King Country woolhandler Keryn Herbert leapt further into sudden contention for an elusive Golden Shears open title with a first ever win at A-grade show, the Rangitikei Shearing Sports in Marton on Saturday.
It was Herbert's third win in eight days, mastering the second-shear wool of the central North Island, after being without victory in 15 months since her triumph on long wool, in Gisborne in October 2018.
Herbert has now had 46 wins, from 18 different venues throughout the country, in her 18th season of open-class competition.
She has won a world teams title, represented New Zealand in nine transtasman tests, and in 2012 was acclaimed Master Woolhandler.
But she is yet to win either the Golden Shears or New Zealand Shears Open titles.
In Masterton on March 4-7 she will be out to finally crack "the Goldies" after reaching the final five times in the last 10 years - as runner-up in 2014 - after placing third in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
On April 2-4 Herbert will be out to overcome the jinx history of being third five times in the NZ Shears open in the last seven years.
Herbert was originally from Te Awamutu but now lives with husband Corey Salmond on their own small block at Te Kuiti.
The mother-of-two said that while she has had four wins in Masterton – three North Island Circuit finals and the 2010 World Championships team selection series final – "it's always an ultimate goal for any woolhandler to be able to win a Goldies or Te Kuiti title."
"Just getting things prepped right ahead of the other competitors on the night is the recipe to a win there".
"Logistics, co-ordination, bookings, early starts, late nights, passion, drive, competitive and most of all support at home."
Competing does take a lot of time and commitment, with a travel schedule that would deter a lot of sports hopefuls, but there was evidence of some payback for the family wellbeing.
Taking a lead has been Herbert's eight-year-old son Rikihana who in January won a South Island boys BMX title in Alexandra, a town well-known for its place as one of the biggest shearing communities in New Zealand.
While the fields for the latest wins at Taihape, Rotorua and Marton, and a second-placing at Dannevirke on Friday, have included 2010 World teams champion partner and reigning multiple New Zealand Shears open champion Sheree Alabaster, they were missing the likely Golden Shears favourites, defending champion Joel Henare and new World teams champion Pagan Karauria.
Alabaster failed to qualify for Saturday's final, in which home-town hope Logan Kamura was runner-up.
Napier shearer and woolhandler Ricci Stevens was third, just falling short of emulating the feat of wife Angela, who on Friday became the seventh winner in 14 open woolhandling finals this season.
It was at the same show 27 years ago that father John Kirkpatrick first sheared in competition, without victory.
But now with a career tally of 182 wins, including the 2017 world title and Golden Shears open championships, Kirkpatrick was back in the final on Friday seeking a seventh Dannevirke title.
Kirkpatrick had to settle for third place as fellow Hawke's Bay gun and 2014 World Champion Rowland Smith continued a sequence which the next day at Marton was extended to five wins in five finals in the New Year.
The six-man open shearing final at Marton was sparked-up by King Country veteran Digger Balme who shore the 20 sheep in just under 16min 32sec, an average of 49.6 seconds a sheep caught, shorn and dispatched. His efforts put him more than half-a-sheep around next-quickest Troy Pyper, and Smith.
Pyper, on a one-day trip from the South Island, claimed second-place overall, while Balme had to settle for fifth place overall.
Smith's nephew, Brook Hamerton, won the senior shearing final at Dannevirke by almost three points from Manawatu-Whanganui shearer Simon Goss, who regained the winning touch 24 hours later in Marton by carding his eighth win in 2019-2020 – the most by any shearing sports competitor this season.
At Dannevirke the senior woolhandling title was won by 15-year-old Feilding High School pupil Cortez Ostler, the No 2-ranked junior last season and competing in only his second senior event.
It's not his only sport, for he's also in a Manawatu touch squad, played in the Central Vipers 15s rugby league B, and is in a first fifteen rugby development squad at school.
Meanwhile, Northland shearer Toa Henderson has had his second win since returning to New Zealand from several years in Australia by claiming the North Kaipara show's open title at Paparoa.
In a four-man final of 10 sheep each, Henderson was pipped for time honours by former Hawke's Bay shearer Phil Wedd, but reversed the placings on the score sheet to claim victory by more than 4pts.
The show, the second in the ANZ Northland Shearing Teams Competition, attracted 28 shearers, continuing some growth as the series kicks-into a third season.
