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Marlborough And Pleasant Point Shearing Championships

From Doug Laing, Media Officer, Shearing Sports New Zealand

Samuels makes a point at Pleasant Point

Defending national shearing circuits champion Leon Samuels showed he’s in the right sort of form for another national title bid when he won the Pleasant Point’s Gymkhana Shears Open final on Saturday.

The Invercargill gun’s win, by a comfortable margin of more than four points from runner-up, defending Pleasant Point title holder and Mataura shearer Brett Roberts - who had won the Ashburton A and P Show’s Open final a week earlier - was the ideal result going into the Canterbury Shears’ New Zealand Corriedale shearing and woolhandling championships in Christchurch on Thursday and Friday.

The heats in Christchurch constitute the third round of the PGG Wrightson Vetmed National Shearing Circuit, which Samuels won last year in Te Kuiti along with the New Zealand Shears Circuit final.

Samuels, Roberts and Pleasant Point third-placegetter and 2014 PGG Wrightson National Circuit winner Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, are all contenders in Christchurch.

Samuels and Stratford aren’t the only former winners of the circuit in form at the weekend, for in Blenheim the Marlborough Shears Open final, also on Saturday was won by 2012 and 2020 circuit winner and Seddon shearing contractor Angus Moore, who is not contesting the circuit this year.

A good performance in Friday afternoon’s heats will almost certainly guarantee Samuels a place in the top 12 for the Circuit finals at the Golden Shears in Masterton in March, but also set him up for a place in the Corriedales final and a fifth win in national or island title events in the last three seasons.

The run started with the South Island Shearer of the Year title in February 2019, continued with the two circuit final wins in April, and was extended with his win in the Waimate Shears New Zealand Spring Shears Championship last month. In the same time he’s also won major titles at the Otago Shears and Southern Shears.

He was top qualifier from the heats and the semi-finals on Saturday, and in the four-man final over 20 sheep each was first to finish in 17min 25.81sec, half-a-minute before Roberts and comfortably meeting organiser John Walsh’s accurate forecast that all four in the final would go under 20 minutes.

Third and fourth respectively were Stratford and Ant Frew, of Pleasant Point, a split second apart as they switched-off for the last time.

Samuels puts the form down to “taking the time to try to figure it all out, plus certain individuals pointing me in the right direction.”

“The sheep shore quite nicely (on Saturday), and it was a good day for it,” said after the competition which took place on a mobile stand at the Pleasant Point Domain.

New Open competitor Toko Hapuku, of Methven, won the Open Plate, Ashburton shearer Taare Edwards had his second win and fourth top-2 placing in five Senior events this season, Chase Rattray, of Ashburton, had his first Intermediate win of the season and his third overall, and Lincoln College Dip.Ag student Josh Devane, 18, from Taihape, made it a double in the Junior final after winning a week earlier at Ashburton.

In Blenheim, Moore won the Open final of 10 sheep each by almost two-and-a-half points from runner-up Hugh De Lacy, of Parnassus, with Lyall Windleburn, of Rangiora, third.

Fourth place went to competition organiser and Marlborough shearer Sarah Hewson, a former Golden Shears Junior woolhandling and Novice shearing champion, who was adding to a small list of women who have shorn in Open-class finals.

Moore shore his pen of 10 in 11min 21.66sec, beating second-man-off Windleburn by less than two seconds.

Isaac Duckmanton, of Christchurch, had his fifth Senior win, and Timo Hicks, of Nelson, had his first Intermediate win, relegating to third place Rangiora shearer Reuben King, who had been on a run of six consecutive Junior and Intermediate wins dating back to last summer.

Marlborough shearer Beau Cameron was the only Junior competitor, part of what was a disappoint turnout at both shows as organisers battle to keep them going amid a range of cancellations in the Covid-19 pandemic.

There were just 16 competitors across the grades at the Marlborough show, despite the introduction of the Colin King Provincial Challenge Shield in which a Marlborough team headed by Moore beat North Canterbury to become the first holder. It was a relay, with each team of three shearing nine sheep.

