Shearing Crews Urged To Get On Board With Competitions
The call has gone out for shearing contractors and staff to get in behind shearing competitions throughout the country as hard-working organisers struggle to get enough entries. .
While entries for many of the close to 60 competitions each summer are often taken on the day, the shortage of pre-post entries is worrying long-time Northern Southland Community Shears secretary Patsy Shirley who by early today had received no entries in the Junior, Intermediate or Senior shearing grades and just six for the Open grade, for the Shears’ national longwool shearing and woolhandling championships on Friday at Lowther Downs, near Lumsden.
Her call for contactors to encourage their crews to compete is echoed by Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman and shearing legend Sir David Fagan who travelled annually from Te Kuiti in the central North Island to compete at one of the southernmost competitions in New Zealand, and won the Open final there three times.
“There are many people throughout the country who have put in many years and done a lot of work to keep these shows going over the years for the benefit of their communities and the shearers and woolhandlers,” he said.
Perhaps most importantly, he says, the competitions are where the shearers and woolhandlers hone their skills for working in the woolshed, the biggest of all benefits to the contractors, the farmers and the wool industry.
“If they don’t do more to support the shows they could lose them” he says, adding thast with rural community numbers in decline there is a big need or competitors and supporters to also join competition committees.
The Northern Southland shears is part of a big three days in Southland starting with a World woman’s tally record attempt by Gore shearer Megan Whitehead on Thursday, the Winton A and P Show’s Southland Shears and national crossbred lambs championships on Saturday, and night-time speedshear events at hotels in Otautau, Winton and Colac Bay.
Despite the minimal entries by the start of the week a keen competition is developing for the Open shearing title honours at Lumsden, effectively a Southland v The Rest contest, with at least three Southland shearers in line for the major titles, and highlighting their commitment over the years.
Nathan Stratford, Brett Roberts and Leon Samuels are all expected to line-up, though 2020 Northern Southland winner Troy Pyper, from Invercargill, has confirmed he won’t be making the trip from his new base in Cheviot.
With 70 wins in 23 seasons of Open-class shearing, Stratford went into the Christmas period with just three second placings to his name this season, including having been beaten by Roberts at both Pleasant Point and the West Otago A and P Show in Tapanui in November.
Roberts won the Open final two years ago, completing a rare sequence of wins in all four grades at the Lumsden event, while Samuels stepped-up his competition act last summer and won the premier Otago and South Island Shearer of the Year titles and was third in his first Golden Shears Open final.
Their major opposition is expected from Wairarapa farmer and shearer David Buick, who will be targeting a third Winton lambs title in a row, but who is yet to feature in a Lumsden Open final.
Recent winners at the Northern Southland Community Shears:
Open shearing: 2007 Alton Devery (Tuatapere), 2008 John Kirkpatrick (Napier), 2009, John Kirkpatrick (Napier), 2010 John Kirkpatrick (Napier), 2011 John Kirkpatrick (Napier), 2012 Dion King (Flaxmere), 2013 Nathan Stratford (Invercargill), 2014 John Kirkpatrick (Napier), 2015 Nathan Stratford (Invercargill), 2016 Rowland Smith (Ruawai/Maraekakaho), 2017 Nathan Stratford (Invercargill), 2018 Nathan Stratford (Invercargill), 2019 Brett Roberts (Mataura), 2020 Troy Pyper (Invercargill/Amberley)
Senior shearing: 2007 Beni Maguire (Balclutha), 2008 Jordan Smeaton (Scotland), 2009 Floyd Haare (Ohai), 2010 Nick Pyper (Invercargill), 2011 Matene Mason (Masterton), 2012 Brett Roberts (Mataura), 2013 Cory Palmer (Dipton), 2014 Brett Roberts (Mataura), 2015 Dylan McGruddy (Masterton), 2016 Kaleb Foote (Waikaretu), 2017 Stuart Davidson (Scotland), 2018 Jade Maguire Ratima (Winton), 2019 Linton Palmer (Dipton), 2020 Brandon Maguire Ratima (Winton)
Intermediate shearing: 2007 Rob Mainland (Invercargill), 2008 Phillip Rangiuaia (Mataura), 2009 Cain Kahukura (Omakau), 2010 Linton Palmer (Dipton), 2011 Brett Roberts (Mataura), 2012 Linton Palmer (Dipton) 2013 Alex Smith (Rakaia), 2014 Dylan McGruddy (Masterton), 2015 Luis Pincol (Chile), 2016 Lionel Taumata (Gore/Taumarunui), 2017 George Olf (England), 2018 John Malseed (England), 2019 Tyson Crown (Mataura), 2020 Daniel Biggs (Mangamahu)
Junior shearing: 2007 Mason Adams (Lumsden), 2008 Adam Rabbidge (Invercargill), 2009 Brett Roberts (Mataura), 2010 Brett Roberts (Mataura), 2011 Matthew Spence (Gisborne), 2012 Andrew Leith (Dipton), 2013 Corey Smith (Rakaia), 2014 Joel Richards (Oamaru), 2015 Emily Te Kapa (Scotland), 2016 Jesse Barclay (Wyndham), 2017 James Dickson (Gore), 2018 Flynn Harvey (Southland), 2019 Katie Reid (Scotland), 2020 James Wilson (Ryall Bush)
Open woolhandling: 2007 Angelique Gage (Christchurch), 2008 Joanne Kumeroa (Whanganui), 2009 Joel Henare (Gisborne), 2010 Joel Henare (Gisborne), 2011 Joel Henare (Gisborne), 2012 Joanne Kumeroa (Whanganui), 2013 Tia Potae (Milton), 2014 Joel Henare (Gisborne), 2015 Pagan Rimene (Alexandra), 2016 Joel Henare (Gisborne), 2017 Joel Henare (Gisborne), 2018 Joel Henare (Gisborne), 2019 Pagan Karauria (Alexandra), 2020 Joel Henare (Gisborne)
Senior woolhandling: 2007 Jessica Farquhar (Balclutha), 2008 Amber Mathieson (Ranfurly), 2009 April Longstaff (Greymouth), 2010 Choppy Pattison (Gisborne) 2011 Krystal Wilson (Hastings), 2012 Melanie Hillis (Mataura), 2013 Jenna Holland (Tuatapere), 2014 Natalie Collier (Gore), 2015 Sarah Higgins (Havelock), 2016 Sharon Tuhakaraina (Gore), 2017 Sharon Tuhakaraina (Gore), 2018 Sharon Tuhakaraina (Gore), 2019 Tyler Hira (Onewhero), 2020 Sarah Davis (Rerewhakaaitu)
Junior woolhandling: 2007 Kate Rendel (Lumsden); 2008 April Longstaff (Greymouth), 2009 Amy Ruki (Invercargill), 2010 Juliette Lyon (Alexandra), 2011 Jenna Holland (Tuatapere), 2012 Anne Marie Kahukura (Omakau), 2013 Emma Kate Rabbidge (Wyndham), 2014 Erica Reti (Gore), 2015 Clarissa Lewis (Gisborne), 2016 Waimarama Manukau (Gore), 2017 Chenelle Hiri (Mataura), 2018 Tyler Hira (Onewhero), 2019 Amber Poihipi (Ohai), 2020 Heaven Little (Balclutha)