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Four Masters: Coster, Stratford, Henare, Thomson

On behalf of Shearing Sports New Zealand

August 19, 2014

Four Masters: Coster, Stratford, Henare, Thomson

Two machine shearers, a woolhandler and a blades shearer have been accorded Master status by Shearing Sports New Zealand.

They are machine shearers Tony Coster, of Rakaia, and Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, woolhandler Joel Henare, of Gisborne, and blades shearer Brian Thomson, of Christchurch. Coster and Stratford are among New Zealand’s top multi-breeds shearers, having each won the PGG Wrightson National series final in Masterton and the New Zealand Shears Circuit final in Te Kuiti. Coster won the National three times and Stratford won the title earlier this year.

Henare is the youngest-ever Master in any of the crafts, having won the World Championship in 2012 at the age of 20, and Thomson has shorn the individual and teams finals at three consecutive World Championships.

Master Shearer status was created when a group of foundation recipients was announced at the 1975 Golden Shears, and 64 have now been accorded the honour. Master Woolhandler status was initiated in 1991, Henerae being the 22nd, to receive the accolade, and Thomson is the 19th Master Blade Shearer named since 1999.

A vote of at least 80 percent was required for each to be confirmed at last week’s Shearing Sports New Zealand conference, where delegates considered competition performances, commitment to and performance in the shearing industry, and character.

Small trophies marking the accolade are expected to be presented to the recipients during the 2014-2015 competition season which starts with the New Zealand finewool merino championships at Alexandra on October 3-4.


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