South Canterbury farmer Tony Dobbs has become the first person in the world to win 100 open blade-shearing finals.
The win came on the second and last night of the 43rd Waimate Shears New Zealand Spring championships, in which he first competed in 1979.
He won the intermediate blades final there two years later, and in 1985, had the first of his now 13 wins in the open event – two more than the championships' next most successful competitor, legendary machine shearer Sir David Fagan, who was on-hand to witness Dobbs' triumph, hailed with a standing ovation.
Three days before the event the 58-year-old Dobbs, who farms near Fairlie, said he had barely shorn any sheep with the blades since he won a world teams title, with fellow South Canterbury shearer Allan Oldfield in France in July 2019.
Dobbs doubted whether he had had anything like the right sort of preparation to win the first event of the season.
But he was certainly in the right form for the six man showdown of four sheep each.
He finished third-off in just under 15mins, beating individual runner-up and reigning individual world champion Oldfield, (on both time and in the final count), with a winning margin of 1.645pts.
Third was Mike McConnell, of Waikari, who was the 2019 Waimate winner, 2019-2020 No 1-ranked blade shearer and 2012 world championships representative.
The other big winner of the night was veteran Hawke's Bay gun and 2017 world champion John Kirkpatrick, who won the open machine-shearing final.
Third to finish, (18 seconds after first-man-off Troy Pyper), and with just 40 seconds separating the first five off the board, all averaging under a minute a sheep for the 16 across the board, Kirkpatrick had the best quality points overall to beat win by 2.3265pts from Mataura shearer and runner-up Brett Roberts, who headed a three-man Southland attack, with Leon Samuels, of Invercargill third, and Pyper, of Invercargill but now based in Amberley, fourth.
It was Kirkpatrick's first win on the long wool of the Waimate Shears - despite now having 189 wins to his name in open class machine shearing in 26 years, second worldwide behind only to Fagan's tally of more than 640.
Meanwhile, Pagan Karauria, of Alexandra, successfully defended the open woolhandling title she won for the first time last year, but had to settle for third in a South Island Circuit final in which Kelly MacDonald, of Lake Hawea, secured her first A-grade woolhandling title, to go with a Junior shearing title she won at Waimate six years ago.
Alexandra woolhandler Karauria again got her season off to a good start when she successfully defended the Waimate Shears open woolhandling final.
Going into the four-table full wool showdown as top qualifier from the semi-finals, it was Karauria's third winning start to a season in a row, with victory by 10pts over runner-up and No 1-ranked 2019-2020 open woolhandler Keryn Herbert, of Te Kuiti, who had been top qualifier among the 17 in the heats.
It was Karauria's 33rd individual open win, including a French All-Nations championship last year in France where she also claimed a world teams title.
She missed a chance to make it a double when only third in the South Island Circuit final, for which she was the top qualifier, going for a fourth win in the event.
The final provided a first A-grade title win for Kelly MacDonald, with a previous best result at the top level being second-placing to world champion Joel Henare, at Lumsden in 2018.
Now employed as administrator with Elite Wool Industry Training, she had won three times at Cheviot, and had won at Waimate in the past, in the junior shearing final in 2014.
A particular feature of the two-day championships, which attracted about 170 shearers and woolhandlers was an all-female, six-shearers novice shearing final, the first in New Zealand, other than events run specifically for women. It was won by Emma Martin, of Gore.
Chris Malcolm, of Winton, won the senior shearing final, his first win in the grade after three seasons of trying.
Adam Gordon, of Masterton, (2019-2020 junior No-1 ranked shearer) won his first intermediate competition.
Finally, newcomer Reuben King, of North Canterbury, won the junior final.
Reigning Golden Shears senior champion and Southland woolhandler Amber Poihipi won both senior woolhandling finals, and the junior titles were shared, with newcomer Kirwyn Kora-Rogers, from Feilding, winning the Waimate Shears title and Heaven Little the Circuit final.
Results from the 53rd Waimate Shears NZ Spring Shearing and Woolhandling Championships on Friday-Saturday, October 9-10, 2020:
New Zealand Spring Championships:
Open final (16 sheep): John Kirkpatrick (Pakipaki) 15min 18.25sec, 52.7875pts, 1; Brett Roberts (Mataura) 15min 11.03sec, 55.114pts, 2; Leon Samuels (Invercargill) 15min 9.72sec, 55.4235pts, 3; Troy Pyper Amberley) 15min 0.97sec, 56.5485pts, 4; Paerata Abraham (Masterton) 15min 40.65sec, 59.595pts, 5; Gavin Mutch (Scotland/Whangamomona) 17min 22.43sec, 59.809pts, 6.
Open Novice (9 sheep): Axle Reid (Taihape) 9min 52.23sec, 36.5004pts, 1; Lionel Taumata (Gore) 10min 0.64sec, 41.6987pts, 2; David Gordon (Masterton) 9min 12.72sec, 42.636pts, 3; Luis Pincol (Chile) 11min 9.34sec, 44.1337pts, 4; Jimmy Samuels (Marton) 8min 58.81sec, 44.2738pts, 5; Simon Goss (Mangamahu) 9min 53.69sec, 45.0178pts, 6.
Senior final (8 sheep): Chris Malcolm (Winton) 10min 49.6sec, 42.73pts, 1; Taare Edwards (Ashburton) 11min 17.83sec, 42.7665pts, 2; Duncan Leslie (Kaka Point) 11min 15.19sec, 43.2595pts, 3; Ruka Braddick (Eketahuna) 10min 1.04sec, 43.427pts, 4; Jayden Mainland (Wellsford) 10min 16.44sec, 43.572pts, 5; Brayden Clifford (Waikaka) 11min 25.29sec, 54.2645pts, 6.
