Hawke's Bay shearer John Kirkpatrick took another step towards a 200th open shearing title when he won the Kumeu Shears final on Saturday.
Two months short of his 50th birthday and a week after his 21st Golden Shears open final, Kirkpatrick showed he was still well on top of his game by shearing the 20 ewes in 16min 20sec, pipped by just five seconds for the fastest time.
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But his quality gave him the nod over first-man-off and Te Kuiti shearer Mark Grainger, who had to be content with second place at Kumeu for a third year in a row.
It was only Kirkpatrick's second win in the Kumeu final, the first having been in 2009.
Hi was now the second-most prolific open-final winner in shearing history, with at least 185 wins in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, and including the 2017 World title and four Golden Shears Opens.
An open-class shearer since October 1994, Kirkpatrick has had five wins this season, his most since 2013-2014.
Third place went to Northland shearer Toa Henderson, continuing a great run of open final performances, while among the other three in the final was Kirkpatrick's son-in-law, Ricci Stevens, who completed a unique treble of finals over all three disciplines of the shearing sports over successive weekends.
He won the Taumarunui Shears open woolhandling final on February 28, was runner-up in last week's Golden Shears men's wool pressing final, and on Saturday he was fifth in the Kumeu shearing final.
Jayden Mainland, of Wellsford, returned from a competitive central districts and Golden Shears run to win Saturday's senior final, and there was a double success for Team Piopio, with Cory Barrowcliffe following-up a third place at the Golden Shears with a win in the intermediate final, and Clay Harris winning the junior final.
Novice honours went to Hamu Henderson of Kaiwaka
Meanwhile, a string of consistent performances throughout the summer was the key to Warkworth's second win in the ANZ Northland Teams Championship which was also decided at Kumeu.
The team comprised Phil Wedd (open), Dan Berger (senior), Alan Boler (intermediate) and Kelvin (Welch (junior).
"We all shore at every show," said Wedd.
On the day, the membership of runners-up Arapohue was affected a little because of a wedding, but there was a more than able replacement for team regular Neville Osborne in open finalist Toa Henderson.
It was particular triumph for Warkworth team manager and Northland shearing competitions backbone Neil Sidwell, back at the shows for the first time, and judging as well, since major surgery at the end of December.
Results from the Kumeu Shears on Saturday, March 15, 2020:
Open final (20 sheep): John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 16min 20sec, 55.937pts, 1; Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 16min 15sec, 56.949pts, 2; Toa Henderson (Kaiwaka) 16min 55sec, 58.451pts, 3; James Ruki (Te Kuiti) 17min 59sec, 61.664pts, 4; Ricci Stevens (Napier) 17min 35sec, 63.306pts, 5; Phil Wedd (Silverdale) 18min 1sec, 64.938pts, 6.
Senior final (10 sheep): Jayden Mainland (Wellsford) 10min 24sec, 40.949pts, 1; Josepf Winders (Rotorua) 11min 23sec, 43.569pts, 2; Tama Nahona (Kaiwaka) 11min 18sec, 44.916pts, 3; Dan Berger (Ahuroa) 11min 24sec, 45.449pts, 4; Pauline Bolay (Canada) 11min 44sec, 46.729pts, 5; Lee Cheyne (Te Kauwhata) 15min 3sec, 56.468pts, 6.
Intermediate final (6 sheep): Cory Barrowcliffe (Piopio) 7min 36sec, 31139pts, 1; Alan Boler (Wellsford) 10min 8sec, 36.737pts, 2; Matthew Smith (Otorohanga) 9min 55sec, 38.286pts, 3; Callum Eagles (Kaiokohe) 9min 6sec, 38.336pts, 4; Gabriel Winders (Oamaru) 10min 15sec, 42.454pts, 5; Rex Finlayson (Kai Iwi Lakes) 10min 50sec, 48.208pts, 6.
Junior final (4 sheep): Clay Harris (Piopio) 6min 52sec, 28.386pts, 1; Kelvin Welch (Snells Beach) 7min 58sec, 32.901pts, 2; Gus Berger (Ahuroa) 8min 1sec, 39.838pts, 3; Keahrey Manson (Piopio) 9min 11sec, 42.078pts, 4; Amelia Wood (Ruawai) 9min 36sec, 44.6pts, 5; Jake Hamerton (Hastings) 7min 51sec, 47.055pts, 6.
Novice (2 sheep): Hamu Henderson (Kaiwaka) 4min 38sec, 23.907pts, 1; Reagan Harris (Glen Murray) 7min 9sec, 52.473pts, 2; Tessa Berger (Ahuroa) 12min 4sec, 61.232pts, 3; Stace Bradley (Ruawaia) 14min 50sec, 99.006pts, 4.
Veterans (3 sheep): Peter McCabe (Tauranga) 5min 48sec, 20.089pts, 1; Ralph Smith (Tangowahine) 5min 29sec, 20.797pts, 2; Jeff Wood (Ruawai) 4min 28sec, 22.746pts, 3; Barry Jones (Pukekohe) 3min 58sec, 23.611pts, 4; Rex Finlayson (Kai Iwi Lakes) 5min 12sec, 24.313pts, 5; Gary Rix (Dargaville) 4min 12sec, 26.608pts, 6.
ANZ Northland Teams Championship: Warkworth (Phil Wedd, Dan Berger, Alan Boler, Kelvin Welch) 53.847pts, 1; Arapohue 54.427pts, 2; Kaikohe 62.449pts, 3; Paparoa 66.271pts, 4.