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Joel Henare Wins The Otago Shears’ New Zealand Woolhandler Of The Year Title, Again

Champion woolhandler Joel Henare’s unique post-retirement career took the latest of many divergences when he won the Otago Shears’ New Zealand Woolhandler of the Year title, again, on Saturday.

The fact is that his plan to retire after scoring the 100th Open final win of his career at the 2018 Golden Shears, or at least cut way back on the number of competitions, barely materialised.

In the three years since he’s now added another 19 wins to the list. Saturday’s triumph, at Telford Polytech Farm near Balclutha, was his 7th in a row in the second-shear event and his 12th in the 14 finals since first winning the title in 2008, at the age of 15.

With a cleansweep at home show Poverty Bay in Gisborne and three Hawke’s Bay titles, at Hastings and Waipukurau on full-wool and Dannevirke on second-shear also behind him this season, Henare is now well on the path to his attempt to win the Golden Shears Open title for a 9th time in a row when the glamour event is contested in Masterton on March 4-6.

Father-of-three Henare also has the remarkable record of reaching the top four for the Golden Shears final 15 years in a row – every year since his first Open-class season in 2006-2007.

He said he won’t be at Gore this week to defend the Southern Shears title he won last year, in completing a Balclutha-Gore double for a 5th time, and is committed to training newcomers at a course in Gisborne during the week.

Planning to tackle the three-show lead-in to the Golden Shears, at Taumarunui on February 26, Apiti the next day and the Pre-Shears championship near Masterton on March 3, he’s showing no sign of a second retirement.

“Just can’t quite let it go, I guess,” he said. “I just love it.”

On Saturday he conceded both time and board points to leading challenger Pagan Karauria, of Alexandra, but hauled back the deficit with best oddments and fleece points to win by 21pts.

Kelly Macdonald, from Lake Hawea, and Tia Potae, from Milton were third and fourth, to complete a cleansweep in the final among trainers from Elite Wool Industry Training.

Destiny Paikea, of Heriot, won the Senior final, from a high-quality field, and Samantha Allen, of Balclutha, won the Junior final.

Ohai shearer Leon Samuels further cemented his hopes as a Golden Shears Open contender when he successfully defended the Otago Shears Open Shearing title he won in a surprise victory 12 months earlier.

Now with four big wins and third-placing in his first Golden Shears Open final last year in the last 12 months, he featured in a battle for time honours on Saturday with Northland shearer Toa Henderson, who finished the 20 sheep in 16min 58.66sec Samuels was next-off six seconds later, followed by Southland hope and former Otago win Brett Roberts, reigning Golden Shears champion Rowland Smith, and Invercargill’s Nathan Stratford.

While Stratford had the best pen points, Smith had the bes points on the board and had enough quality to take second-place overall.

Kahn Culshaw, of Mataura, won the Senior shearing title, Gore’s Brodie Horrell the Intermediate title, and Keahrey Manson justified the trip from King Country shearing base Piopio to win the Junior final.

RESULTS of the Otago Shears shearing and woolhandling championships at Telford Polytech Farm, Balclutha, on Saturday, February 14, 2021:


Open final (20 sheep): Leon Samuels (Ohai) 17min 4.13sec, 55.4065pts, 1; Rowland Smith (Maraekakaho) 17min 36.34sec, 56.517pts, 2; Toa Henderson (Kaiwaka) 16min 58.66sec, 56.933pts, 3; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 18min 0.31sec, 57.1655pts, 4; Brett Roberts (Mataura) 17min 31.87sec, 57.9355pts, 5.

Senior final ( 12 sheep): Kahn Culshaw (Mataura) 13min 49.66sec, 49.3163pts, 1; Cayzer Wedd (Napier/Oamaru) 13min 40.03sec, 50.1682pts, 2; Braydon Clifford (Waikaka) 14min 18.56sec, 51.2613pts, 3; Marley Waihape (Mataura) 14min 25.75sec, 52.7042pts, 4; Taare Edwards (Taumarunui) 14min 30.75sec, 53.3708pts, 5.

Intermediate final (6 sheep): Brodie Horrell (Gore) 7min 44.53sec, 28.8932pts, 1; Silas Horrell (Gore) 7min 49.94sec, 28.997pts, 2; John Cherrington (Huntly) 8min 27.94sec, 30.397pts, 3; James Wilson (Ryall Bush) 9min 37.12sec, 37.0227pts, 4; Alice Watson (Blenheim) 10min 31.69sec, 37.7512pts, 5.

Junior final (4 sheep): Keahrey Manson (Piopio) 7min 24.13sec, 27.2065pts, 1; Hamu Henderson (Kaiwaka) 7min 31.35sec, 27.8175pts, 2; Jack Pringle (Balclutha) 7min 48.12sec, 32.156pts, 3; Jordan White (Balclutha) 8min 8.03sec, 32.4015pts, 4; Foonie Waihape (Alexandra) 7min 43.97sec, 35.1985pts, 5.

New Zealand Woolhandler of the Year:

Open final: Joel Henare (Gisborne) 175.068pts, 1; Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 196.456pts, 2; Kally Macdonald (Lake Hawea) 248.21pts, 3; Tia Potae (Milton) 353.766pts, 4.

Senior final: Destiny Paikea (Heriot) 298.81pts, 1; Heaven Little (Balclutha) 323.8pts, 2; Lashara Anderson (Christchurch) 357.25pts, 3; Nat Collier (Gore) 447.762pts, 4.

Junior final: Samantha Allen (Balclutha) 188.44pts, 1; Brittany Kellet (Ashburton) 194.38pts, Gypsy Hoani (Gore) 209.13pts, 3; Tia Manson (Piopio) 230.47pts, 4.

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