Intermediate final (5 sheep): Adam Gordon (Masterton) 8min 45.92sec, 35.896pts, 1; John Cherrington (Huntly) 9min 10.53sec, 36.1265pts, 2; Chase Rattray (Ashburton) 8min 44.78sec, 39.039pts, 3; Gabriel Winders (Oamaru) 9min 6.06sec, 40.103pts, 4; Cody Davidson (Hakatere) 8min 1.96sec, 43.498pts, 5; Ruby Stone (Christchurch) 9min 22.49sec, 43.7245ts, 6.
Junior final (3 sheep): Reuben King (North Canterbury) 8min 56.25sec, 31.8125ts, 1; Tes Paewai (Wales) 6min 34.02sec, 36.701pts, 2; Harley-James Ransfield (Ohai) 6min 48.81sec, 37.1072pts, 3; Ariana Te Whata (Mossburn) 6min 59.96sec, 40.998pts, 4; Jordan White (Balclutha) 6min 45.45sec, 44.9392pts, 5; Justin Anderson (Fairlie) 10min 31.37sec, 56.5685pts, 6.
Novice final (1 sheep): Emma Martin (Gore) 5min 47.05sec, 29.3525pts, 1; Robin Krause (Germany) 5min 48.29sec, 31.4145ts, 2; Annette Schneider (Germany) 7min 2.44sec, 36.122pts, 3; Alice Robinson (Blenheim) 5min 22.28sec, 41.114pts, 4; Siobhan Mosan-Dennison (Gisborne) 3min 37.85sec, 53.8925pts, 5; Tyla Harraway (Rakaia) 7min 0.54sec, 55.027pts, 6.
Open Blades (4 sheep): Tony Dobbs (Fairlie) 14min 58.84sec, 57.442pts, 1; Allan Oldfield (Geraldine) 15min 26.75sec, 59.0875pts, 2; Mike McConnell (Waikari) 15min 18.32sec, 61.666pts, 3; Scott McKay (Christchurch) 14min 27.94sec, 66.397pts, 4; Allen Gemmell (Rangiora) 14min 20.19sec, 69.0095pts, 5; Phil Oldfield (Geraldine) 18min 33.85sec, 75.9425pts, 6.
Intermediate Blades (2 sheep): Jordan White (Balclutha) 9min 11sec, 72.05pts, 1; Lyall Windleburn (Rangiora) 9min 6sec, 90.3pts, 2; Hemi Waenga (Gisborne) 9min 15.89sec, 121.7945pts, 3; Shaun Burgess (Rakaia) 9min 4.49sec, 125.2245pts, 4; Evalyn McGregor-Koch (Glenorchy) 13min 3.94sec, 129.697pts, 5; Jills Angus-Burney (Masterton) 17min 3.72sec, 138.686pts, 6.
New Zealand Winter Comb Championships:
Open final (10 sheep): Troy Pyper (Amberley) 20min 42.51sec, 84.6255pts, 1; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 22min 27.25sec, 85.2625pts, 2; Paerata Abraham (Masterton) 20min 44.75sec, 90.5375pts, 3; Chris Vickers (Palmerston) 20min 13.56sec, 96.478pts, 4; Barry Taylor (Peebles) 21min 34.75sec, 106.1375pts, 5; Duncan Higgins (Havelock) 28min 2.02sec, 126.501pts, 6.
Senior final (5 sheep): Duncan Leslie (Kaka Point) 16min 31.87sec, 67.3935pts, 1; Hohepa Te Rata-Taituha (Taumarunui) 13min 15.43sec, 84.1715pts, 2; Cody Mann (Kurow) 13min 14.5sec, 86.525ts, 3; Ruka Braddick (Eketahuna) 17min 4.62sec, 90.431pts, 4; Wilton Weeks (Apiti) 17min 16.28sec, 96.614pts, 5; John Cherrington (Huntly) 19min 5.34sec, 96.667pts, 6.
New Zealand Spring Championships:
Open final: Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 121.244pts, 1; Keryn Herbert (Te Kuiti) 131.064pts, 2; Chelsea Collier (Gore) 132.434pts, 3; Candy Hiri (Mataura) 160.406pts, 4.
Senior final: Amber Poihipi (Ohai) 95.44pts, 1; Nova Elers (Mataura) 124.346pts, 2; Kahlo Tuuta (Matauri Bay) 140.53pts, 3; Chenell Waihape (Mataura) 172.94pts, 4.
Junior final: Kirwyn Kora-Rogers (Feilding) 170.22pts, 1; Ashley Clark (Gore) 174.43pts, 2; Emma Martin (Gore) 178.65pts, 3; Samantha Allan (Milton) 190.09pts, 4.
South Island Circuit:
Open final: Kelly Macdonald (Lake Hawea)1, Keryn Herbert (Te Kuiti) 2, Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 3, Candy Hiri (Mataura) 4.
Senior final: Amber Poihipi (Ohai) 1, Sunnii Te Whare (Ohai) 2, Nova Kumeroa-Elers (Mataura) 3, Sarah Davis (Rerewhakaaitu) 4.
Junior Final: Heaven Little 1, Samantha Allen (Milton) 2, Emma Martin (Gore) 3, Georgie Blackburn, 4.
Shearing and woolhandling teams event: Perfect Rhythm (Jimmy Samuels, Rangipa Chase, Cheyenne Howden, Pagan Karauria) 1, Peter Lyon Shearing (Troy Pyper, Yaden Mainland, Amy Lee Ferguson, Ripeka Ferris) 2, Monica and The Seniors (Alex Smith, Ruka Braddick, Monica Potae, Cystal Braddick).