Southland shearer Brett Roberts and former Golden Shears lower grades champion Brett "Kornie" Roberts continued his preparation for a bid for a place in the 60th anniversary event's open final, by flying from Invercargill to Christchurch and driving across country to win the Reefton Shears' open final at the Inangahua A and P Show on Saturday.
He bolstered the bank balance further by winning a Speed Shear in the evening at the Ikamatua Hotel.
Latest results from shearing sports competitions in New Zealand:
RESULTS from the Dannevirke A and P Show Shears at Dannevirke on Friday, January 31, 2020:
Open final (20 sheep): Rowland Smith (Maraekakaho) 17min 11sec, 62.15pts, 1; David Buick (Pongaroa) 16min 51sec, 62.5pts, 2; John Kirkpatrick (Pakipaki) 17min 46sec, 65.6pts, 3; Axle Reid (Taihape/Waipawa) 19min 10sec, 71pts, 4.
Senior final (10 sheep): Brook Hamerton (Hastings) 10min 52sec, 40.7pts, 1; Simon Goss (Mangamahu) 10min 9sec, 43.55pts, 2; Chris Dickson (Masterton) 9min 52sec, 43.6pts, 3; Ruka Braddick (Eketahnuna) 11min 38sec, 47pts, 4.
Intermediate final (5 sheep): Keith Swann (Wairoa) 8min 14sec, 40.3pts, 1; Joseph Gordon (Masterton) 9min 49sec, 44.25pts, 2; Daniel Biggs (Mangamahu) 8min 39sec, 44.35pts, 3; Leam Pritchard (Pongaroa) 9min 14sec, 44.5pts, 4.
Junior final (4 sheep): Adam Gordon (Masterton) 8min 3sec, 32.4pts, 1; Ellis Rees (Rhayader, Wales) 7min 13sec, 33.9pts, 2; Heath Barnsdall (Piopio) 8min 44sec, 39.45pts, 3; Clay Harris (Piopio) 7min 52sec, 41.6pts, 4.
Novice final (1 sheep): Josh Devane (Taihape) 4min 33sec, 22.65pts, 1; Michael Buick (Pongaroa) 4min 34aec, 23.7pts, 2; Lachie Crafar (Halcombe) 5min 31sec, 32.55pts, 3; Connor McIntyre (Dannevirke) 4min 36sec, 34.8pts, 4.
Open final: Angela Stevens (Napier) 38.6pts, 1; Keryn Herbert (Te Kuiti) 42.806pts, 2; Sheree Alabaster (Taihape) 46.524pts, 3.
Senior final: Cortez Ostler (Kimbolton) 36.356pts, 1; Azuredee Paku (Masterton) 65.738pts, 2; Lucky Garrett (Eketahuna) 74.65pts, 3.
Junior final: Te Ana Phillips (Taumarunui) 58pts, 1; Amy Bell (Weber) 75.44pts, 2; Sylvia Dickson (Raetihi) 81.03pts, 3.
Novice final: Grace Teate (Australia) 49.626pts, 1; Topia Barrowcliffe (Piopio) 51.79pts, 2; Hannah Miller (Pongaroa) 64.13pts, 3.
RESULTS from the North Kaipara A and P Show shearing championships at Paparoa on Saturday, February 1, 2020:
Open final (10 sheep): Toa Henderson (Kaiwaka) 10min 21sec, 41.45pts, 1; Phil Wedd (Silverdale) 10min 7sec, 45.65pts, 2; Gary Rix (Dargaville) 12min 14sec, 49.8pts, 3; Whetu Henderson (Kaiwaka) 11min 15sec, 50.05pts, 4.
Senior final (5 sheep): Kieran Gillespie (Matakohe) 7min 9sec, 31.65pts, 1; Dan Berger (Ahuroa) 7min, 32pts, 2; Lee Cheyne (Te Kauwhata) 8min 43sec, 35.95pts, 3; Tama Nahona (Kaiwaka) 7min 1sec, 37.05pts, 4.
Intermediate final (3 sheep): Alan Boler (Wellsford) 5min 40sec, 25.34pts, 1; Rex Finlayson (Kai Iwi Lakes) 6min 21sec, 29.72pts, 2.
