Southland shearer Troy Pyper emerged victorious from a field of 12 open-class shearers at the Tapawera Shears on Saturday.
It was the largest turnout in any grade at the event since 12 contested the open-class in 2017 – six of whom featured again this year.
And opposition was fierce.
At least nine competitors had previously won through the grades at Tapawera, with all 12 being winners at some stage on the shearing sports circuit over the years and at least seven having won open finals in the Tasman region.
The event also included the three winners of the Tapawera final over the previous four years, in local Wakefield shearer Travers Baigent (2017), Takaka shearer Nick Nalder (2018) and Pyper, who won in 2019 and 2020.
While it was Baigent who claimed time honours with 18min 34.5sec for the 20 ewes, it was again New Zealand representative Pyper, (now based in North Canterbury), who got the win with the better quality points, after being beaten off the board by just 3.95 seconds.
The runner-up was Marlborough shearer, contractor and reigning national circuit Angus Moore, Baigent was third, and fourth place went to Canterbury shearer Paul Hodges, who had the best pen and ultimately best quality points overall.
Hodges had been top qualifier from the semi-final, and later won the open speed shear at the Tapawera Hotel, while Baigent had been top qualifier in the heats, but won the separate clean shear.
Hamish Barker, of Tapawera, won the senior title for a second time, and Kimberley MacLean, of Motueka, won the intermediate title, with one win in the grade previously at Blenheim in November 2019.
Reuben King, a mechanical engineering graduate working for Rowan Nesbit Shearing, of Rangiora, scored his third win in a well-travelled three weeks, having won at Duvauchelle on January 9, and Lumsden on January 15, after early-season national title wins at Waimate and the Canterbury Shears.
Organiser Kerry Irvine said the Shears, the remnants of a former A and P Show, relied on competitors from within the region, and it was great to see visitors such as Pyper and King who had travelled big distances to compete.
It was the only shearing competition in the South during the weekend, with the next not until the Reefton Shears at the Inangahua A and P Show on Waitangi Day.
Results from the Tapawera Shears on Saturday, January 23, 2021:
Open final (20 sheep): Troy Pyper (Invercargill/Cheviot) 18min 39.25sec, 65.36pts, 1; Angus Moore (Seddon) 18min 53.41sec, 66.07pts, 2; Travers Baigent (Wakefield) 18min 34.5sec, 66.58pts, 3; Paul Hodges (Geraldine) 20min 52.65sec, 71.48pts, 4.
Open Plate (10 sheep): Duncan Higgins (Blenheim) 12min 1.53sec, 45.48pts, 1; Jotham Rentoul (Wakefield) 11min 2.13sec, 46.71pts, 2; Chris Jones (Blenheim) 11min 42.16sec, 47.91pts, 3; Sarah Hewson (Blenheim) 13min 7.81sec, 51.09pts, 4.
Senior final (8 sheep): Hamish Barker (Tapawera) 12min 37.44sec, 54.5pts, 1; Neil MacDonald (Seddon) 13min 5.22sec, 58.89pts, 2.
Intermediate final (5 sheep): Kimberley MacLean (Motueka) 9min 49.31sec, 42.67pts, 1; Alice Watson (Blenheim) 10min 32.53sec, 45.23pts, 2; Pam Irvine (Tapawera) 12min 52.22sec, 64.81pts, 3.Junior final (4 sheep): Reuben King (Rangiora) 9min 25.25s, 32.52pts, 1; Timo Hicks (Tapawera) 10min 40.85sec, 45.04pts, 2; Campbell Barker (Tapawera) 11min 51.38sec, 45.07pts, 3; Tom Curnow (Wakefield) 9min 48.5sec, 52.93pts, 4
Clean shear (2 sheep): Travers Baigent (Wakefield) 3.5pts (outside 2pts) 1; Troy Pyper (Invercargill/Cheviot) 3.5pts (outside 2.5pts) 2; Sarah Hewson (Blenheim) 7.5pts (outside 4.5pts) 3; Paul Hodges (Gealdine) 7.5pts (outside 6pts) 3.
Tapawera Hotel speed shear:
Open: Paul Hodges (Geraldine) 20.64sec, 1; Travers Baigent (Wakefield) 21.27sec, 2; Troy Pyper (Cheviot) 23.3sec, 3.
Senior: Hamish Barker (Tapawera) 34.6sec, 1; Neil MacDonald (Seddon) 38.49sec, 2.
Farmers Jnr Int clean shear: Reuben King (Rangiora) 1; Campbell Barker (Tapawera) 2; Kimberly MacLean (Motueka) 3.