Teen shes shear the limelight at Royal Show
A group of girls from Havelock North school Iona College has helped create a record for the number of competitors in Shearing Sports Hawke’s Bay’s High Schools Shearing Challenge which was held at the Roya; New Zealand Show in Hastings on Thursday.
The event attracted 19 entries, including six girls, surprising organiser and Flaxmere shearing contractor Colin Watson Paul and champion shearer Rowland Smith.
The reigning Golden Shears and New Zealand Open champion and 2014 World champion played a prominent role, instructing the teenagers in the craft of shearing and gear preparation before letting them loose with their competition sheep.
The number of entries enabled the competition to have three levels of competition, headed by the Junior title won by already experienced Novice and Junior grades competition shearer Atawhai Hadfield, a pupil at Lindisfarne College in Hastings and son of former three-stand record holder Bart Hadfield and wife Nuku, former winners of the Ahuwhenua Trophy for Maori Excellence in Sheep and Beef Farming.
Hadfield went on to win the Junior title at the show’s Great Raihania Shears Junior final on Friday,
William Robinson, of Napier Boys High School, won the schools Novice title, and Anna Rasmussen, of Iona College, won the red “Novice Novice” ribbon.
The schools competition was first held at the Hawke’s Bay show in 2013, and both Watson Paul and Smith believe that even with 19 entries it may only just be touching the surface in terms of the potential for the competition and its role in introducing young people to both the sport and the shearing industry.
The increase, with only 10 having entered in 2017, is put down to the development of Young Farmers and Teen-Ag programmes in some schools, and such shearing exposure as She Shears, a documentary-movie which follows the paths of five woman shearers. It was released in over 70 cinemas throughout the country this month, including Hastings during New Zealand Royal Show week and nearby Havelock North over Labour Weekend and the following days.