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New Names At The Top Of Shearing Sports Rankings

From left Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman Sir David Fagan and 2020-2021 No 1-ranked competitors Reuben King (Junior shearing), Adam Gordon (Intermediate shearing), Rahera Kerr (Junior woolhandling), Azuredee Paku (Senior woolhandling), and Pagan Karauria (Open woolhandling). Photo / SSNZ

Both of Shearing Sports New Zealand’s Open-class No 1 rankings for the 2020-2021 season have gone to first-time winners for the first time since formula for recognising all-of-season performance and commitment to the competition circuit was introduced almost three decades ago.

David Buick, of Pongaroa, was named the No 1 Open shearer and Pagan Karauria, of Alexandra, the No 1 woolhandler, during the 36th New Zealand Shears in Te Kuiti.

Buick is only the sixth shearer to claim the top ranking since the first presentation to eventual 12-times winner David Fagan in 1993, while Karauria is the ninth woolhandler, having been in the shadow of just two other winners in the last 13 years, during which she was acclaimed a Master Woohandler in 2018.

The rankings are made according to amassed points from placings during the season, with up to 12 points at stake in A-grade competitions.

Buick had 11 wins in 17 finals, including a national longwool ewes and crossbred lambs double in Southland in January and Friday’s North Island Shearer of the Year title, the first of four A-grade Open titles at stake at Te Kuiti, while Karauria NZ Shears Open win on Saturday night was her fifth in 11 finals – all of the wins being national title events.

Southland shearer Brayden Clifford, of Waikaka, was top-ranked Senior shearer, with points from 5 wins and 13 finals, and the No 1 Intermediate shearer was Masterton’s Adam Gordon, who reached 14 finals for 11 wins after similar season being the No 1 Junior a year earlier.

Neither reached their grade’s finals in Te Kuiti, but it was a different story for Reuben King, from Central Hawke’s Bay but based in Rangiora, who claimed the No 1 ranking in Junior shearing 11 wins in 15 finals, including a New Zealand Shears title on Friday.

The No 1 Senior woolhandler was Azuredeee Paku, from Masterton, with 3 wins from 9 finals, and the top junior woolhandler was Rahera Kerr, of Hauturu, who reached 10 finals and won 3. The pair, workmates with Barrowcliffe Shearing in Piopio, each rounded-off the season with a New Zealand title in Te Kuiti.

World champion blade shearer Allan Oldfield, of Geraldine, won five of his six wins to retain the No 1 ranking with the clippers, meaning the eight awards were shared four-each between the North and South Islands.

The Open and Senior shearing rankings leaders were not decided until the last day of the season Saturday, the awards being presented in separate Friday and Saturday night sessions by the now Sir David Fagan, chairman of Shearing Sports New Zealand, and who made particular reference to the commitment of competitors, and the points-scorers working under extreme pressure at competitions around the country.

Open-class shearer Toa Henderson, with 3 wins, and nephew and Junior competitor Hamu, with 5 wins, exemplified competitors’ commitment, reaching finals spread the 1800km from Kaikohe to Gore.

With 16 competitions cancelled because of the Covid-19 crisis, there were 45 shows during the season, with 23 in the North Island and 22 in the South. All had machine shearing, 18 included woolhandling competition, and six including blade shearing, all in the South Island. Shearing competition was a feature of 28 A and P shows.

Sir David Fagan (left) with No 1-ranked Open shearer David Buick (centre) and Senior rankings-topper Brayden Clifford. Photo / SSNZ 

Shearing Sports New Zealand No 1 competitor rankings for 2020-2021:

Shearing: Open David Buick (Pongaroa); Senior, Brayden Clifford (Waikaka); Intermediate, Adam Gordon (Masterton); Junior, Reuben King (Rangiora); Blades, Allan Oldfield (Geraldine).

Woolhandling: Open, Pagan Karauria (Alexandra); Senior, Azuredee Paku (Masterton); Junior, Rahera Kerr (Hauturu).

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