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Sometimes is enough as lady in the office wins title

Sometimes is enough as lady in the office wins woolhandling title

November 15, 2012

Woolhandler turned office worker Taiwha Nelson puts some old skills to good use in a surprise victory in the New Zealand Corriedale woolhandling championships open title at the 150th Canterbury Show. PHOTO Doug Laing, Shearing Sports NZ

Shearing gang office staffer Taiwha Nelson hasn’t done a lot of woolhandling lately, but what she had done proved quite enough practice as she beat two World champions to win the New Zealand Corriedale woolhandling championship open title in Christchurch today.

And it was a particularly memorable moment, as a recipient of the 150th Canterbury Show commemorative medal, being presented to all winners at the two-day shearing and woolhandling championships, which have been part of the show for more than 50 years.

While there was a smaller than usual entry, 37-year-old Nelson still faced tough opposition in the final, in which the runner-up was 2010 World teams champion Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu, and third place went to two-times World teams champion Tina Rimene, formerly based in Alexandra and Masterton and now employed as upper South Island chief woolhandling instructor for industry trainers Tectra.

Nelson, who lives in Clyde in Central Otago, hadn’t won an event in over two years, since her third New Zealand Merino Championships victory in Alexandra, where she works ikn the office for major contractors Peter and Elsie Lyon.

Last of the three to finish and conceding almost 10pts to 2010 event winner Herbert on time, Nelson’s wool points were far superior, and gave her a comfortable victory.

It was one of three woolhandling titles decided on the first day of the championships, with the Senior title going to Stevie Mason-Smallman, of Taihape, and 30-year-old Cheviot shearing contractor Kelly Paku claiming the Junior title in only her second competition – about 10 years after she made her debut in Masterton, where she grew up.

The only shearing event on the day was the Canterbury Circuit final, providing another victory for regular event winner and three-times national multi-breeds champion Tony Coster, of Rakaia..

Just beaten to the finish by Marlborough shearer Chris Jones, who shore 10 sheep in 12min 57sec, Coster produced the better pen judging points of the two and won the title by 1.5pts. It was, he guessed, about the 12th time he had won the title.

Things will be tougher tomorrow(Friday) as he tries to win the Corriedale championships’ open shearing title, the heats of which make-up the third leg of the PGG Wrightson National, the country’s premier multi-wools event.

While winning the series final at the Golden Shears three times in the last four years, Coster has been a perennial beaten finalist in the Christchurch event.

While surprise 2011 winner Shannon Warnest is not making the trip from Australia to defend the title, Coster is expected to be up against a strong North Island contingent including three-times winner and reigning Golden Shears and New Zealand Open champion John Kirkpatrick, veteran David Fagan, who in 2009 won the event for a 13th time, and 2010 World champion Cam Ferguson.

Also expected is Southland hope and 2012 New Zealand UK tour team member Nathan Stratford, runner-up at Christchurch in each of the last four years.

Results from the first day of the New Zealand Corriedale Championships, being held at the 150th Canterbury Show, Christchurch, November 15-16, 2012:


Canterbury Circuit final (10 sheep): Tony Coster (Rakaia) 12min 59sec, 69.85pts, 1; Chris Jones (Renwick) 12min 57sec, 71.35pts, 2; Grant Smith (Rakaia) 14min 9sec, 74.35pts, 3; Shaun Burgess (Rakaia) 15min 18sec, 76.4pts, 4; David Brooker (Hawarden) 14min 22sec, 82.6pts, 5; Tom Wilson (Darfield and Scotland): 13min 52sec, 86.8pts, 6.


Open final: Taiwha Nelson (Clyde) 273.25pts, 1; Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu) 302.97pts, 2; Tina Rimene (Masterton) 306.426pts, 3.

Senior final: Stevie Mason-Smallman (Taihape) 207.81pts, 1; Anne-Maree Kahukura (Omakau) 247.87pts, 2; Sheree Peterson (Milton) 247.9pts, 3.

Junior final: Kelly Paku (Cheviot) 159.512pts, 1; Daine Rehe (Te Teko) 224.78pts, 2; Valerie Weatherburn (-) 228.9pts, 3.


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