Double win for Watson as women feature at Marlborough Shears
The Marlborough A and P Show became the latest to recognise the growing number of women in shearing competitions by staging a new event as shearing returned to the show in Blenheim on Saturday.
Wet weather had resulted in the cancellation of shearing at the 2018 show, but while there just 18 shearers across the grades on Saturday it did feature four female shearers who have become regular competitors and are all from the Nelson-Marlborough region.
It produced a surprise all-Blenheim result when Junior shearer Alice Watson beat senior shearer and contractor Sarah Higgins by almost 3pts.
it was a big day for Watson who also won the Junior title, completing the reward for a string of shows just missing-out on the cherished first red ribbon.
Last season she was 5th in the Novice final at the Golden Shears in Masterton in March, and she shore Junior finals at small South Island shows Reefton, Murchison and Flaxbourne, none of which had Novice events.
She’s stepped-up the tempo this season, finishing with Saturday’s being her 5th Junior final in 5 weekends, which also included being runner-up in the Waimate Spring Shears’ first women’s event, a handicap final in which competitors’ sheep numbers depended on their grade.
Despite the smaller number of entries generally, there was a reasonable Open competition field on a day when two other shearing competitions were also being held throughout the country.
Emerging from a field of 11 shearers, Troy Pyper, currently based at Amberley and headed to Australia later this month with the New Zealand team for the Transtasman test in Dubbo, won the four-man final of eight sheep each by 0.73pts from runner-up Jack Fagan, of Te Kuiti, with third place going to Wakefield shearer Travers Baigent.
The Intermediate event was won by Duncan Higgins, of Blenheim.
RESULTS from the Marlborough A and P Show shearing championships at Blenheim on Saturday, November 9, 2019:
Open final (8 sheep): Troy Pyper (Invercargill/Amberley) 6min 54.65sec, 30.98pts, 1; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 7min 11.63sec, 31.71pts, 2; Travers Baigent (Wakefield) 6min 35.06sec, 36.88pts, 3; Chris Jones (Blenheim) 7min 31.63sec, 37.96pts, 4.ver
Senior final (3 sheep): Duncan Higgins (Blenheim) 3min 28.63sec, 21.43pts, 1; Hamish Barker (Tapawera) 4min 32.94sec, 23.98pts, 2; Sarah Higgins (Blenheim) 4min 12.38sec, 27.29pts, 3.
Intermediate final (2 sheep): Kimberley MacLean (Motueka) 4min 20.34sec, 27.02pts, 1; John Wyllie (Geraldine) 3min 26.94sec, 30.85pts, 2.
Junior final (2 sheep): Alice Watson (Blenheim) 4min 22.46sec, 26.12pts, 1; James Cross (Hereford) 3min 58.62sec, 40.93pts, 2.
Women (3 sheep): Alice Watson (Blenheim) 7min 40.97sec, 34.38pts, 1; Sarah Higgins (Blenheim) 7min 39.94sec, 37.33pts, 2; Kimberley MacLean (Motueka) 8min 50.35sec, 40.85pts, 3; Pam Irvine (Tapawera) 9min 8.38sec, 47.09pts, 4.