Junior final (3 sheep): Destiny Paikea (Kaiwaka) 6min 49sec, 27.45pts, 1; Kelvin Welch (Snells Beach) 6min 24sec, 29.2pts, 2; Danielle Boyd (Dargaville) 6min 59sec, 31.95pts, 3; Gus Berger (Ahuroa) 7min 28sec, 41.4pts, 4.
Novice final (2 sheep): Hamu Henderson (Kaiwaka) 6min 28sec, 34.9pts, 1; Tresta Rix (Dargaville) 6min 27sec, 39.85pts, 2; Reuben Crawford (Tangowahine) 6min 13sec, 40.65pts, 3; Shanelle Kmp (Maungaturoto) 5min 24sec, 42.7pts, 4.
RESULTS from the Rangitikei Shearing Sports at Marton on Saturday, February 1, 2020:
CP Wool International Serries (15 lambs each): New Zealand Development (Jack Fagan 14min 25.51sec, 57.476pts; Axle Reid 16min 42.5sec, 62.725pts,) 120.201pts, beat Wales Development 131.741pts (Llion Jones 17min 1.39sec, 64.404pts; Ceredig Lewis (17min 4.08sec, 67.337pts) by 11.94pts.
Open Final (20 sheep): Rowland Smith (Maraekakaho) 17min 13.86sec, 62.193pts, 1; Troy Pyper (Winton/Amberley) 17min 8.58sec, 63.829pts, 2; Hemi Braddick (Eketahuna) 17min 54.01sec, 66.901pts, 3; Marshall Guy (Kaeo) 17min 58.46sec, 68.623pts, 4; Digger Balme (Otorohanga) 16min 31.95sec, 69.798pts, 5; Axle Reid (Taihape/Waipawa) 19min 29.8sec, 70.09pts, 6.
Senior final (10 sheep): Simon Goss (Mangamahu) 13min 13.06sec, 50.82pts, 1; Gethin Lewis (Wales) 13min 40.86sec, 52.126pts, 2; Paul Swann (Wairoa) 14min 1.67sec, 53.584pts, 3; Ifans Lewis (Wales) 14min 33.37sec, 54.752pts, 4; Ross Thomson (England) 14min 46.33sec, 55.817pts, 5; Reuben Alabaster (Taihape) 15min 37.08sec, 56.02pts, 6.
Intermediate final (6 sheep): Cory Barrowcliffe (Piopio) 8min 0.04sec, 31.669pts, 1; Liam Pritchard (Pongaroa) 8min 8.34sec, 35.25pts, 2; Daniel Biggs (Mangamahu) 8min 14.49sec, 35.392pts, 3; Emlyn Jones (Wales) 8min 32,18sec, 36.775pts, 4; Topia Barrowcliffe (Piopio) 7min 49.72sec, 37.486pts, 5; Joseph Gordon (Masterton) 9min 37.32sec, 39.366pts, 6.
Junior final (4 sheep): Sam Jones (Wales) 6min 34.25sec, 28.213pts, 1; Heath Barnsdall (Piopio) 8min 3.72sec, 34.186pts, 2; Jack Samuel (Wales) 6min 36.34sec, 34.317pts, 3; Aiden Tarrant (Mapiu) 8min 5.92sec, 34.796pts, 4; Adam Gordon (Masterton) 7min 41.81sec, 35.341pts, 5; Billy Nankivell (England) 8min 25.47sec, 36.524pts, 6.
Novice final (1 sheep): Michael Buick (Pongaroa) 4min 5.73sec, 22.287pts, 1; Josh Devane (Taihape) 4min 49.18sec, 23.459pts, 2; Lachie Crafar (Kimbolton) 4min 11.11sec, 24.556pts, 3; Ryka Swann (Wairoa) 4min 43.3sec, 30.165pts, 4; Te Ana Phillips (Taumarunui) 4min 5.46sec, 35.273pts, 5; Jono Hicks (Marton) 6min 26.89sec, 35.345pts, 6.
Open final: Keryn Herbert (Te Kuiti) 55.25pts, 1; Logan Kamura (Marton) 70.16pts, 2; Ricci Stevens (Napier) 72.594pta, 3; Ronnie Goss (Mangamahu) 74.47pts, 4; Ana Braddick (Eketahuna) 77.69pts, 5; Chelsea Collier (Gore) 77.724pts, 6.
