Peninsula Duvauchelle Shears On Next Saturday
The Duvauchelle A and P Society hopes it has scored a few brownie points with the public by deciding to go ahead with its annual show next Saturday(January 9), including the Peninsula Duvauchelle Shears.
The decision was made despite the cancellation of five A and P shows in the Canterbury-Marlborough region amid the continuing Covid-19 uncertainty in October and November.
Vice-president and shearing competition organiser James Dwyer concedes there were “a few nervous moments” at committee meetings, but it was decided that as a small one day show it could go ahead with its focus on bringing the town to the country, and the people from the city closer to the animals and the rural lifestyle.
Statistically, Duvauchelle, a State Highway 75 township on the shores of Bank’s Peninsula’s Akaroa Harbour, is part of Christchurch City, albeit about 72km “over the hill” and a lot of green paddocks from the square in the heart of the city from which it tries to get most of its people at New Zealand’s first A and P show of the New Year.
The heart of the shearing community is even further, with Dwyer saying the Peninsular could muster no more than about six shearers of its own at peak.
Such shearing bases as Geraldine (180km away) and Rangiora and Rakaia (each about 100km away) are relied upon for most of the shearing on the Peninsula, and to help grow the shearing competition, which in recent years has generally attracted no more than 30 shearers across the four grades.
The big attraction for younger shearers, at the first shearing competition in the South Island in seven weeks will be that the Junior and Intermediate grades, starting at 10am, attract points in the 2020-2021 Beef + Lamb NZ Canterbury-Marlborough Development Circuit, from which the top two in each of the two grades in the series will win travel, accommodation and entry for the New Zealand Shears in Te Kuiti on April 8-10.
Dwyer said the lower grades last year attracted only about four shearers in each grade, while the Open class, for which the heats start next Saturday about 11.30am, attracted about 12.
About 350 rising-hoggets will be shorn during, the yarding giving townies a chance to be close-up and friendly, but the sheep also providing likely good shearing for the competitors, across the four grades of Junior, Intermediate, Senior and Open. It is hoped a Speedshear and a Contractors teams event will also be held.
Entry fees will range from $10 to $30, and more than $2000 worth of prizes will be on the line, including an Open title first prize of $300.
It’s hoped Junior and Intermediate shearers will be thirsting for the competition and circuit points after the cancellation of the Ellesmere, Rangiora, Ashburton and Marlborough shows earlier in the season.
Shearing Sport New Zealand chairman Sir David Fagan, who travelled from Te Kuiti to win at Duvauchelle in 2014 in the second-to-last season of a career that claimed 642 Open-class titles worldwide, hopes the shearers will turn-out to show their support for those making sure the competitions go ahead.
“It’s a good little show, I enjoyed it,” he said. “It’s good for everyone to support the smaller shows. If they don’t we could lose them.”
The challenge has gone out to the Open shearers, with New Zealand representative and now North Canterbury-based Troy Pyper, from Invercargill, planning to try to win the Peninsula Duvauchelle Open final for a third year in a row.
“Most likely I’ll be there,” he said soon after returning south from shearing in Hawke’s Bay.
Two years ago he won by 0.7pts from runner-up Ant Frew, of Pleasant Point, and last year he won by 1.95pts from Ringakaha Paewai, of Gore.