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Southland Wins Ashburton Shears Shield Defence

A Southland shearing team, of which the four members all work for the same Gore contractor, has successfully defended the Colin King Shield in the first challenge of the new season.

The relay took place on Saturday at the Ashburton A and P Show, with Southland honouring a promise to take the shield “on the road” and facing challenges from both a local Mid and South Canterbury team and a team from North Canterbury, which sought to reclaim it for their region after losing it to the southern men in Christchurch last November.

Under the rules, set when former champion left-handed shearer Colin King presented the trophy two years ago to instigate a South Island shearing equivalent of the Ranfurly Shield, each team comprised one shearer from each of the four main grades.

The Southland team was selected based on best performances of Southland shearers in the heats of their grades earlier in the day at Ashburton and comprised Brett Roberts (Open), Dre Roberts (Senior), Emma Martin (Intermediate) and Jet Schimanski (Junior), all of whom work for Gore contractor Platinum Shearing.

With different numbers shorn by shearers depending on their grade Southland had the best time and quality points, shearing the 10 sheep in 12min 31.84sec, to beat the local side off the board by just under 4 seconds, and 2.3pts in the final count, with North Canterbury a further 1.61pts away in third place.

It was a big day for Martin, who won the Ashburton show Intermediate final, her fourth win in four outings since being upgraded for the new season, with wins now on successive weekends at Waimate, Ellesmere, Rangiora and Ashburton.

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Among those in the final was Lucas Vallejo, from Florencia Varela, Buenos Aires, and in New Zealand shearing for Geraldine contractor Bruce Rogers with brother Daniel Vallejo, who last week shore in the Intermediate final at Rangiora.

It was also a big weekend for Schimanski, who added a win in the Junior final to his debut win in the grade at Waimate on October 7.

Roberts was first to finish the Open final, shearing 20 hoggets in 17min 38.9sec, beating fellow Southland gun Nathan Stratford by more than 20 seconds.

But Stratford, returned from the previous weekend’s transtasman test in South Australia, produced his trademark quality to win by 1.8pts, to successfully defend the title he has now won 5 times in the last 8 years, on a journey on which he has been an annual regular, despite the near six hours of the road trip each way.

Blake Crooks, of Rangiora, backed-up a win at his home show last week by winning Saturday’s Senior final.

Stratford said the Colin King Shield will be put-up again next Saturday at Pleasant Point.

RESULTS of the Ashburton A and P Show Shears on Saturday, October 28, 2023:

Open final (20 sheep): Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 18min 0.03sec, 57.95pts, 1; Brett Roberts (Mataura) 17min 38.9sec, 59.75pts, 2; Ant Frew (Pleasant Point) 18min 45.91sec, 62.4pts, 3; Lyall Windleburn (Rangiora) 18min 8.09sec, 66.2pts, 4; Lionel Taumata (Taumarunui/Gore) 19min 16.69sec, 66.53pts, 5.

Senior final (7 sheep): Blake Crooks (Rangiora) 7min 22.37sec, 28.26pts, 1; Dre Roberts (Mataura) 7min 22.38sec, 31.26pts, 2; Reuben King (Kaiapoi) 8min 34.09sec, 31.85pts, 3; Liam Norrie (Cheviot) 8min 54.72sec, 32.88pts, 4; James Wilson (Darfield) 8min 31.6sec, 35.87pts, 5.

Intermediate final (5 sheep): Emma Martin (Gore) 7min 48.03sec, 29pts, 1; Cody Waihape (Gore) 7min 15.93sec, 30.4pts, 2; Caleb Brooking (Mataura) 7min 24.94sec, 32.25pts, 3; Lydia Thomson (Rangiora) 9min 23.66sec, 32.38pts, 4; Lucas Vallejo (Argentina) 8min 21.56sec, 37.08pts, 5.

Junior final (4 sheep): Jet Schimanski (Gore) 8min 23.78sec, 34.19pts, 1; Peter Losty (Ireland) 9min 27.85sec, 37.64pts, 2; Levi Beedles (Kaiapoi) 8min 30.03sec, 39pts, 3; Ella Caves (Loburn) 8min 31.22sec, 40.06pts, 4; Tracey Paton (Timaru) 9min 35.53sec, 58.03pts, 5.

Blades final (5 sheep): Tony Dobbs (Fairlie) 17min 46.6sec, 59.13pts, Tim Hogg (Timaru) 17minn 24.53sec, 60.83pts, 2; Noel Handley (Rangiora) 16min 25.09sec, 62.45pts, 3.

Colin King Challenge Shield (10 sheep): Southland (Brett Roberts, Dre Roberts, Emma Martin, Jed Schimanski) 12min 31.84sec, 44.39pts, 1; Mid-South Canterbury (Taare Edwards, James Wilson, Caleb Brooking, Tracey Paton) 12min 35.78sec, 46.69pts, 2; North Canterbury (Lyall Windleburn, Blake Crooks, Lydia Thomson, Levi Beedles) 12min 44sec, 48.3pts, 3.

© Scoop Media

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