Four of New Zealand's most in-form shearers continued on their winning ways as the 2017-2018 shearing sports season started drawing to a close at the weekend.
They were headed by three Golden Shears champions Rowland Smith, of Hastings, and Tegwyn Bradley, of Woodville, who won the Open and Senior titles respectively at the Waitomo Caves Sports in the King Country on Saturday, and Brandon Maguire-Ratima, of Winton, who won the Intermediate final at the Flaxbourne A and P Show on Sunday.
Woodville shearer Daniel Seed, who was fourth to Maguire-Ratima at the Golden Shears, won Saturday's Waitomo Intermediate final.
Smith's win was his 20th of the season, Bradley has had 12 wins, and Maguire-Ratima and Seed have each won 10 finals this season.
The Junior final at Waitomo was won by finals newcomer Jade Kingi.
It was also at Ward that local product and 2012 PGG Wrightson National Circuit winner Angus Moore won his 10th Open title in the 11 seasons since he won the Golden Shears Senior title in 2007. Despite being only third to finish Moore a four-man final of 13 sheep each, Moore won by more than 12 points from runner-up Earl Paewai.
It was Moore's third Flaxbourne show Open win, and helped christen a new shearing pavilion built to replace the previous facilities which were badly damaged in the Kaikoura earthquake 17 months earlier.
Winner of four Intermediate finals earlier in the season, Duncan Higgins, from Havelock, stepped-up to win his first Senior title, beating sister Sarah Higgins by just 0.21pts.
There are three shearing sports competitions at Easter, including a Royal Easter Show woolhandling competition in Auckland for the first time, and in the South Island shearing-only competitions at the Oxford A and P Show and the Mackenzie Shears' national lambshearing championships at Fairlie.
The New Zealand Shears end the season in Te Kuiti on April 5-7.
RESULTS of the Waitomo Sports Shears on Saturday, March 24, 2018:
Open final (20 sheep): Rowland Smith (Maraekakaho) 17min 56sec, 61.1pts, 1; David Buick (Pongaroa) 17min 48sec, 62.1pts, 2; Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 18min 28sec, 66.2pts, 3; Michael Fabish (Stratford) 18min 29sec, 68.5pts, 4.
Open Plate (11 seep): James Ruki (Te Kuiti) 12min 14sec, 44.32pts, 1; Gavin Mutch (Scotland/Whangamomona) 11min 9sec, 44.99pts, 2; Digger Balme (Te Kuiti) 10min 18sec, 48.53pts, 3; Delwyn Jones (Wales/Te Kuiti) 12min 24sec, 49.01pts, 4.
Senior final (12 sheep): Tegwyn Bradley (Woodville) 15min 11sec, 55.79pts, 1; James Lowry (Glen Murray) 15min 50sec, 60.49pts, 2; Dan Berger (Ahuroa) 17min 21sec, 67.97pts, 3; Bobby Sharp (Taupo) 17min 16sec, 77.63pts, 4.
Intermediate final (6 sheep): Daniel Seed (Woodville) 10min 37sec, 44.18pts, 1; Liam Lowry (Glen Murray) 10min 50sec, 44.33pts, 2; Sam Murphy (-) 10min 51sec, 54.71pts, 3; Topia Barrowcliffe (Piopio) 14min 39sec, 59.61pts, 4.
Junior final (5 sheep): Jade Kingi (Otorohanga) 11min 44sec, 52.6pts, 1; Topia Barrowcliffe (Piopio) 15min 6sec, 55.1pts, 2; Mathew Smith (Otorohanga) 15min 21sec, 57.25pts, 3; Heath Barnsdall (Piopio) 18min 16sec, 73.8pts, 4.
Novice final (2 sheep): Heath Barnsdall (Piopio) 8min 21sec, 39.5pts, 1; Taelor Tarrant (Mapiu) 6min 40sec, 49pts, 2; Tohu Woods (Taumarunui) 5min 40sec, 55.5pts, 3; Gus Berger (Ahuroa) 10min 18sec, 57.9pts, 4.
RESULTS from the Flaxbourne A and P Show Shears at Ward on Sunday, March 25, 2018:
Open final (13 sheep): Angus Moore (Seddon) 17min 20.59sec, 69.34pts, 1; Earl Paewai (Seddon) 17min 10.47sec, 81.91pts, 2; Geoff Holmes (-) 17min 2.68sec, 84.44pts, 3; Frank Bint (Tapawera) 19min 45.55sec, 94.66pts, 4.
Senior final (5 sheep): Duncan Higgins (Blenheim) 8min 52.5sec, 45.03pts, 1; Sarah Higgins (Blenheim) 9min 40.83sec, 45.24pts, 2; Seymour Lambert (Ward) 8min 36.5sec, 51.03pts, 3; Aaron Booker (Ward) 10min 25.04sec, 66.05pts, 4.
Intermediate final (3 sheep): Brandon Maguire Ratima (Winton) 8min 5.2sec, 34.59pts, 1; Will Haakma (Ward) 7min 25.87sec, 66.63pts, 2; Radar, Ward, 8min 32.91sec, 71.31pts, 3.
Junior final (2 sheep): Kimberley MacLean (Motueka) 12min 0.37sec, 69.02pts, 1; Campbell Barker (Tapawera) 11min 30.88sec, 72.54pts, 2.
Farmers (2 sheep): Eamon MacLean (Motueka) 5min 6sec, 26.5pts, 1; Willie Milton (Ward) 4min 32.22sec, 51.5pts, 2; Maurice Haakma (Ward) 4min 25.37sec, 55pts, 3.