNZ

The Kirkpatricks had been the backbone of the competition since 2007, when they stepped in after the passing of former stalwart Jamie Fleming.

"We went in blind, and others come in and do the work" said Ian Kirkpatrick.

"Our committee was just me and my wife, but you've got to be passionate about it. We've enjoyed every minute of it."

Home-show competitors picked off two other woolhandling titles at Poverty Bay, with Tramon Campbell, 30, winning the senior final, her second win in the grade, and Loghan Madoc the novice final.

Visitors weren't completely locked out, with Simon Goss winning the senior shearing final, after Daniel Biggs, also of Mangamahu, won the intermediate event.

Goss, who is the brother of New Zealand women's rugby star and former shearer Sarah Hirini, travelled from the family farm at Mangamahu, north of Whanganui to take part at the Poverty Bay show, which is the first North Island shearing sports show of the new season.

Tramon Campbell after winning the Poverty Bay Shears Senior woolhandling final in hometown Gisborne on Saturday. Photo / SSNZ
Tramon Campbell after winning the Poverty Bay Shears Senior woolhandling final in hometown Gisborne on Saturday. Photo / SSNZ

It was Goss's first senior win, despite having been promoted to the grade more than four years ago when he was 18, and after 14 wins in the lower grades. He also had a second placing in the 2013 Golden Shears intermediate final.

Having since completed four years qualifying as a diesel mechanic with hopes of a career in agricultural heavy machinery, he still had some shearing boxes to tick.

Goss's mother and father were both Golden Shears champions, and when asked about his own goals, he said:

"The Goldies. Always the Goldies."

Masterton teenager Adam Gordon, who had an historic double triumph in winning the Golden Shears novice shearing and woolhandling finals in Masterton last March, had his first win up-a-grade in Saturday's junior shearing final.

Meanwhile, John Kirkpatrick will bypass a chance to win a fourth Great Raihania Shears title this week, as both he and David Buick are off to the Australian Crossbred Championships at the Warrnambool Shears next Saturday, as part of the New Zealand Shears competition team.

Both are former winners of the Warrnambool title.

Results from the Poverty Bay A and P Show shearing and woolhandling championships at Gisborne on Saturday, October 19, 2019:

Shearing:

Open final (15 sheep): John Kirkpatrick (Pakipaki) 13min 50sec, 48.367pts, 1; David Buick (Pongaroa) 13min 54sec, 50.767pts, 2; Cam Ferguson (Waipawa) 14min 29sec, 51.583pts, 3; James Ruki (Te Kuiti) 15min 23sec, 56.683pts, 4.

Senior final (8 sheep): Simon Goss (Mangamahu) 9min 25sec, 39pts, 1; Anaru Wakefield (Porangahau) 11min 29sec, 39.95pts, 2; Kyle Mita (Masterton) 10min 20sec, 452pts, 3; Kendrick Bradford (Whangamomona) 10min 33sec, 52.15pts, 4.

Intermediate final (5 sheep): Daniel Biggs (Mangamahu) 7min 51sec, 34.15pts, 1; Keith Swann (Wairoa) 8min 4sec, 35.8pts, 2; Koi Ngarangione (Gisborne) 8min 3sec, 37.15pts, 3; Topia Barrowcliffe (Piopio) 9min 29sec, 42.65pts, 4.

Junior final (3 sheep): Adam Gordon (Masterton) 6min 44sec, 33.867pts, 1; Heath Barnsdall (Piopio) 7min 9sec, 34.45pts, 2; Clay Harris (Piopio) 7min 23sec, 34.483pts, 3; Aiden Tarrant (Piopio) 7min 30sec, 42.167pts, 4.

Woolhandling:

Open final: Angelique Gage (Gisborne) 164.5pts, 1; Maryanne Baty (Gisborne) 176.5pts, 2; Keryn Herbert (Te Kuiti) 202pts, 3; Amy Lee Ferguson (Invercargill) 202.1pts, 4.

Senior final: Tramon Campbell (Gisborne) 126.2pts, 1; Azuredee Paku (Masterton) 138.7pts, 2; Lucas Broughton (Whanganui) 146.2pts, 3; Bianca Hawea (Masterton) 154.2pts, 4.

Junior final: Teanna Phillips (Taumarunui) 97.22pts, 1; Adam Gordon (Masterton) 107.1pts, 2; Tira Ngarangione (Gisborne) 117.7pts, 3; Vinniye Phillips (Taumarunui) 148.8pts, 4.

Novice final: Loghan Madoc (Gisborne) 66.736pts, 1; Anne Connell (-) 71.69pts, 2; Kendra Ngarangione (Gisborne) 74.874pts, 3; Juanita Rangiwai (Gisborne) 90.232pts, 4.