There were 32 entries at Pleasant Point, and Canterbury Shears convener Dave Brooker expects a downturn in numbers on Thursday and Friday, with some North Island competitors likely to be missing.

“I’d be disappointed,” he said, having with a crew prepared 800 sheep at Marble Point Station, near Hanmer Springs. “A lot of work goes into these competitions.”

Woolhandling titles will be decided on Thursday, and Shearing titles on Friday, including the Cantrtbury All-Breeds Circuit final and the Golden Blades title.

RESULTS from the Gymkhana Shears at Pleasant Point on Saturday, November 6, 2021:

Open final (20 sheep): Leon Samuels (Invercargill) 17min 25.81sec, 57.84pts, 1; Brett Roberts (Mataura) 18min 5.35sec, 61.97pts, 2; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 19min 17.22sec, 62.81pts, 3; Ant Frew (Pleasant Point) 19min 17.63sec, 64.53pts, 4.

Open plate (16 sheep): Toko Hapuku (Methven) 15min 14.03sec, 51.39pts, 1; Eli Cummings (Pleasant Point) 16min 11.06sec, 56.8pts, 2; Paul Hodges (Geraldine) 14min 39.97sec, 56.87pts, 3; Duncan Leslie (Owaka) 17min 35.94sec, 61.92pts, 4.

Senior final (8 sheep): Taare Edwards (Ashburton) 9min 56.59sec, 36.2pts, 1; Liam Norrie (Cheviot) 10min 31.25sec, 36.56pts, 2; Brayden Clifford (Waikaka) 9min 39.44sec, 38.97pts, 3; Kieran Devane (Taihape) 11min 5.72sec, 40.91pts, 4.

Intermediate final (6 sheep): Chase Rattray (Ashburton) 10min 51.37sec, 40.9pts, 1; Blake Crooks (Timaru) 11min 9.55sec, 44.64pts, 2; Tora Lambert (-) 12min 26sec, 51.64pts, 3; Cody Hemopo (Taumarunui/Pleasant Point) 11min 8.81sec, 67.94pts, 4.

Junior final (4 sheep): Josh Devane (Taihape) 8min 6.56sec, 30.58pts, 1; Robin Krause (Germany) 12min 10.53sec, 52.53pts, 2; Lochie Crafar (Rangiwahia) 10min 21.25sec, 44.81pts, 3; Dre Roberts (Mataura) 11min 58.91sec, 54.2pts, 4.

RESULTS from Marlborough A and P Show Shears at Blenheim on Saturday, November 6, 2021:

Open final (10 sheep): Angus Moore (Seddon) 11min 21.66sec, 39.48pts, 1; Hugh De Lacy (Parnassus) 11min 40.5sec, 42.93pts, 2; Lyall Windleburn (Rangiora) 11min 23.34sec, 48.97pts, 3; Sarah Hewson (Blenheim) 12min 21.31sec, 51.67pts, 4.

Senior final (7 sheep): Isaac Duckmanton (Christchurch) 10min 3sec, 44.86pts, 1; Josh Quinn (Seddon) 10min 28.72sec, 49.72pts, 2; Alice Watson (Blenheim) 13min 15.29sec, 55.91pts, 3.

Intermediate final (5 sheep): Timo Hicks (Tapawera) 10min 25.5sec, 39.68pts, 1; Jock Fitzpatrick (Blenheim) 10min 1.85sec, 43.22pts, 2; Reuben King (Rangiora) 10min 1.85sec, 43.89pts, 3; Joan Dodson (Blenheim) 11min 9.35sec, 61.17pts, 4.

Junior final (3 sheep): Beau Cameron (Blenheim) 6min 1.97sec, 39.1pts, 1.

Colin King Provincial Challenge Shield (9 sheep): Marlborough (Angus Moore, Alice Watson, Jock Fitzpatrick) 14min 3.54sec, 51.71pts, beat North Canterbury (Lyall Windleburn, Isaac Duckmanton, Reuben King) 14min 20.37sec, 54.91pts.

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