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Tauranga Shears – Not the biggest but brings out the best

Tauranga Shears – Not the biggest but brings out the best

The Tauranga A and P Show shearing competition may not be one of the biggest in the country, in an area where sheep country has given way to horticulture, lifestyling and cattle.

But it continues to attract some of the best, as shown last year when it’s Open title was won by 2014 World Champion Rowland Smith, who soon afterwards embarked on a winning sequence now stretching to 23 finals and almost a year unbeaten in a final in New Zealand.

He became the fifth World individual championship winner to claim victory on the shearing board at the show in the last 25 years, but the list does not include fellow Hawke’s Bay shearer John Kirkpatrick who won the World title in Invercargill last February.

A change of focus for what is now known as the Tauranga A and P Lifestyle Show, including advancing the event to the second weekend of the calendar and switching to Sunday from the Saturday tradition of the show’s first 120 years, has opened the door to more shearers by avoiding clashes with such other shows as the Wairoa A and P Show in Northern Hawke’s Bay.

One who has regularly travelled the kilometres to Tauranga is new Open-class shearer Darren Alexander, now based in Hawke’s Bay but who drove from remote Whangamomono to make the last three finals in Tauranga, including winning in 2016 and last year.

This year’s show will also include a match between the best New Zealanders in the Open grade and a French team, following a similar match last year involving France’s World Championship team of Loic Leygonie and Thimoleon Resneau.

Shearers have extra incentive to travel in a busy weekend in which the show culminates three days of events across the mid-upper North Island offering Open competition first-place prizemoney of almost $5000, starting with Friday night’s North Island Speedshear Championship at Te Kuiti’s Waitete Rugby Club and a two-hour drive across country to the Te Puna Speedshear near Tauranga on Saturday night.

Winners from the Tauranga Show over the last 26 years:


Open: 1992 Alan MacDonald (Piopio), 1993 Colin King (Otorohanga), 1994 Colin King (Otorohanga), 1995 Alan MacDonald (Piopio), 1996 Alan MacDonald (Piopio), 1997 Andrew Deverall (England), 1998 Digger Balme (Te Kuiti), 1999 Alan MacDonald (Piopio), 2000 Paul Avery (Stratford), 2001 Digger Balme (Te Kuiti), 2002 Paul Avery (Stratford), 2003 David Fagan (Te Kuiti), 2004 Digger Balme (Te Kuiti), 2005 David Fagan (Te Kuiti), 2006 David Fagan (Te Kuiti), 2007 Paul Avery (Toko), 2009 Paul Avery (Toko), 2010 Dean Ball (Te Kuiti), 2011 David Fagan (Te Kuiti), 2012 Digger Balme (Te Kuiti), 2013 Digger Balme (Te Kuiti), 2014 David Fagan, 2015 Cam Ferguson (Waipawa), 2016 Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti), 2017 Rowland Smith (Hastings).

Senior: 1992 Nik King (Otorohanga), 1993 Henry Isaacs (Gisborne), 1994 Ross McBeth (Tihoi), 1995 Ross McBeth (Mangakino), 1996 James Fagan (Te Kuiti), 1997 James Fagan (Te Kuiti), 1998 Blair McCarroll (Tauranga), 1999 Justin Ward (Takapau), 2000 Blair McCarroll (Te Puke), 2001 Gavin Mutch (Scotland), 2002 Gavin Mutch (Scotland), 2003 Richard Timu (Waipawa), 2004 Joseph Kyle (Napier), 2005 Simon Hales (Dannevirke), 2006 Joseph Kyle (Napier), 2007 Doug Smith (Ruawai), 2009 Coel L’Huillier (Te Akau), 2010 Tipene Te Whata (Tautoro), 2011 Tysson Hema (Waipukurau), 2012 Tysson Hema (Waipukurau), 2013 Bryce Guy (Kaeo), 2014 Casey Bailey (Riverton), 2015 Jacob Moore (Marton), 2016 Darren Alexander (Whangamomona), 2017 Darren Alexander (Whangamomona).

Intermediate: 1992 Sean Kehely (Tauranga), 1993 Lee Cheyne (Ohinewai), 1994 Kevin Thirkell (Otorohanga), 1995 James Fagan (Te Kuiti), 1996 James Mack (Paeroa), 1997 Bevan Hunt (Te Puke), 1998 Daniel Mulligan (Te Kuiti), 1999 Wayne Manson (Paeroa), 2000 Ricky Alabaster (Taihape), 2001 Rhys Jones (Wales), 2002 Ben Phillips (Marokopa), 2003 Joseph Kyle (Napier), 2004 Russell Brown (Te Puke), 2005 Leonard Nathan (Te Hauke), 2006 Stafford Chase (Taihape), 2007 Coel L’Huillier (Te Akau), 2009 Haven Matthews (Whanganui), 2010 Haven Matthews (Whanganui), 2011 Sarah Goss (Apiti), 2012 Dean Nelmes (England), 2013 Charlie Guy (Kaeo), 2014 Tom Lewis (Australia), 2015 Stefan Van Oorschot (Tuakau), 2016 Lee Harris (Australia), 2017 Anaru Wakefield (Porangahau).

Junior: 1992 Nathan Iremonger (Uruti), 1993 Todd Percival (Piopio), 1994 Peter Ratima (Aria), 1995 Roger Brown (England), 1996 Gray Haine (Oparau), 1997 Neil Fagan (Te Kuiti), 1998 Wayne Manson (Paeroa), 1999 James Smail (Morrinsville), 2000 James Smail (Patetonga), 2001 Kasey Bowring (Tauranga), 2002 Ken Lewis (Gisborne), 2003 Harold Peri (Otane), 2004 Ringo Edmonds (Te Puke), 2005 Raniera Tuhura (Ruatoria), 2006 Matthew Evans (Wales), 2007 Nina Sullivan (Tauranga), 2009 Sharnie Rimene (Masterton), 2010 Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti), 2011 Bryce Guy (Kaeo), 2012 Anaru Wakefield (Porangahau), 2013 Marshall Guy (Kaeo), 2014 George Smith (Waikaretu), 2015 Daniel Seed (Woodville), 2016 Jeremy Leygonie (France), 2017 William Adams (Taupo).


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