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World champs head pre-Christmas shear sports rankings

MEDIA RELEASE

On behalf of Shearing Sports New Zealand

December 17, 2013

World champs head pre-Christmas shear sports rankings

Three World champions head Shearing Sports New Zealand’s 2013-2014 pre-Christmas rankings.

Woolhandling’s Open-class rankings are headed by reigning World champion Gisborne woolhandler Joel Henare, the Open shearing rankings are headed by 2010 World champion Cam Ferguson, of Waipawa, and topping the blades rankings is 1992 World champion Tony Dobbs, of Fairlie.

Henare has been beaten just once in six finals since the start of the season in Alexandra in October, his record of five wins and a second being matched only by Intermediate shearing rankings leader Catherine Mullooly, from Matawai, also in the Gisborne area.

Only two other competitors have so far won Open woolhandling events this season, with current second-placed Rocky Hape Taite still to win any Open event, although having last year represented New Zealand.

There’s a strong Gisborne connection to the other woolhandling rankings, with Keoni Ngarangione heading the senior rankings, and Henare’s partner, Erica Reti, from Southland, leading the Junior rankings.

Ferguson, winner of the Golden Shears and World championships in 2010 and runner-up in both events two years later, has launched another World championships qualifying season confidently to head the Open shearing rankings.

Reaching six finals, he has won three A-grade titles - the New Zealand Spring Shears at Waimate, the Great Raihania Shears in Hastings and his home Central Hawke’s Bay title.

Rakaia shearer Tony Coster, whose wins in the New Zealand Corriedale Championships and the Canterbury All Breeds Circuit final at the Canterbury show have been complemented by two wins at C-grade shows, is in second-place, followed by fellow Rakaia shearer Grant Smith, yet to record a win this year, and Te Kuiti icon David Fagan, who in his 33rd season of Open-class shearing has shorn in five finals and won two of them.

The Senior shearing rankings are lead by South Island-based Masterton shearer Ethan Pankhurst, who was runner-up in last season’s Intermediate rankings, while the Junior rankings are led by Joel Richards, of Oamaru.

The rankings are based on points in finals from shows which are categorised according to levels of prizemoney, and the season’s winners are announced at the New Zealand Championships in Te Kuiti, this season to be held onMarch 27-29.

The pre-Christmas phase of the season ended at the Royal Manawatu Show in Feilding, and competitions resume at the Kaikohe show in the North Island and the Duvauchelle Peninsular show in Canterbury on January 11.

Leading pre-Christmas rankings are available at www.shearingsports.co.nz/rankings-national.asp

ENDS

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