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Kirkpatrick keeps Bowen Trophy top-rank despite Smith


Kirkpatrick keeps Bowen Trophy top-rank despite Smith challenge

Te Kuiti’s 29th New Zealand Shearing Championships have opened with all but two of seven Shearing Sports New Zealand rankings winners for the season clearly decided before competition begns.
They include all four machine shearing grades, with Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick taking the Open-classs honours for a record seventh season in a row.

Jack Fagan of Te Kuiti, will be the top-ranked Senior,while the Intermediate and Junior rankings are headed respectively by Golden Shears winners David Gordon, of Masterton, and Marshall Guy, of Kaeo.

Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu, wins the Open woolhandling honours for a third consecutive season, but the Senior and Junior woolhandling winners depend on the outcome of events in Te Kuiti where the establishment of the King Country Shears in 1984 led to the revival of the New Zealand Championships.

The points are based on placings in finals with a maximum of 12 in an A-grade show, 8 in a B-grade show and 6 in a C-grade show.

Including all events from the end of one-year's NZ Championships to the completion of the next, the 2012-2013 points uniquely include two Auckland Easter Shows, both won by Northland shearer Rowland Smith, now based in Hastings.

Kirkpatrick’s comfortable advantage at the top of the rankings comes despite having had one of his leanest years, with just four wins since the season started at the beginning of October. Smith has won 12 finals since late January, in addition to last year’s Easter win.

He cannot be beaten in this year’s rankings race, despite a maximum 36pts being on offer in Te Kuiti where the New Zealand Open, New Zealand Circuit and North Island Shearer of the Year titles are all at stake, along with shearing’s Senior, Intermediate and Junior grades titles, and Open, Senior and Junior titles in woolhandling.

Kirkpatrick, who started the season as reigning Golden Shears and New Zealand open champions, has reached the finals of all 23 competitions he contested, never finishing further back than 3rd, and as an extra also won the Australian Romney Shears title in Warrnambool, Vic.

Rowlands shore in the finals on 19 of the 20 times he showed-up, including winning the Golden Shears Open in Masterton for the first time on March 2.

In Te Kuiti, Kirkpatrick will be presented with the rankings' Bowen Trophy which he has now won 8 times - firstly in 2002, when he also won the first of his four Golden Shears Open titles, and then consecutively since 2007.

Te Kuiti's David Fagan, ending his 32nd season of Open-class competition and winner of the trophy 10 times
since it was first presented in 1994, is however challenging Smith for second place on the points table. Fagan has won 5 of the 20 finals he contested, and goes into his hometown competition with a career tally of 619 Open-class wins around the World..

Rakaia shearer Tony Coster has six wins from 14 finals and hopes of finishing fourth on the rankings, while Te Kuiti’s 113 finals,including two wins, has him in fifth place. Mark Grainger, also of Te Kuiti, hasn’t won anything this year, but has reached 15 finals and is placed sixth in the rankings.

Lower Grades

Jack Fagan has been confirmed as top-ranked Senior,with the most prolific finals record of any shearer in any grade, having made it 24 times, and winning 7. It gives him enough points to comfortably head off Bryce Guy, of Kaeo. Brett Roberts, of Mataura, is third, followed by Lachie Baynes, of Wairoa, Hemi Braddick, of Eketahuna, and Golden Shears winner Cory Palmer, of Dipton, who has had six wins in 9 finals.

David Gordon had 15 wins in 22 finals to comfortably beat South Island-based fellow Masterton shearer Ethan Pankhurst, for their grade’s honours, with Charlie Guy, of Kaeo, third, followed next by Sam Brooks, of Pio Pio, and Andrew Leith, of Dipton.

In the Junior grade, Marshall Guy has had 11 wins in 16 finals, leaving Josh Balme, of Te Kuiti, and Corey Smith, of Rakaia, to vy for second placing, followed next by Smith’s cousin Alex, also of Rakaia.

Woolhandling

Keryn Herbert retains top-ranking among the Open woolhandlers, with a prolific record of 17 finals, including 7 wins, with new Golden Shears champion Joel Henare, of Gisborne, and defending New Zealand Open champion Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape, in a race for second place, all comfortably ahead of Tina Rimene, of Masterton, Taiwha Nelson, of Alexandra, and Ronnie Goss, Kimbolton.

The Senior rankings have been a close lower North Island contest between Samantha Gordon, of Masterton, Kim Sowry, of Pahiatua, and Logan Kamura, of Marton, while in the Junior rankings, South Island-based Daine Rehe, of Te Teko, has an eight-point lead over David Gordon, with Golden Shears winner and Marlborough woolhandler Sarah Higgins, of Havelock, angling for third place.

ENDS

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