World Champions Chase First Golden Shears Woolhandling Title
On behalf of Shearing Sports New Zealand
February 26, 2013
World Champions Chase First Golden Shears Woolhandling Titles
Three World champions will be out to win their first Golden Shears Open woolhandling titles against record-holding six-times winner and defending champion Joanne Kumeroa in Masterton this week.
The three are headed by Gisborne’s Joel Henare who despite being now just 21 years old, has been in five consecutive Golden Shears Open finals, the runner-up the last four times, and who beat Australia-based Whanganui woolhandler and shearer Kumeroa in last year’s World Championships final, also at the Golden Shears.
He’s been in top form this season, reaching nine finals and winning five, but Te Awamutu and Te Kuiti woolhandler Keryn Herbert has gone one better, winning six of the 13 finals she’s contested out of a possible 18, while 2008 World champion Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape, with whom Herbert won a World teams title in 2010, has won two of the eight finals she’s contested this season, all in the North Island.
Herbert has reached the Golden Shears final three times, with third placings in 2010 and last year, while Alabaster has made-it just twice, runner-up to the since-deceased Gina Nathan in 2005 and third in 2009.
Other top contenders include 2008 Golden Shears champion Ronnie Goss, who beat Herbert and Alabaster in the Apiti Sports final on Saturday.
The best performed of the southern hopes is Taiwha Nelson, of Alexandra, who won the New Zealand Corriedale Championships title in Christchurch in November and who was a finalist in both the Otago Championships in Balclutha and Southern Shears in Gore earlier this month.
Kumeroa has been in 13 Golden Shears Open finals dating back to her first in 1990 and will find this the toughest as she resumes continues battle against the top woolhandlers in New Zealand but also continues a fight against cancer.
At the Golden Shears she will also be shearing in a women’s invitation event.
The field is made interesting by the inclusion of several well-performed Senior competitors in the Open-class for the first time this season.
All of the top hopes will at the Pre-Shears woolhandling competitions which will be held tomorrow at Massey University’s Riverside Farm, near Masterton.
Four Golden Shears woolhandling titles will be decided during the three-day 53rd championships, highlighted by the Open heats on Friday and the final for the top four on Saturday night.
A woolhandling competition was held at the first Golden Shears in 1961, but it did not become a regular feature at the World’s major shearing festrival until 1985.