Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

A shearing star is born – aged 14

A Taihape schoolboy today became one of the youngest shearers to claim a major shearing title when he won the Junior final at the New Zealand Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Te Kuiti.

Reuben Alabaster, 14, dominated all-round to win a six-shearer final by 2.225pts from runner-up and 20-year-old Golden Shears Junior champion Brook Hamerton, from Ruawai, in Northland, in a reversal of their result at the Golden Shears in Masterton five weeks ago.

Alabaster was first today’s showdown in the Waitomo Cultural and Arts Centre, taking 8min 27.34sec for the five second-shear sheep, beating Hamerton by 20 seconds.

But the youngster, a pupil at the years 1-13 Taihape Area School, also had the best job points on the shearing board and quality points in the pens out-back.

Third was Keith Swann, of Wairoa, and fourth was Pahiatua shearer Jonathan Painter, who despite being unable to claim either the Golden Shears or national championships titles still finished as Shearing Sports New Zealand’s No 1-ranked Junior shearer for the season, based on points for placings in his 18 finals, which produced 7 wins.

A short while earlier today, Rakai Barrett, of Taumarunui, marked his first-ever shearing final with a commanding Novice title win. He shore his two sheep in 4min 31.49sec, more than 1min 20sec quicker than second-man-off and eventual runner-up Logan Kamura, of Marton.

Also claiming best quality points in the pen judging, Barrett beat Kamura by 3.68pts, with six more points to third placegetter Heath Barnsdall, of Pio Pio, who had already won four Novice finals in the last two months, at Aria, Kumeu, Waitomo and at the Royal Easter Show in Auckland last Saturday.

Fifth in the event last year and winner of six of 21 Junior finals, Alabaster has surpassed the dreams of dad Ricky, who despite concentrating mainly on farming and doing only one season of fulltime shearing, shore in four New Zealand championships finals across the Junior, Intermediate and Senior grades.

He has a way to go to emulate cousin Sheree Alabaster, a 2008 World champion woolhandler who in a final tomorrow night will be hunting her eighth New Zealand Open Woolhandling Championship title, and to meet the legendary status of great-great uncle Ray Alabaster, who as a teenager shore at the first Golden Shears in 1961, twice finishing runner-up in a string of nine Golden Shears Open finals from 1971 to 1981.

There are possibly more on the Alabaster production line, Reuben the second-eldest of five children of Ricky and wife Evelyn, the others all girls.

“Heaps of rousies,” jokes his dad, who farms 18,000 ewes on four blocks in the Taihape area, two of them leased. “We need more shearers.”

His wife didn’t shear or work in the woolsheds, and eldest daughter Lily, 16, has started to learn, but little is known yet of the farm-life aspirations of Fleur, 10, Marselene, 5, and Clara, 4.

All, except Clara, of course, are at school, although Reuben has his future slowly mapping out with a handpiece ahead of textbooks.

Turning 15 in three weeks’ time, he goes up to Intermediate class next season, and having had only half-a-day’s shearing in the last month reckons he’ll do more and more around Taihape over the next couple of years before possibly starting to hit the road to shear further afield.

“I don’t like school much,” he said.

The youngest major show shearing title winner is thought to have been David Gordon, who was 13 when he won the Golden Shears Novice final in his home-town of Masterton in 2010.

RESULTS of second-day afternoon session finals at the New Zealand Shering and Woolhandling Championships in Te Kuiti today (Friday):

Shearing:

Junior final (5 sheep): Reuben Alabaster (Taihape) 8min 27.34sec, 33.767pts, 1; Brook Hamerton (Ruawai/Hastings) 8min 47.83sec, 35.992pts, 2; Keith Swann (Wairoa) 8min 59.14sec, 37.157pts, 3; Jonathan Painter (Pahiatua) 10min 9.72sec, 40.486pts, 4; Braydon Clifford (Gore) 10min 6.43sec, 40.522pts, 5; Natalya Rangiawha (Raglan) 10min 36.58sec, 46.429pts, 6.

Novice final (2 sheep): Rakai Barrett (Taumarunui) 4min 31.49sec, 29.575pts, 1; Logan Kamura (Marton) 5min 55.09sec, 33.255pts, 2; Heath Barnsdall (Pio Pio) 9min 36.71sec, 39.836pts, 3; Kendra Paulsen (Waikaretu) 9min 51.54sec, 45.577pts, 4; Samantha Baxter (Pongaroa) 10min 8.29sec, 46.915pts, 5; Jerome Papworth (Eketahuna) 11min 3.6sec, 49.68pts, 6.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Joseph Cederwall Review: NZSO Plays Zappa

The first of the NZSO’s Shed Series concerts at the more informal and intimate space of Wellington's Shed 6 last Friday night featured music composed by, or with a connection to Frank Zappa. Zappa, a psychedelic rock legend, activist and popular culture figure and all round colourful character, was an excellent choice for the concert’s theme of innovation. More>>

Let The Games Begin: PM Sends Best Wishes To Athletes

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has sent her warm wishes to the New Zealand athletes preparing for the opening of the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast... More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review of Books: Martin Edmonds' The Expatriates

This book is an extension of, and tribute to, the life’s work of James McNeish. Without sacrificing any degree of authorial independence, the result is gracefully written, handsomely produced, and likely to propagate many further works of its kind. More>>

Max Rashbrooke Review: The King's Singers and Voices New Zealand

To be good at one thing is impressive; to be so versatile across a range of genres is truly exceptional. More>>

Joe Cederwall Review: WOMAD 2018 - Harmony of Difference (part 1)

A friend described WOMAD as his “favourite white middle class celebration of diversity.” There is certainly an echo of truth to this as the crowd is still largely white and middle class, but this WOMAD for me represented that a better world is possible ... More>>

Harmony of Difference (part 2)

Top international world music artists seldom make it down to this neck of the woods, so for those of us into this sort of thing WOMAD is certainly a welcome addition to the cultural calendar. Now it is a case of waiting and looking forward to seeing what they manage to conjure up for next year. More>>

Howard Davis Review: A Bigger Splash - Te Papa Celebrates Twenty Years

Considering the available resources, this is a decidedly hit-and-miss affair, mainly due to some highly questionable curatorial decisions. In their overweening wish to "push boundaries," Charlotte Davy and Megan Tamati-Quennell have made a number of serious miscalculations by ignoring a basic rule - keep it simple. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland