Multiple world champion woolhandler Joel Henare returned to his home show in style over the weekend, regaining the open title at the Poverty Bay A and P Show Shears.
It was the seventh time Henare had won the title in Gisborne, but the first since 2016. He is usually based mainly in the South Island, and was back in the region to train other wooldhandlers.
The Poverty Bay A and P Show Shears opened the shearing sports competition season in the North Island at the weekend.
It was part of a big day in which Henare spearheaded Tairawhiti's attack on the competition, with four of the eight titles decided on the day.
Henare scored a comfortable win over runner-up and Central Otago woolhandler Pagan Karauria.
Henare was one of three Gisborne competitors among the four in the open final – from an 18-strong field that featured four who have won world titles.
Henare, winner of world individual and teams titles at both Masterton in 2012 and Invercargill in 2017, collected the 115th Open title of his career, Karauria won the season's opening South Island event at Waimate a week earlier and was a world teams champion in France last year, and third-place getter Maryanne Baty, from Whangara, near Gisborne, won both a world teams title and the Poverty Bay title in 2017.
Fourth on Saturday was Brittany Tibble, also of Gisborne.
Other wins for the home territory went to woolhandlers Tira Ngarangione (junior) and Jess Wilson (novice), and junior shearer Finn McKenzie.
Northland shearer Toa Henderson got the ultimate reward for a round-trip of more than 1000km, when he won the open final.
Henderson had travelled from Kaiwaka, (between Auckland and Whangarei), and started on Friday, overnight in "the van". He left as soon as the ribbon was in his hand, and headed to Whakatane for the night. He finally returned home mid Sunday afternoon.
Second and third respectively were former world and Golden Shears open champions Gavin Mutch and Waimate winner John Kirkpatrick.
The final was over 15 sheep each, including two each, crutched and bellied, and left over from the previous day's speed shear. Henderson finished first but had one short in the pen. A times adjustment enabled Mutch to be credited with fastest time of 12min 54sec, but it was only enough to close the gap, to 0.34pts.
It was a huge start to the season for Henderson, who had his biggest win last season at Apiti, north of Feilding, a week before the Golden Shears.
Teenaged Taihape shearer Reuben Alabaster won the senior shearing final, his second at that level. Alabaster beat first-time senior Cory Barrowcliffe, of Piopio, by 1.4pts.
Masterton shearer Adam Gordon added the intermediate title to the Waimate Spring Shears title he won seven days earlier, and the Poverty Bay junior title he won last year.
Napier-based Jasmine Tipoki had an overdue senior woolhandling win, having claimed the ranking of No 1 senior woolhandler nationwide last season with consistent placed performances - but without a single win.
The Friday speed shear was a triumph for Gisborne shearer Deano Smith, the fourth winner in four speed shears surrounding the start of the new season.
The Poverty Bay Shears attracted 122 entries across the eight grades.
The next competition on the Shearing Sports New Zealand calendar is the Great Raihania Shears at the Hawke's Bay Show in Hastings on Friday, again for shearing and woolhandling.
With the cancellation of A and P shows at Rangiora and Carterton there will be two weekends off before the New Zealand Corriedale shearing and woolhandling championships at Marble Point, near Hanmer Springs on the Thursday and Friday of November 5-6 and the shearing-only Pleasant Point shearing on November 7.
Results from the Poverty Bay A and P Show Shears at Gisborne on Saturday, October 17, 2020:
Open final (15 sheep): Toa Henderson (Kaiwaka) 13min 14sec, 48.63pts, 1; Gavin Mutch (Scotland) 12min 54sec, 48.97pts, 2; John Kirkpatrick (Pakipaki) 13min 27sec, 50.02pts, 3; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 13min 20sec, 51.8pts, 4.
Senior final (8 sheep): Reuben Alabaster (Taihape) 9min 57sec, 41.48pts, 1; Cory Barrowcliffe (Piopio) 10min 25sec, 42.88pts, 2; David Hodge (Te Kuiti) 11min 20sec, 46.75pts, 3; Adam Morton (Wairoa) 11min 4sec, 47.58pts, 4.
Intermediate final (4 sheep): Adam Gordon (Masterton) 6min 24sec, 34.45pts, 1; Dylan Young (Tokomaru Bay) 5min 30sec, 37pts, 2; Rio Proudfoot (Gisborne) 5min 8sec, 40.15pts, 3; Atawhai Hadfield (Ruakituri) 7min 52sec, 42.85pts, 4.
Junior final (3 sheep): Finn McKenzie (Tolaga Bay) 7min 20sec, 37.67pts, 1; Hamu Henderson (Kaiwaka) 7min 8sec, 41.73pts, 2; Keahrey Manson (Piopio) 7min 51sec, 46.55pts, 3; Ryka Swann(Wairoa) 8min 9sec, 49.12pts, 4.
Open final: Joel Henare (Gisborne) 117.1pts, 1; Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 153.9pts, 2; Maryanne Baty (Gisborne) 183.1pts, 3; Brittany Tibble (Gisborne) 202.9pts, 4.
Senior final: Jasmine Tipoki (Napier) 106.2pts, 1; Sarah Davis (Rerewhakaaitu) 142.4pts, 2; Krystal Braddick (Eketahuna) 171.4pts, 3; Molly King (Gisborne) 235pts, 4.
Junior final: Tira Ngarangione (Gisborne) 129.6pts, 1; Iriesha Carrington-Hingston (Gisborne) 138pts, 2; Rahera Kerr (Taumarunui) 156.3pts, 3; Te Whetu Brown (Wairoa) 201.2pts, 4.
Novice: Jess Wilson (Gisborne) 67.8pts, 1; Ngahuia Salmond (Te Kuiti) 72pts, 2; Renee Apanui (Gisborne) 81.8pts, 3; Waiari Puna (Napier) 103pts, 4.