Two former Golden Shears Senior champions still finding slim pickings in the open class after years and years of trying - despite proving they can beat most of the best - have each won in the last weekend of pre-Christmas competition in the South Island.
Marlborough shearer and contractor Angus Moore won the Nelson A and P Show open title while Southlander Brett Roberts won the West Otago A and P title at Tapanui.
While having last March won the PGG Wrightson Wool National Shearing Circuit final for a second time, Moore averages just one win a season in his 14 seasons in the open class since winning his Golden Shears title in 2007.
Roberts has had just 11 wins in six seasons since his 2014 Golden Shears win, although his wins include a prized Otago Championships and two wins in the last fortnight over multiple national representative and fellow Southland shearer Nathan Stratford.
Becoming the 7th winner in nine open finals throughout the country so far this season, Moore on Saturday beat runner-up and top Nelson-area shearer Travers Baigent by 3.49pts, averaging under 56 seconds a sheep and finishing the 20 sheep in 18min 39.22sec, almost 1min 20sec before next-man-off Baigent, who had marginally the better quality points.
Third was top-of-the-south shows stalwart Nick Nalder, of Takaka, and fourth was first-season open shearer Duncan Higgins, from Havelock and brother of Sarah Higgins, who was among the 10 in the heats just hours after her Friday-night triumph of winning the Supreme Award at the Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards in Wellington.
James Dickson, from Gore, won the senior final, John Cherrington, from Huntly, the intermediate event and Tapawera-based Tim Hicks the junior event.
Roberts and Stratford were first and second respectively at Pleasant Point a fortnight ago and repeated the result in a four-man all-Southland final in Tapanui over 11-sheep each.
Winner of the event in 2018, Roberts wrestled the title back from Stratford who last year won the West Otago final for a 12th time.
But it was close, Roberts winning the race by less than two seconds in finishing in 10min 29.62sec and posting the better points on both the shearing board and in the pens but still winning by just 0.8182pts overall.
There was also a close result in the senior final, with less than nine-tenths of a point separating the first three, with victory going to Kahn Culshaw, of Mataura, while Brodie Horrell, of Gore, won the intermediate final by over 7pts from runner-up Wayne Malcolm, of Winton.
The last competitions of the pre-Christmas phase of the season in the North Island are the Taranaki Shears at the Stratford A and P Show next Saturday (November 28) and the following weekend the new Whangarei A and P Show Shears (December 5).
The first competitions of the New Year will be the Peninsula Duvauchelle Shears on January 9, and the Northern Southland Community Shears shearing and woolhandling championships at Lumsden on January 15.
Results from the Nelson A and P Show Shears at Richmond Park, Nelson, on Saturday, November 21, 2020:
Open final (20 sheep): Angus Moore (Seddon) 18min 39.22sec, 68.76pts, 1;Travers Baigent (Wakefield) 19min 58.97sec, 72.35pts, 2; Nick Nalder (Takaka) 22min 16.43sec, 81.87pts, 3; Duncan Higgins (Blenheim) 25min 27.2sec, 91.84pts, 4.
Open Plate (10 sheep): Lyall Windleburn (Rangiora) 11min 20.69sec, 43.23pts, 1; Willie Lambert (Napier) 11min 11.19sec, 48.56pts, 2; Jotham Rentoul (Wakefield) 12min 19.28sec, 50.46pts, 3; Chris Jones (Blenheim) 12min 42.15sec, 51.51pts, 4.
Senior final (8 sheep): James Dickson (Gore) 12min 13sec, 50.15pts, 1; Hamish Barker (Tapawera) 12min 35sec, 52.13pts, 2.
Intermediate final (5 sheep): John Cherrington (Huntly) 9min 30.17sec, 39.74pts, 1; Alice Watson (Blenheim) 9min 8sec, 45.2pts, 2; Kimberley MacLean (Motueka) 10min 3.66sec, 48.98pts, 3.
Junior final (2 sheep): Tim Hicks (Tapawera) 6min 29.31sec, 331.47pts, 1; Tom Curnow (Wakefield) 5min 25.25sec, 40.26pts, 2; Alice Robinson (Blenheim) 10min 1.47sec, 65.07pts, 3.
Cleanshear (2 sheep): Angus Moore (Seddon) 4pts, 1; Travers Baigent (Wakefield) 6.5pts, 2; Nick Nalder (Takaka) 10pts, 3; Duncan Higgins (Blenheim) 11.5pts, 4.
Results from the West Otago A and P Show Shears at Tapanui on Saturday, November 21, 2020:
Open final (11 sheep): Brett Roberts (Mataura) 10min 29.62sec, 35.2083pts, 1; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 10min 31.44sec, 36.0265pts, 2; Ringakaha Paewai (Gore) 12min 3.15sec, 39.9757pts, 3; Jason Ratima (Winton) 12min 15.28sec, 45.3095pts, 4.
Senior (6 sheep): Kahn Culshaw (Mataura) 6min 56.78sec, 30.0057pts, 1; Jesse Barclay (Mataura) 7min 36.75sec, 30.6708pts, 2; Duncan Leslie (Owaka) 7min 57.44sec, 30.872pts, 3; Chris Malcolm (Winton) 7min 59.22sec, 31.2943pts, 4.
Intermediate final (5 sheep): Brodie Horrell (Gore) 7min 48.72sec, 29.036pts, 1; Wayne Malcolm (Winton) 9min 48.03sec, 36.8015pts, 2; James Wilson (Ryall Bush) 10min 44.22sec, 42.811pts, 3; Harlem Haare (Ohai) 10min 14.78sec, 43.139pts, 4.