Five more shearing sports shows were held throughout New Zealand during the weekend as the tempo rises heading towards the 60th Golden Shears in Masterton on March 4-7.
The weekend featured two A-grade shows in which the open shearing finals, at Gore and Pukekohe featured almost all of the top hopes for the same event in the Golden Shears.
Possibly the biggest triumph was the Southern Shears open final win by Invercargill shearer Nathan Stratford in Gore on Saturday. It was Stratford's first win in the event after 24 years of trying. He now boasts 70 open final victories.
Stratford became the first South Island shearer to win the event since 1994 when Edsel Forde, from Winton, won for a fifth time.
Those defeated included Golden Shears favourite Rowland Smith, who along with fellow Gore finalists John Kirkpatrick and Aaron Haynes, then flew north for a much-more frequent Smith-Kirkpatrick one-two finish at the Counties Shears.
Leon Samuels, also of Invercargill, showed there was no fluke in his previous weekend's Otago Shears win in Balclutha, (only the second win of his open career), with two more top performances at Gore. Samuels won the South Island Shearer of the Year final and finished runner-up to Stratford in the open final.
Samuels was first to finish the 20-sheep Southern Shears final, but Stratford was just 13 seconds away - the traditional clean job carrying him to a victory in which, significantly, he beat Smith on both time and quality.
Another to make the trip from Gore to Pukekohe was Te Kuiti shearer Jack Fagan who made all the pace in the Counties Shears final, shearing his 20 in 16min 23sec.
It wasn't enough to hold-off the quality-points, but it was enough to take a creditable third placing overall.
The fifth finalist, fellow Te Kuiti shearer Mark Grainger, had won on Saturday at the Ohura Sports, off the Forgotten Highway between Stratford and Taumarunui, beating former world and Golden Shears champion Gavin Mutch.
Fagan and Grainger then paired as the New Zealand Development Counties team in a win over the Wales Development team of Llion Jones and Ceredic Lewis, completing a 5-0 clean sweep by New Zealand teams against the tourists.
Simon Goss, of Mangamahu, in the Whanganui district, scored his 11th win of the season in claiming the Southern Shears senior title, but a possible challenger for Golden Shears honours emerged in Welsh shearer Gethin Lewis, who broke-through for his first New Zealand win in three seasons of trying, with victory at Pukekohe.
The emergence of some younger talent at the North Hokianga A and P Show at Broadwood on Saturday and at Pukekohe 24 hours later impressed Northland judge and competitions organiser Kevin Boyd who said it was a product of the Northland teams competition initiated three years ago to reverse declining entry numbers.
It was however an older one of the number in Snells Beach shearer Kelvin Welch, who had the greatest success in winning the junior finals at both shows.
Former national circuit champion Angus Moore won the open final at 100th Murchison A and P Show, while Neville Osborne, of Dargaville, won at the North Hokianga show.
In a rare February of five Saturdays, the first since 1976, there are no competitions next weekend, ahead of the three-show central North Island Golden Shears countdown at Taumarunui, Apiti and Pahiatua.
The only woolhandling competition of the weekend was at the Southland Shears where the open title was won by double world champion Joel Henare, now lining-up an eighth consecutive Golden Shears Open title.
Results from weekend shearing sports competitions:
Results from the Southern Shears shearing and woolhandling championships at Gore on Friday-Saturday, February 14-15, 2020:
Interisland (15 sheep): North Island (Rowland Smith 14min 35.63sec, 46.7815pts; David Buick 14min 25.78sec, 50.089pts; Aaron Haynes 14min 55.13sec, 51.1565pts) 148.0217pts beat South Island (Ringakaha Paewai 15min 1.59sec, 50.0128pts; Nathan Stratford 15min 52.66sec, 52.0997pts; Leon Samuels 15min 22.85sec, 53.1425pts) 157.255pts.
