After just four days in the country and in sweltering heat two Welsh shearers beat the two Kiwis chosen to compete against them at the Taihape A & P Show on January 27.

It was a smaller show than usual this year, Shearing Sports New Zealand media officer Doug Laing said. The usual Mahons Amusements sideshows were absent, and there were also fewer horses.

The Welsh team of Matthew Evans and Alun Lloyd Jones had a narrow win over Stratford's Michael Fabish and Te Kuiti's James Ruki in the international event.

Each shore 10 sheep at the show, on a very hot day. The Kiwis were faster but the Welshmen picked up enough points for the quality of their work to win by just 0.25 points.


It's thought to be the first Welsh win in a provincial shearing competition in the North Island, and the second in New Zealand. No Welsh team has ever won a national competition in this country.

Now the Welsh pair have another seven competitions in front of them, including four in the CP Wool series. The first of those is in Marton on February 3, against world champion Kiwi shearers John Kirkpatrick and Rowland Smith.

After their win at Taihape the two were awed by the performance of Smith, the 2014 world champion from Hastings, who retained the Taihape Open title.

He finished a whole sheep ahead of the next fastest, Te Kuiti's Digger Balme. Smith won overall by 4.45 points, ahead of the 2012 world champion Gavin Mutch, who is from Whangamomona. However Mutch had more points in judging on the shearing board.

Current world champion John Kirkpatrick didn't compete in the open. His was a surprising semifinal elimination, Mr Laing said, and came a week after he won the national crossbred lamb shearing championship in Southland.

Marton's Logan Kamura came first in the Taihape Open woolhandling competition, followed by Masterton's Tina Rimene, her daughter Pagan Karauria from Alexandra, and Monica Potae, of Milton.

The Taihape A & P Show is one of 60 shearing and woolhandling contests in New Zealand each year. It's an A Grade competition, and one of 40 that are held at A & P Shows.