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Teenager Shaylyn wins a Goldie as shears fest starts

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From Doug Laing, media officer, Shearing Sports New Zealand. 

February 27, 2014

Caption:

Teenager Shaylyn wins a Goldie as shears fest starts

The 15-year-old daughter of a World record holding shearer has got her own shearing sports career off to a blazing start by winning the first final decided on the opening day of the 54th Golden Shears in Masterton today.

Shaylyn Te Huia, daughter of Te Kuiti shearer Stacey Te Huia but having gown-up mainly in Masterton, and the woolsheds, won the Novice woolhandling final, having also won at the recent North Island championships in Marton.

But her big moment today almost turned into an emotional disaster, when she missed the presentation an hour or so after the event and risked forfeiting the prizes, worth over $400.

She had rushed out of the stadium immediately after competing, explaining later she was “too nervous to be there”.

It was only as she walked back an hour or so later she was told of the result, as decided by judges assessing the board and table work of four teenaged finalists who had emerged from a field of 14 who took part in the heats earlier in the day.

She had expected the announcement to be even later, and was unaware of competition rules under which she could have forfeited the prize for not showing for the presentation, which took place in front of a crowd of about 500.

She had been the last to finish the clean-up after the finalists had handled one fleece each and could have been forgiven for thinking she had no hope, the time deficit leaving her more than 22pts adrift of workmate Te Rangimarie Matiaha-Henare, 18.

But she made up the difference in the judging of her work, with easily the best marks for oddment and fleece separation, and near-best for her board work and throw, claiming prizes including a $100 winning cheque, and a $300 bank account from event sponsors ANZ.

She has already rousied for her father in both New Zealand and Australia, but was “just” a spectator and proud supporter as her father set two World tally records in 2010 and 2012, and made an unsuccessful bid for the nine-hour solo ewe-shearing record early last year.

Third today was another workmate, Daryl Reiri, 18, the first three all having worked for Masterton contractor Paddy Mason, while fourth went to Nera Hitaua, of Te Karaka.

With two wins behind her, and prizes safely in hand, she had a moment to ponder her future, after he father's successes, with the Te Huia whanau name already on the Golden Shears honours board in wins by two Senior shearing titles won by uncles Aaron and Hayden in 1995 and 1996, and her grandfather having managed the New Zealand shearing team in the UK last year.

Reverting to teenspeak, she said: “I just want to be the man.”

ENDS

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