Open final (20 sheep): Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 17min 50.03sec, 56.3515pts, 1; Leon Samuels (Invercargill) 17min 37.66sec, 57.533pts, 2; Rowland Smith (Maraekakaho) 17min 59.81sec, 58.4405pts, 3; John Kirkpatrick (Pakipaki) 17min 40.69sec, 58.8845pts, 4; Troy Pyper (Invercargill/Amberley) 18min 20.03sec, 60.3515pts, 5; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 19min 19.44sec, 62.872pts, 6.
South Island Shearer of the Year (20 sheep): Leon Samuels (Invercargill) 18min 22.22sec, 62.611pts, 1; David Buick (Pongaroa) 18min 20sec, 62.75pts, 2; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 18min 32.31sec, 62.8155pts, 3; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 19min 18.53sec, 63.4265pts, 4; John Kirkpatrick (Pakipaki) 19min 5sec, 63.4265pts, 5; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 20min 15.78sec, 69.989pts, 6.
Senior final (12 sheep): Simon Goss (Mangamahu) 13min 24.97sec, 46.9152pts, 1; Jordie Grant (Masterton) 13min 17.66sec, 47.7163pts, 2; Reuben Alabaster (Taihape) 14min 8.81sec, 44.7738pts, 3; Linton Palmer (Dipton) 14min 20.35sec, 49.3508pts, 4; Elis Ifan (Wales) 13min 26.22sec, 50.311pts, 5; Chris Malcolm (Winton) 13min 21.75sec, 51.3375pts, 6.
Intermediate final(6 sheep): Philip Price (Wales) 8min 1.84sec, 31.592pts, 1; Daniel Biggs (Mangamahu) 8min 50.25sec, 32.1792pts, 2; Brayden Clifford (Waikaka) 9min 28.22sec, 35.5777pts, 3; James Dickson (Ireland) 8min 57.56sec, 35.7113pts, 4; George Hood (Australia) 9min 18.56sec, 36.928pts, 5; Aled Evans (Wales) 9min 9.03sec, 40.9515pts, 6.
Junior final (4 sheep): Sam Jones (Wales) 7min 53.31sec, 28.4155pts, 1; Harlem Haare (Ohai) 7min 7.28sec, 30.864pts, 2; Rhidan Edwards (Wales) 6min 49.21sec, 31.7105pts, 3; Destiny Paikea (Heriot) 8min 38.84sec, 33.942pts, 4; Heath Barnsdall (Piopio) 8min 35.91sec, 34.5455pts, 5; Reghan Ngarotata (Piopio) 8min 27.1sec, 39.105pts, 6.
Open final: Joel Henare (Gisborne) 131.12pts, 1; Keryn Herbert (Te Kuiti) 196.91pts, 2; Tia Potae (Milton) 200.69pts, 3; Foonie Waihape (Gisborne) 4.
Senior final: Amber Poihipi (Ohai) 111.38pts, 1; Makayla Crawford 115.38pts, 2; Nova Kumeroa Elers 142.344pts, 3; Lashara Anderson 190.28pts, 4.
Junior final: Molly Tapuke (Christchurch) 124.438pts, 1; Samantha Allen (Milton) 125.19pts, 2; Heaven Little (Balclutha) 145.22pts, 3; Gypsy Hoani (Gore) 148.75pts, 4.
Novice final: Taryn Perriam (Invercargill) 84.16pts, 1; Caleb Brooking (Mataura) 101.75pts, 2; Courtney Kelly (Gore) 124.9pts, 3.
Results from the North Hokianga A and P Show shearing championship at Broadwood on Saturday, February 15, 2020:
Open final (13 sheep): Neville Osborne (Dargaville) 12min 35sec, 47.59pts, 1; Phil Wedd (Silverdale) 13min 1sec, 50.51pts, 2; Gary Rix ( Dargaville) 15min 48sec, 60.16pts, 3.
Senior final (9 sheep): Dan Berger (Ahuroa) 11min, 42.88pts, 1; Dan Sweetapple (Kaitaia) 11min 39sec,59.05pts, 2; Steve Cooper (Wellsford) 13min 49sec, 60.78pts, 3.
