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A Day Of Shearing At Rotherham - In Level 2

New Zealand shearing representative Troy Pyper with partner Ripeka Ferris after Pyper's at the Amuri Shears in North Canterbury on Saturday. Photo / Elite Wool Industry Training

Wet sheep proved to be a winner for New Zealand representative Troy Pyper as he won the Open final at the Amuri Shears as North Canterbury started its bounce-back from the Covid-19 Level 2 close-out on Saturday.

From Invercargill but now settled in Cheviot, Pyper thought work in the woolshed would keep him away from the shears at the Rotherham Showgrounds, which were held amid the Level 2 restrictions and despite the cancellation of the Amuri A and P Show, of which the shearing would have been a part.

But when wet sheep resulted in an early end to the day at work he took the chance to support the competition, which attracted 27 shearers across the four grades, about double the number at last year’s event, which clashed directly with the Golden Shears in Masterton.

The cancellation of this year’s Golden Shears, which would have started on Thursday and finished on Saturday, left Amuri as the weekend’s only shearing competition in either the North or South islands.

It seemed somehow fitting, with the Amuri district historically credited with having New Zealand’s first “modern-style” shearing shed, built at St Leonards more than 160 years ago, at St Leonards about 1857.

One of 10 in the Open class, and the winner of more than 30 Open finals in New Zealand and Australia,, including the resurrected New Zealand Winter Comb Title in Waimate in October, Pyper proved unbeatable in the three-man final of 12 large lambs each.

He was first off in 10min 40.66sec, the only shear of the day under a minute-a-sheep, also taking comfortably the best board and pen quality points, as he beat fellow finalists Lyall Windleburn, of Rangiora, and Lionel Taumata, of Gore, each by more than a sheep, and more than 9pts in the final count.

Rangiora shearer James Noah had a rare but comfortable win in the Senior class, which had seven entries, Alice Watson, of Blenheim, had a good Intermediate final win over Ashburton’s Chase Rattray and Rangiora’s Ben Forrester, as she had done on the Reefton Shears’ lambs four week earlier, and getting one back on the pair following Forrester’s win at Kaikoura on February 27, and Taihape shearer Josh Devane ventured south for a Junior win after a run of placings in the Central North Island.

On his first visit to the Amuri Shears, Pyper’s 5th win of the season was a good lead into new home-show the Cheviot A and P Show shearing and woolhandling championships next Saturday, one of the few shows to be increasing prizemoney this season.

It will be one of three shearing sports events in a weekend again mainly focused in the South Island, with the Mayfield A and P Show shears also on Saturday, the Anglers Arms Speed Shear in Sefton on Saturday night, and the Kowai Sefton Sports Shears on Sunday.

With the postponement of the Kumeu Show, the only event in the North Island will be the 6th New Zealand Speed Shear Championship among 10 invited shearers at the Rural Games in Palmerston North on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Amuri A and P Society was able to complete the weekend on Sunday with a successful community fair, which had been confirmed only two days earlier when an easing of alert-level limits from 6am Sunday was announced on Friday by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

RESULTS from the Amuri Shears at Rotherham on Saturday, March 6, 2021:

Open final (12 lambs): Troy Pyper (Cheviot) 10min 40.66sec, 37.37pts, 1; Lyall Windleburn (Rangiora) 12min 7.85sec, 46.48pts, 2; Lionel Taumata (Gore) 12min 19.9sec, 47.08pts, 3.

Senior final (8 sheep): James Noah (Rangiora) 9min 30.19sec, 34.51pts, 1; Josef Winders (Rotorua) 10min 10.13sec, 38.01pts, 2; Isaac Duckmanton (Christchurch) 9min 28.19sec, 38.28pts, 3.

Intermediate final (6 sheep): Alice Watson (Blenheim) 8min 43.41sec, 35.34pts, 1; Chase Rattray (Ashburton) 8min 58.3sec, 35.92pts, 2; Ben Forrester (Rangiora) 8min 29.53sec, 37.31pts, 3.

Junior final (3 sheep): Josh Devane (Taihape) 6min 5.94sec, 23.96pts, 1; Timo Hicks (Tapawera) 7min 20.69sec, 26.7pts, 2; Lachie Crafar (Kimbolton) 7min 55.21sec, 51.76pts, 3

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