Senior final: Lucky Garrett (Eketahuna) 46.94pts, 1; Azuredee Paku (Masterton) 53.544pts, 2; Jasmin Tipoki (Napier) 64.456pts, 3; Gina Whare (Taumarunui) 66.01pts, 4; Tramon Campbell (Gisborne) 69pts, 5; Lucas Broughton (Gisborne) 83.68pts, 6.
Junior final: Te Ana Phillips (Taumarunui) 40.87sec, Te Whetu Brown (Wairoa) 48.75pts, 2; Vinniye Phillips (Taumarunui) 58.87pts, 3; Shyla Karaitiana (Masterton) 67.75pts, 4; Jono Hicks (Marton) 72.98pts, 5; Laycie Bennett (Taihape) 88.62pts, 6.
Novice: Grace Teate (Australia) 26.882pts, 1; Topia Barrowcliffe (Piopio) 46.5pts, 2; Laura Bradley (Woodville) 47.94pts, 3; Shania Hema (Takapau) 49.84pts, 4; Michael Buick (Pongaroa) 50.28pts, 5; Dre Reihana (Ohura) 50.44pts, 6.
RESULTS from the Reefton Shears at the Inangahua A and P Show in Reefton on Saturday, February 1, 2020:
Open final (20 lambs): Brett Roberts (Mataura) 17min 23.91sec, 60.55pts, 1; Hugh de Lacy (Rangiora) 18min 32.56sec, 64.23pts, 2; Nick Nalder (Takaka) 18min 12.78sec, 71.49pts, 3; Alex Smith (Rakaia) 20min 36.72sec, 71.89pts, 4.
Open plate (10 lambs): Paul Hodges (Reefton) 8min 40.81sec, 36.74pts, 1; Lyall Windleburn (Rangiora) 9min 30.75sec, 40.74pts, 2; Dave Brooker (Rangiora) 10min 39.62sec, 40.98pts, 3; Lionel Taumata (Taumarunui/Gore) 10min 14.97sec, 41.15pts, 4.
Open Classic (6 lambs): Chris Jones (Blenheim) 6min 55.22sec, 32.59pts, 1; Frank Bint (Tapawera) 7min 46.28sec, 33.48pts, 2; Sam Win (Reefton) 6min 46.34sec, 34.32pts, 3; Kerry Win (Westport) 7min 4.47sec, 42.89pts, 4.
Senior final (10 lambs): Isaac Duckmanton (Okuku) 12min 5.94sec, 47.2pts, 1; Liam Norrie (Cheviot) 13min 4.41sec, 47.42pts, 2; Duncan Higgins (Blenheim) 12min 9.78sec, 50.79pts, 3; Allan Oldfield (Geraldine) 12min 52.31sec, 51.82pts, 4.
Intermediate final (6 lambs): Scott McKay (Kaikoura) 11min 25.46sec, 44.94pts, 1; Kelly Poehls (Makara/Rangiora) 12min 14.31sec, 47.88pts, 2; Jimmy White (Scotland) 13min 14.72sec, 49.07pts, 3; Josh Fitzpatrick (Greymouth) 12min 13.94sec, 50.53pts, 4.
Junior final (3 lambs): Richard Lancaster (England) 6min 57.37sec, 30.54pts, 1; Alice Watson (Blenheim) 6min 28.94sec, 32.45pts, 2; Chase Rattray (Ashburton) 6min 18.62sec, 37.93pts, 3; Campbell Barker (Tapawera) 10min 39.28sec, 58.3pts, 4.
Blades final (3 lambs): Allan Oldfield (Geraldine) 9min 33.06sec, 35.65pts, 1; Allen Gemmell (Loburn) 10min 2.78sec, 42.47pts, 2; Scott McKay (Kaikoura) 10min 9.85sec, 42.83pts, 3; Isaac Duckmanton (Okuku) 9min 31.5sec, 49.58pts, 4.
Clean shear (2 lambs, Open 4mins, Senior 3mins, Junior 6mins): Liam Norrie (Cheviot) 4pts, 1; Brett Roberts (Mataura) 7.5pts, 2; Lionel Taumata (Taumarunui/Gore) 9pts, 3; Alice Watson (Blenheim) 10.5pts, 4.