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All go for the shearing at Ashburton show

A shearing competition which tends to punch above its weight is set to go in Mid-Canterbury on Saturday.

Ashburton A and P Show shears commentator Norm Harraway, of Rakaia, said while the area is not so much known as a shearing area, rather cropping and other agriculture, there are a lot of sheep and their shearing has produced a good number of quality shearers.

Every year since 2007 its Open final has been won by shearers who have been in official New Zealand teams abroad, including local veterans Grant Smith and Tony Coster, and Invercargill shearer Nathan Stratford who won the two most recent Open finals in 2017 and 2018.

Among them is another former winner with much higher stakes over the weekend in Southland contractor Darrin Forde, who as part of a mainly Southland racing syndicate is in Australia watching The Chosen One in its bid to claim a place in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup. Fordes wins in Ashbburtonn spanned more than 20 years, the latest in 2013.

Harraway says the shears for a big part of the Ashburton show, with it’s open-ended but otherwised enclosed stage providing good viewing for a “ready-made” crowd.

As a five-stand competition it provides plenty of opportunity for up-and-coming shearers to get into finals among the bigger names, he said.

It’s the fourth competition of the season in the South Island this summer, there having been four different Open final winners.

West Australian finewool guru Damian Boyle having won the season’s opener at the New Zealand Merino Shears in Alexandra, Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, winning the Spring Shears longwool title a week later, Troy Pyper, also of Invercargill, the Ellesmere A and P Show title a fortnight ago, and Gore shearer Ringakaha Paewai nailing a minor upset to win the Northern A and P Show final at Rangiora last Saturday.

Last weekend’s show produced a female Senior winnin in Marlborough contractor Sarah Higgins, who again beat her own brother, runner-up Duncan Higgins.

RESULTS from the North A and P Show Shears at Rangiora on Saturday, October 26. 2019:

Open final (10 sheep): Ringakaha Paewai (Gore) 11min 39.35sec, 43.17pts, 1; Luis Pincol (Chile/Waimate) 12min 39.1sec, 44.26pts, 2; Troy Pyper (Invercargill) 11min 3.72sec, 46.09pts, 3; Ant Frew (Pleasant Point) 12min 16.12sec, 46.21pts, 4.

Senior final (8 sheep): Sarah Higgins (Havelock/Blenheim) 11min 23.53sec, 46.55pts, 1; Duncan Higgins (Havelock/Blenheim) 11min 25.07sec, 48.38pts, 2; Aaron Webster (Christchurch) 12min 21.41sec, 48.45pts, 3; Liam Norrie (Cheviot) 12min 32.84sec, 48.89pts, 4.

Intermediate final (6 sheep): Brayden Clifford (Waikaka) 10min 54.5sec, 40.23pts, 1; Matt Hunt (Waikaka) 8min 25.25sec, 42.26pts, 2; Cody Davidson (Ashburton) 11min 2.81sec, 50.97pts, 3; Kelly Poehls (Makara/Rangiora) 12min 56.72sec, 52pts, 4.

Junior final (4 sheep): Chase Rattray (Ashburton) 10min 10.03sec, 46pts, 1; James Wilson (-) 12min 25.75sec, 51.54pts, 2; Alice Watson (Marlborough) 12min 28.44sec, 57.17pts, 3; Harley-James Ransfield 9min 14.72sec, 66.49pts, 4.

Blades final (4 sheep): Mike McConnell (Waikari) 12min 41.13sec, 46.06pts, 1; Allen Gemmell (Loburn) 12min 46.75sec, 49.84pts, 2; Scott McKay (Christchurch) 12min 17.84sec, 51.14pts, 3; Richard Watson (Medbury) 10min 46.84se, 52.84pts, 4.

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