Intermediate final (4 sheep): Alan Boler (Wellsford) 8min 29sec, 32.45pts, 1; Rex Finlayson (Kai Iwi Lakes) 8min 33sec, 36.25pts, 2.
Junior final (3 sheep): Kelvin Welch (Snells Beach) 6min 32sec, 27.94pts, 1; Gus Berger (Ahuroa) 6min 49sec, 30.12pts, 2; Paul Finlayson (Kai Iwi Lakes) 5min 31sec, 44.88pts, 3.
Novice (1 sheep) Hamu Henderson (Kaiwaka) 3min 22sec, 20.1pts, 1; Tess Berger (Ahuroa) 6min 4sec, 34.2pts, 2.
Veterans (1 sheep): Steve Coop (Wellsford) 1min 34sec, 9.7pts, 1; Rex Finlayson (Kai Iwi Lakes) 1min 34sec, 9.7pts, 2; Richard Dampney (Kaikohe) 1min 38sec, 10.9pts, 3.
Results from the Ohura Sports Shears at Ohura on Saturday, February 15, 2020:
Open final (15 sheep): Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 14min 11sec, 49.4833pts, 1; Gavin Mutch (Whangamomona) 14min 2sec, 49.5667pts, 2; Digger Balme (Otorohanga) 14min 7sec, 51.6833pts, 3; James Ruki (Te Kuiti) 15min 57sec, 53.45pts, 4.
Senior final (10 sheep): Chris Dickson (Masterton) 12min 14sec, 46.4pts, 1; Flynn Harvey (Kaitaia) 13min 44sec, 52.1prs, 2; Kieran Devane (Taihape) 15min 4sec, 54.3pts, 3; Jordan Houpapa (Taumarunui) 17min 42sec, 79pts, 4.
Intermediate final (5 sheep): Leam Pritchard (Pongaroa) 8min 19sec, 32.95pts, 1; Hayden Smith (Taumarunui) 8min 8sec, 34pts, 2; Lizzy Thomson (England) 10min 7sec, 38.55pts, 3; Matthew Smith (Otorohanga) 9min 42sec, 41.9pts, 4.
Junior final (4 sheep): Derek Houpapa (Taumarunui) 7min 37sec, 37.6pts, 1; Keahrey Manson (Piopio) 10min 17sec, 39.85pts, 2; Nathan Wiari (Taumarunui) 8min 25sec, 47.25pts, 3; Jack Hutchinson (England) 10min 44sec, 52.45pts, 4.
Novice final (2 sheep): Maureen Chaffey (Maraekakaho) 6min 32sec, 29.6pts, 1; Josh Devane (Taihape) 9min 34sec, 34.2sec, 2; Sean Fagan (Te Kuiti) 9min 26sec, 41.8pts, 3; Chase Holdaway (Whanganui) 5min 29sec, 42.25pts, 4.
Results from the Murchison Shears at the 100th Murchison A and P Show on Saturday, February 15, 2020:
Open final (20 sheep): Angus Moore (Ward) 19min 0.44sec, 66.87pts, 1; Travers Baigent (Wakefield) 18min 16.47sec, 68.62pts, 2; Paul Hodges (Reefton) 20min 19.78sec, 75.74pts, 3; Baden Barker (Tapawera) 23min 13.84sec, 86.59pts, 4.
Senior final (10 sheep): Isaac Duckmanton (Okuku) 12min 48.19sec, 53.31pts, 1; Sarah Higgins (Blenheim) 12min 47.5sec, 53.98pts, 2; Hamish Barker (Tapawera) 12min 29.13sec, 57.76pts, 3.
Intermediate finals (4 sheep): Kelly Poehls (Makara/Rangiora) 9min 17.69sec, 39.63pts, 1; Radar (Ward) 7min 7sec, 44.85pts, 2; Pam Irvine (Tapawera) 10min 15.6sec, 58.28pts, 3.
