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Trojan Effort Nails Pyper's Shearing Title

Gun Southland and North Canterbury shearer Troy Pyper has today(Friday) won his second New Zealand Winter Comb Open title.

The win came on the opening day of the two-day Waimate Shears in South Canterbury, where, just as he did when the title was resurrected 12 months ago, Pyper had a short but anxious wait before hearing the result after he shore the 10 sheep in 19min 13.78sec to finish first off the board in the six-man-final, with Stratford tailing the field in 21min 19.11sec.

As he did turning around the result of the New Zealand Marino Championship final in Alexandra last Saturday, winning by a wide margin after Pyper blitzed the field for speed, Stratford had markedly the best quality today both on the shearing board and in the counting-out pens but was unable to completely erode a time-points deficit of almost 6.3pts and Pyper won by 1.0665pts.

“No mistakes this time,” said Pyper, who had lost heavily after making one of the unkindest cuts of all in the Alexandra final. “Very careful this time.”

Third-place went to record-breaking shearer Stacey Te Huia, of Alexandra.

There was a big upset in the Senior final, with winner Russell Ratima, from Aria in the central North Island, and Alex Clapham, from Yorkshire, England, having almost no competition history in New Zealand between them.

Ratima had failed to make it past the Senior heats in Alexandra last weekend but won today by a wide margin of more than 12pts.

He and Clapham graduated from the bottom half of the 12 semi-final qualifiers at Waimate and were the last two into the six-man final amid the exit of Alexandra winner Scott Cameron, who had been the top qualifier in the heats.

It was in the final that Ratima showed dramatic signs of his experience in West Australia, claiming best board and pen points after finishing second in the race, albeit a minute after first-man-off and Taumarunui shearer Hohepa Te Rata Taituha, who shore the five sheep in 11min 55.49sec.

There were 40 shearers in the Open event and 13 seniors. The rest of the day was for woolhandling in the Open, Senior and Junior grades, the Spring Shears crossbred longwool shearing championships and in the Waimate Shears tomorrow(Saturday).

Results from the New Zealand Winter Comb Shearing Championships on the fiurst day of the Waimate Shears being held on October 8-9”:

Open final (10 sheep): Troy Pyper (Cheviot) 19min 13.78sec, 75.589pts, 1; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 21min 19.11sec, 76.6555pts, 2; Stacey Te Huia (Alexandra) 19min 42sec, 80.5pts, 3; Brett Roberts (Mataura) 20min 55.34sec, 85.867pts, 4; Jocky O’Neill (Alexandra) 21min 21.39sec, 91.7695pts, 5; Ant Frew (Pleasant Point) 21min 17.87sec, 97.0935pts, 6.

Senior final (5 sheep): Russell Ratima (Aria) 12min 54.21sec, 67.1105pts, 1; Alex Clapham (Yorkshire, England) 15min 15.77sec, 79.7885pts, 2; Hohepa Te Rata-Taituha (Taumarunui) 11min 55.49sec, 85.5745pts, 3; Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 16min 34.57sec, 87.9285pts, 4; Taare Edwards (Ashburton) 14min 26.46sec, 90.323pts, 5; Tyson Crown (Mataura) 15min 22.31sec, 107.3155pts, 6.

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