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Samuels Looms As Big Southern Hope For Golden Shears

Southland shearer Leon Samuels leapt even further into potential to become the first South Island Golden Shears champion in 32 years when he won the Southern Shears Open title in Gore on Saturday.

In a six-man final of 20 sheep each chocked full of talent despite the semi-final elimination of Golden Shears champion Rowland Smith and fellow North Island hopes David Buick, Gavin Mutch and Aaron Haynes, just 9 seconds separated the fastest four, who were headed by Northland gun Toa Henderson who finished in 16min 31. 41sec.

Second-off, and with Henderson fading to 5th once all points were counted, Samuels, of Invercargill, had sufficient quality points to make-up the time points deficit and win by just 0.176pts from former multiple winner and Hawke’s Bay shearer John Kirkpatrick, with third place going to the Mr Clean of the open shearing game, Invercargill shearer Nathan Stratford.

It completed a memorable double for Samuels after a successful defence of the Otago Shears Open title in Balclutha seven days earlier, following a February 6 win in Central North Island township Aria, the first win by a South Island shearer in Open strongwool shearing in over 10 years

Buick and Mutch had, however, a short while earlier dominated the South Island Shearer of the Year final, with second shear and full wool sheep shorn amongst competitors who had qualified initially by performances in South Island shows during the season.

While Mutch won the race, Wairarapa farmer Buick got the honours and beat the Hawke’s Bay-based Scotsman by 0.27pts, with Stratford again third.

Eketahuna shearer Ruka Braddick became the latest Wairarapa shearer to claim a winning ribbon with victory in a Senior-grade North Island quinella, with second placing going to Brook Hamerton, of Hastings.

Southland did pick up two of the other major titles with Brodie Horrell, of Knapdale, winning the Intermediate final to go with his win at the previous week’s Otago Shears, and Harlem Haare, of Ohai, getting his first Junior win.

Alexandra’s Foonie Waihape, originally from Gisborne, was a popular winner of the Open woolhandling final, her first win in the top grade after several years trying, including a string of finals placings, and beating event favourite Pagan Karauria, also of Alexandra.

The season has no produced seven Open woolhandling winners, headed by reigning eight-times Golden Shears champion Joel Henare, who won a week earlier in Invercagill but was uable to be in Gore at the weekend.

Krome Elers, of Mataura, won the Senior woolhandling final – in possibly the most competitive grade of the shearing sports season - and the Junior woolhandling final was won by Balclutha’s Samantha Allen, also backing-up from a win at the Otago Shears a week earlier.

The Southern Shears attracted 83 shearers and 56 woolhandlers, a strong entry allaying the worst fears of organisers who had just less than 48 hours before the start of the woolhandling on Friday had been wondering if the Covid-19 crisis would even allow a competition to take place.

Most of the competitors now head north for the Taumarunui Shears on Friday, the Apiti Sports on Saturday, the Pahiatua Shears on Sunday and the Pre-Shears Woolhandling championships on the following Wednesday, just preceding the March 4-7 Golden Shears, where no South Island shearer has won the Open title since Southland’s Edsel Forde won in 1989.

RESULTS from the Southern Shears shearing and woolhandling championships at Gore on Friday and

Saturday, February 19-20, 2021:


Open final (20 sheep): Leon Samuels (Invercargill) 16min 36.38sec, 56.719pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier/Pakipaki) 16min 36.9sec, 56.895pts, 2; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 17min 34.85sec, 57.8425pts, 3; Brett Roberts (Mataura) 16min 49.78sec, 58.189pts, 4; Toa Henderson (Kaiwaka) 16min 31.41sec, 58.5705pts, 5; Angus Moore (Seddon) 16min 40.28sec, 59.564pts, 6.

South Island Shearer of the Year (20 sheep): David Buick (Pongaroa) 17min 49sec, 60.75pts, 1; Gavin Mutch (Scotland/Dannevirke) 17min 33.44sec, 61.022pts, 2; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 18min 49.85sec, 61.3425pts, 3; Angus Moore (Seddon) 18min 23.81sec, 62.8905pts, 4; John Kirkpatrick (Napier/Pakipaki) 18min 35.97sec, 63.2485pts, 5; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 19min 15.75sec, 66.5875pts, 6.

Senior final (8 sheep): Ruka Braddick (Eketahuna) 9min 6.9sec, 32.72pts, 1; Brook Hamerton (Hastings) 8min 25.81sec, 33.5405pts, 2; Kahn Culshaw (Mataura) 8min 56sec, 34.3pts, 3; Braudon Clifford (Waikaka) 8min 34.96sec, 34.748pts, 4; Taare Edwards (Taumarunui) 10min 22.85sec, 39.2675pts, 5; Liam Norrie (Cheviot) 10min 45.25sec, 41.0125pts, 6.

Intermediate final (6 sheep): Brodie Horrell (Knapdale) 8min 10.47sec, 35.8568pts, 1; John Cherrington (Huntly) 8min 24.35sec, 37.0508pts, 2; Blake McKenzie (Riverton) 8min 15.63sec, 38.4482pts, 3; Wiremu Kihi (Apringfield) 9min 16.25sec, 38.4792pts, 4; James Wilson (Ryall Bush) 9min 32.63sec, 39.7982pts, 5; Alice Watson (Blenheim) 9min 54.1sec, 40.205pts, 6.

Junior final (4 sheep): Harlem Haare (Ohai) 6min 41.12sec, 27.806pts, 1; Destiny Paikea (Heriot) 7min 49.6sec, 27.98pts, 2; Jack Pringle (Balclutha) 7min 14.03sec, 28.4515pts, 3; Hamu Henderson (Kaiwaka) 7min 40.44sec, 29.022pts, 4; Jordan White (Balclutha) 7min 20.63sec, 35.7815pts, 5; James Hogan (Mabel Bush) 8min 50.07sec, 38.7535pts, 6.

Novice (1 sheep): Connor Wilkson (-) 3min 53.12sec, 19.36pts, 1; Lea Brabant (-) 3min 52.41sec, 20.62pts, 2; Dallas Mihaere (Dannevirke) 6min 38.88sec, 37.94pts, 3.

North and South Challenge (12 sheep): North 138.7988pts (Matene Mason 12min 56.5sec, 45.4917pts; Simon Goss 13min 15.41sec, 45.6872pts; Ricci Stevens 12min 9.07sec, 47.6202pts) beat South 139.7637pts (Jake Rangiuaia 11min 49.16sec, 44.458pts; Lionel Taumata 13min 16.07sec, 45.7202pts; Alex Smith 14min 28.38sec, 49.5857pts).


Southern Shears Open final: Foonie Waihape (Alexandra) 152.78sec, 1; Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 158.56sec, 2; Candy Hiri (Mataura) 205.65pts, 3.

Southern Shears Senior final: Krome Elers (Mataura) 95.248pts, 1; Destiny Paikea (Heriot) 112.03pts, 2; Sarah Davis (Napier) 113.306pts, 3; Nicole Petuha (Masterton) 254.762pts, 4.

Junior final: Samantha Allen (Balclutha) 115.85pts, 1; Lea Brabant (-) 135.78pts, 2; Rena Brooking (Mataura) 182.88pts, 3; Emma Martin (Gore) 185pts, 4.

Novice: Lucy Gee Taylor (Kimbolton) 54.94pts, 1; Kiera Tarras (Gore) 59.37pts, 2; Janine Rawiri (Gore) 72.96pts, 3; Darian Little (Gore) 79pts, 4.

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