Junior final (3 sheep): Campbell Barker (Tapawera) 10min 43.97sec, 59.53pts, 1; Timo Hicks (Tapawera) 11min 6.62sec, 64.66pts, 2.
Clean shear (2 sheep - Senior 4mins, Open 3mins): Paul Hodges (Reefton) 5pts, 1; Travers Baigent (Wakefield) 8.5pts, 2; Sarah Higgins (Blenheim) 9.5pts, 3; Angus Moore (Ward) 10pts, 4.
Centennial Vintage Shear, with handwinder (2 sheep): PaulHodges/NickNalder 2min 29.37sec, 20.47pts, 1; Baden Barker/Hamish Barker 3min 17.06sec, 26.85pts, 2; Kelly Poehls/Isaac Duckmanton 3min 7.19sec, 28.36pts, 3; Chris Jones/Sarah Higgins 3min 3.5sec, 30.18pts, 4; Angus Moore/Radar 2min 24.22sec, 31.21pts, 5; Travers Baigent/Jack Topp 2min 12.25sec, 37.61pts, 6.
Results of the Counties Shears at the Franklin A and P Show at Pukekohe, on Sunday, February 16, 2020:
CP Wool Shearing Series(12 sheep): New Zealand Development 85.8pts (Mark Grainger 11min 36sec 42.13pts; Jack Fagan 11min 30sec; 43.67pts) beat Wales Development 107.73pts (Llion Jones 12min 38sec, 52.98pts; Ceredig Lewis 12min, 54.75pts) by 21.93pts.
Open final (20 sheep): Rowland Smith (Maraekakaho) 16min 32sec, 57.95pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Pakipaki) 16min 43sec, 61.1pts, 2; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 16min 23sec, 62.35pts, 3; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 17min 56sec, 64.75pts, 4; Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 16min 51sec, 64.85pts, 5.
Senior final (8 sheep): Gethin Lewis (Wales) 9min 9sec, 37.58pts, 1; Ross Thomson (England) 9min 2sec, 39.35pts, 2; Meirion Evans (Wales) 9min 5sec, 43pts, 3; Dan Berger (Ahuroa) 9min 15sec, 45pts, 4; Josef Winders (Waikato) 9min 3sec, 47.53pts, 5.
Intermediate final (6 sheep): Cory Barrowcliffe (Piopio) 7min 19sec, 31.12prs, 1; Alan Boler (Wellsford) 9min 3sec, 37.15pts, 2; Lizzy Thomson (England) 9min 22sec, 39.43pts, 3; Topia Barrowcliffe (Piopio) 8min 15sec, 39.58pts, 4; Matthew Smith (Otorohanga) 11min 27sec, 48.18pts, 5.
Junior final (5 sheep): Kelvin Welch (Snells Beach) 10min 19sec, 41.15pts, 1; Danielle Boyd (Dargaville) 10min 37sec, 43.65pts, 2; Hazel Wood (Ruawai) 11min 23sec, 44.55pts, 3; Gus Berger (Ahuroa) 12min 22sec, 56.1pts, 4; Paul Finlayson (Kai Iwi Lakes) 9min 47sec, 62.55pts, 5.
Novice (1 sheep): Hamu Henderson (Kaiwaka) 3min 2sec, 28.1pts, 1; Regan Harris 3min 11sec, 31.55pts, 2; Lydia Wood (Ruawai) 5min 27sec, 52.35pts, 3; Imogen Osbourne (Dargaville) 3min 34sec, 35.7pts, 4; Tessa Berger (Ahuroa) 6min 14sec, 61.7pts, 5.
Veterans (2 sheep): Ralph Smith (Tangowahine) 4min 10sec, 20.5pts, 1; Garry Rix (Dargaville) 4min 8sec, 21.4pts, 2; Hugh McCarroll (Tauranga) 4min 25sec, 23.75pts, 3; Graeme Roadley (Wairoa) 5min 18sec, 28.4pts, 4; Peter McCabe (Tauranga) 4min 19sec, 28.45pts, 5.