Wool buyer Maureen Chaffey is backing words with action as she becomes a regular on the competition shearing circuit after learning to shear for last month's Women and Wool Farmstrong fundraiser in Hastings.
Winner of the October 23 event, which was more a victory for all involved, the 42-year-old who works for Napier buyer Richard Kells has not missed a chance to compete. And she is spearheading the charge in which all of those who took part are hoping to compete at the 60th Golden Shears in Masterton in March.
Two days after her Wednesday night triumph Chaffey was third in the show's Great Raihania Shears Novice final, and she was third again at the Wairarapa show at Clareville, near Carterton, on November 2, and a week later at the Manawatu show in Feilding. On Saturday she was runner-up at the Central Hawke's Bay show in Waipukurau.
The one-remaining pre-Christmas North Island competition at Stratford is in question — it's a five-hours drive away. But Chaffey expects to be back in action on January 18 at the Wairoa A and P Show. However, that is the home patch of current nemesis Ryka Swann, who as a 12-year-old won the Wairoa Novice final last summer, and who in recent weeks has won the Great Raihania and CHB Novice finals.
Chaffey realises she's usually the oldest in a grade where most are teenagers, but says: "I keep saying to myself it's not about age, it's about learning to shear from scratch, and setting some goals."
"I'm not putting huge expectations on myself," she said. "But I don't think I can let it rest. I know I can do better."
But it has turned to more than that, and she's now into the manufacturing and testing stage of producing a line of women's shearing clothing, after realising there was little available for women, even in the area of workwear mor generally.
"It's funny how things evolve," she said.
She's not the only one from the women's event to be embarking on the new weekend pursuit, with at least two others having competed since the Hawke's Bay show, while most are still putting in the training miles, with contractor and mentor Colin Watson Paul having so far organised two more days in the woolsheds for those available.
Women and Wool focused on women who were stepping right out of their comfort zones to learn to shear, with an optometrist, a dentist, an accountant and a police officer among those giving it a try.
Another also chancing her arm after testing the water at the Royal Show is Iona College student Rosie Lewis, who contested the show's schools event and Great Raihania Shears Novice grade, and who was fourth at the CHB show.
Meanwhile, veteran champion John Kirkpatrick continued his best start to a season in several years when he won the CHB show's Open title for a 13th time.
While it was Scotland international and Whangamomona farmer Gavin Mutch who claimed time honours, cutting-out the 20 sheep in 17min 37sec, Kirkpatrick and Pongaroa farmer David Buick - each finishing in 17min 54sec - made up for the deficit with the better quality points to finish first and second, separated by just 0.35pts.
It was 2017 world champion Kirkpatrick's fourth win of the 2019-2020 season, the first time he's won four or more finals before Christmas since 2011-2012. He's won three of the four shows in the eastern regions of the North Island, the only one missing being Hawke's Bay's Great Raihania Shears, when he was in Australia winning at the Warrnambool Shears.
Hawke's Bay competitors won two other finals, with newcomer Louie Coombe-Gray, from Argyll in Central Hawke's Bay, winning the Junior final by almost 10pts from runner-up and regular finalist Heath Barnsdall, of Piopio, and Ataneta Puna, of Napier, winning her second Senior woolhandling in a fortnight.
Results from the Central Hawke's Bay A and P Show Shears at Waipukurau on Saturday, November 16, 2019:
Open final (20 sheep): John Kirkpatrick (Pakipaki) 17min 54sec, 63.15pts, 1; David Buick (Pongaroa) 17min 54sec, 63.5pts, 2; Gavin Mutch (Scotland/Whangamomona) 17min 37sec, 64.45pts, 3; Cam Ferguson (Waipawa) 19min 5sec, 67.95pts, 4.
Senior final (10 sheep): Simon Goss (Mangamahu) 10min 41sec, 43.65pts, 1; Chris Dickson (Eketahuna) 11min 4sec, 45.2pts, 2; Kyle Mita (Masterton) 11min 49sec, 48.45pts, 3; Teua Wilcox (Gisborne) 13min 7sec, 51.85pts, 4.
Intermediate final (6 sheep): Daniel Biggs (Mangamahu) 8min 38sec, 34.2333pts, 1; Keith Swann (Wairoa) 8min 37sec, 35.1833pts, 2; Topia Barrowcliffe (Piopio) 9min 16sec, 39.6333pts, 3; Alex Hokianga (Hastings) 8min 27sec, 39.85pts, 4.
Junior final (4 sheep): Louie Coombe-Gray (Waipawa) 6min 26sec, 32.8pts, 1; Heath Barnsdall (Piopio) 9min 59sec, 42.45pts, 2; Adam Gordon (Masterton) 8min 53sec, 44.65pts, 3; Derek Hokianga (Hastings) 8min 1sec, 45.3pts, 4.
Novice final (1 sheep): Ryka Swann (Wairoa) 4min 5sec, 26.25pts, 1; Maureen Chaffey (Maraekakaho) 4min 45sec, 28.25pts, 2; William Robinson (Dannevirke) 3min 42sec, 42.1pts, 3; Rosie Bates (Puketapu) 4min 34sec, 42.7pts, 4.
Open final: Sheree Alabaster (Taihape) 116pts, 1; Keryn Herbert (Te Kuiti) 162.6pts, 2; Angela Stevens (Napier) 169.8pts, 3; Logan Kamura (Marton) 180.8pts, 4.
Senior final: Ataneta Puna (Napier) 96.8pts, 1; Jasmin Tipoki (Taumarunui) 99.8pts, 2; Bianca Hawea (Masterton) 101pts, 3; Teresa Hall-Aporo (Martinborough) 186pts, 4.
Junior final: Tennessey Kiri (Gisborne) 85pts, 1; Vinniye Phillips (Taumarunui) 97pts, 2; Reihera Wehi (Tauranga) 100.8pts, 3; Amiria Hokianga (Hastings) 110.8pts, 4.