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Pyper Claims Third Tapawera Shears Title

Reuben King, a mechanical engineering graduate from the central North Island but who shears in North Canterbury. On Saturday, at Tapawera, south of Nelson, he won his fifth Junior shearing title this summer. Photo / Supplied

A field of 12 Open-class shearers including at least nine who had won previously through the grades at Tapawera was a feature of the area’s annual shearing championships on Saturday.

It was the biggest entry in any grade at the Tapawera Shears, south of Nelson, since 12 contested the Open in 2017.

Comprising more than half the 22 shearers across the four grades, all 12 have been winners at some stage on the shearing sports circuit over the years.

They included six of that 2017 field, and at least seven who have won Open finals in the Tasman region, including the three winners of the Tapawera final over the previous four years, in local Wakefield shearer Travers Baigent (2017), Takaka shearer Nick Nalder (2018) and 2019 and 2020 winner Troy Pyper, from Southland and now based in North Canterbury.

While it was Baigent who claimed time honours with 18min 34.5sec for the 20 ewes, it was again New Zealand representative Pyper, who got the win with the better quality points after being beaten off the board by just 3.95 seconds.

The runner-up was Marlborough shearer, contractor and reigning national circuit Angus Moore, Baigent was third, and fourth place went to Canterbury shearer Paul Hodges, who had the best pen and ultimately best quality points overall.

Hodges had been top qualifier from the semi-final, and later won the Open Speedshear at the Tapawera Hotel, while Baigent had been top qualifier in the heats, but won the separate Cleanshear.

Hamish Barker, of Tapawera, won the Senior title for a second time, and Kimberley MacLean, of Motueka, won the Intermediate title, with one win in the grade previously at Blenheim in November 2019.

Reuben King, a mechanical engineering graduate working for Rowan Nesbit Shearing, of Rangiora, scored his third win in a well-travelled three weeks, having won at Duvauchelle on January 9, and Lumsden on January 15, after early-season national title wins at Waimate and the Canterbury Shears.

Organiser Kerry Irvine said the Shears, the remnants of a former A and P Show, relies on competitors from within the region, and it’s great to see visitors such as Pyper and King who have travelled big distances to compete.

It was the only shearing competition in the South during the weekend, with the next not until the Reefton Shears at the Inangahua A and P Show on Waitangi Day.

RESULTS from the Tapawera Shears on Saturday, January 23, 2021:

Open final (20 sheep): Troy Pyper (Invercargill/Cheviot) 18min 39.25sec, 65.36pts, 1; Angus Moore (Seddon) 18min 53.41sec, 66.07pts, 2; Travers Baigent (Wakefield) 18min 34.5sec, 66.58pts, 3; Paul Hodges (Geraldine) 20min 52.65sec, 71.48pts, 4.

Open Plate (10 sheep): Duncan Higgins (Blenheim) 12min 1.53sec, 45.48pts, 1; Jotham Rentoul (Wakefield) 11min 2.13sec, 46.71pts, 2; Chris Jones (Blenheim) 11min 42.16sec, 47.91pts, 3; Sarah Hewson (Blenheim) 13min 7.81sec, 51.09pts, 4.

Senior final (8 sheep): Hamish Barker (Tapawera) 12min 37.44sec, 54.5pts, 1; Neil MacDonald (Seddon) 13min 5.22sec, 58.89pts, 2.

Intermediate final (5 sheep): Kimberley MacLean (Motueka) 9min 49.31sec, 42.67pts, 1; Alice Watson (Blenheim) 10min 32.53sec, 45.23pts, 2; Pam Irvine (Tapawera) 12min 52.22sec, 64.81pts, 3.Junior final (4 sheep): Reuben King (Rangiora) 9min 25.25s, 32.52pts, 1; Timo Hicks (Tapawera) 10min 40.85sec, 45.04pts, 2; Campbell Barker (Tapawera) 11min 51.38sec, 45.07pts, 3; Tom Curnow (Wakefield) 9min 48.5sec, 52.93pts, 4

Cleanshear (2 sheep): Travers Baigent (Wakefield) 3.5pts (outside 2pts) 1; Troy Pyper (Invercargill/Cheviot) 3.5pts (outside 2.5pts) 2; Sarah Hewson (Blenheim) 7.5pts (outside 4.5pts) 3; Paul Hodges (Gealdine) 7.5pts (outside 6pts) 3.

Tapawera Hotel Speedshear:

Open: Paul Hodges (Geraldine) 20.64sec, 1; Travers Baigent (Wakefield) 21.27sec, 2; Troy Pyper (Cheviot) 23.3sec, 3.

Senior: Hamish Barker (Tapawera) 34.6sec, 1; Neil MacDonald (Seddon) 38.49sec, 2.

Farmers Jnr Int Cleanshear: Reuben King (Rangiora) 1; Campbell Barker (Tapawera) 2; Kimberly MacLean (Motueka) 3.

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