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Abraham beats the guns in Wairarapa woolhandling final

A holiday in the islands seemed to be just the thing for Masterton woolhandler Cushla Abraham as she burst quickly back into action by beating a string of World champions to win the Wairarapa Spring Shears Open woolhandling title yesterday(Oct 29).

The win, at the Wairarapa A and P Show at Clareville, Carterton, was just her second in the grade top grade, now into its fifth season since she was promoted as top Senior in the country and recently married former former Cushla Gordon at the end of the 2011-12 season.

It came just a few days back from a family holiday in Vanuatu, and among the 27-year-old mum’s vanquished was 2012 World champion Joel Henare, of Gisborne, who had won his last six North Island finals in a row, including the 2016 Golden Shears and New Zealand Championships Open finals.

Te Kuiti’s Keryn Herbert, who in 2010 won a World teams title in Wales, was runner-up with Henare having to settle for third in the three-table final.
Former World champion Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape, was sixth in the semi-final, a place behind first-time Open competitor and former New Zealand Junior champion Rahna Williams, of Hastings.

It was a good win in good company for Abraham, who also has a 2008 Golden Shears Novice shearing title behind her. Herbert, Henare and Alabaster have all qualified for the Shearing Sports New Zealand World Championships team selection final, after a series from which Abraham withdrew by missing the last preliminary round at the Great Raihania Shears in Hastings eight days ago, while savouring life in the islands.

It was however not such good news for husband Paerata Abraham, still seeking a first open win after almost 10 years’ trying but who had shorn Wairarapa show finals in 2012, 2013 and last season, when he went on to make his first Golden Shears Open final, in which he became one of the few to shear its 20 sheep in under 16 minutes.

Yesterday he exited in the semi-finals as the show had possibly it’s strongest ever Open shearing field, all four finalists being among the six still vying for World Championships selection.

The team selection favourites and 2014 team of World champion Rowland Smith, of Hastings, and 2008 and 2012 World teams winner John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, were first and second, separated by just 0.16pts. David Buick, of Pongaroa, was third, completing a repeat of the Hastings trifecta.

Today Buick won the race, shearing the 15 sheep in 13min 48sec and beating Smith by 13 seconds, with defending Wairarapa show champion Kirkpatrick third-off in 14min 26sec but carding the best board and pen points.
Napier pair Paraki Puna and Ricci Stevens were first and second in the Senior final, beating Hawke’s Bay winner Tegwyn Bradley, of Woodville, and Porangahau shearer Anaru Wakefield made it three-in-a-row in the first fortnight of the North Island season by winning the Intermediate final.

Cory Tiwai Barrowcliffe, of Pio Pio, claimed his first Junior win, beating runner-up and Great Raihania Shears winner Cullum Pritchard, of Pongaroa, by almost 6pts.

Chantelle Kawana, of Masterton, won the Senior woolhandling title, her second in the grade having first scored at Christchurch last November on a trip claimed as winner of the North Island Junior circuit final the previous season. Peketai Puna, of Napier, had to settle for being runner-up for the second time in a row.
Bianca Hawea, of Masterton, won the Junior final, two weeks after her first win, at the Poverty Bay Show.
Results from the Wairarapa Spring Shears at the Wairarapa A and P Show at Clareville, Carterton, on Saturday, October 29, 2016:
Shearing:
Open final (15 sheep): Rowland Smith (Hastings) 13min 55sec, 58.417pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 14min 26sec, 58.433pts, 2; David Buick (Pongaroa) 13min 48sec, 58.6pts, 3; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 14min 7sec, 59.55pts, 4.
Senior final (10 sheep): Paraki Puna (Napier) 12min 56sec, 50.3pts, 1; Ricci Stevens (Napier)13min 20sec, 54.1pts, 2; Tegwyn Bradley (Woodville) 13min 36sec, 59.7pts, 3; Lee Harris (Hamilton, Vic) 13min 44sec. 62.2pts, 4.
Intermediate final (5 sheep): Anaru Wakefield (Porangahau) 8min 53sec, 41.25pts, 1; Daniel Seed (Woodville) 8min 53sec, 42.25pts, 2; Laura Bradley (Woodville) 10min 25sec, 45.05pts, 3; Sean Gouk (Hamilton) 9min 12 sec, 53pts, 4.
Junior final (3 sheep): Cory Tiwai Barrowcliffe (Pio Pio) 7min 15sec, 43.75pts, 1; Cullum Pritchard (Pongaroa) 7min 14sec, 49.7pts, 2; Hemi White (Rotorua) 8min 9sec, 51.117pts, 3; Carmen Smith (Pongaroa) 8min 5sec, 51.583pts, 4.
Novice (1 sheep): Mark Baxter (Pongaroa) 3min 55sec, 37.75pts, 1; Liam Pritchard (Pongaroa) 4min 27sec, 44.35pts, 2; Samantha Pritchard (Pongaroa) 5min 23sec, 47.15pts, 3; Andrew Baxter (Pongaroa) 4min 48sec, 50.4pts, 4.
Woolhandling:
Open final: Cushla Abraham (Masterton) 111.57pts, 1; Keryn Herbert (Te Kuiti) 124.55pts, 2; Joel Henare (Gisborne) 165.71pts, 3.
Senior final: Chanelle Kawana (Masterton) 104.618pts, 1; Peketai Puna (Napier) 146.212pts, 2; Nicole Petuha (Masterton) 198.35pts, 3.
Junior final: Bianca Hawea (Masterton) 75.56pts, 1; Ricci Stevens (Napier) 98.482pts, 2; Mereana Pene (Waipawa) 100.1pts, 3.
Novice: Summer Pritchard (Pongaroa) 81.34pts, 1; Sam Pritchard (Pongaroa) 105.53pts, 2; Paraki Puna (Napier) 119.78pts, 3; Willow Cottle (Masterton) 157.94pts, 4.

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