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First Open Win For Hawke's Bay Woolhandler

Napier woolhandler Jasmin Tipoki still finds it difficult to believe she’s cracked an Open competition win.

But she has, claiming the red ribbon on Saturday at what might have been called her home competition the Wairarapa A and P Show at Clareville (Carterton).

Originally from Martinborough, she did it by beating 2010 World teams title winner, six-times Shearing Sports New Zealand No 1-ranked Open woolhandler and 2023 World Championships Cook Islands representative Keryn Herbert, of Te Kuiti, and 2023 World Championships New Zealand representative Ngaio Hanson.

Despite finishing fourth in the New Zealand World Championships team selection series final, the Golden Shears Open final and the North Island Woolhandling Circuit final last summer – her first season in the Open class – the now 38-year-old mum-of-6 was still not rating herself a chance of toppling the best.

“I had a mean run, my heat was my best performance and it set me up feeling I could make the top 3 for that final,” she said. “I felt good after my final, too, but still competing against Keryn and Ngaio I didn't think I’d done enough to beat them.”

But while Herbert has had more than 50 Open final wins, perhaps Tipoki could have looked at some of the statistics in a competition scene which averages about 20 Open finals a season and in which just five competitors have won three-quarters of the titles over the last two decades.

Thus Tipoki wasn’t the only one in the trio who hadn’t won an open final before – Hanson, despite being among the best, still hasn’t done it. “Wow !” said Tipoki.

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It gives her new hope, noting that when she was 5th in the national Senior woolhandling rankings in 2015, though without a win, those above her included Hanatia Tipene, an eventual New Zealand Shears Open champion and national team member, dual World champion Joel Henare, who has since won about 130 Open finals, and 2019 world teams champion Pagan Rimene, who’s won more than 30.

“I stopped due to moving to Australia in 2007,” she said. “I started back competing in 2019 at Hawkes Bay show in the senior grade, but I sometimes wonder where I would be if I had stayed and continued competing.”

She’d departed with the best results being Taumarunui and Taranaki Junior wins late in the 2004-2005 and third placing in the New Zealand Shears Junior finals, before being upgraded to Senior where she regularly made second-shear finals and was third again at the New Zealand Shears.

Back in New Zealand she started competed again because she was going to the shows with partner and 2016-2017 No 1-ranked Senior shearer Paraki Puna.

Despite not winning a single final she was No 1-ranked Senior woolhandler in 2019-2020, and finally hit winning form in 2020-2021 with 6 wins in 7 Senior finals before upgrading to Open.

With new confidence, she says: “The next Worlds (in Masterton in 2026) is definitely on the goals list, I didn't think I would make it to the last world's (selection) final and now I've done that I know where I need to improve to make that team. I definitely want to represent New Zealand one day.”

She plans to compete next at the Manawatu show in Feilding this Saturday, but work – an occasional thing with family operation Puna Shearing while looking after her “babies” – will increase soon and control what other competitions she gets to through to mid-February.

Paraki Puna continued the pursuit of a first Open shearing title by finishing third in Saturday’s final in which Hemi Braddick, of Eketahuna, scored his third win, having waited almost 10 years in Open-class for his first, at Gisborne last year.

Shearing the 15 hoggets in 13min 29sec, 32-year-old Braddick scored best time and quality points to beat runner-up, Masterton shearer and 2023 New Zealand UK tour team member David Gordon by almost 2.2pts.

Woodville shearer Laura Bradley, who was No 1-ranked nationally as a Junior in 2014-2015 and as an Intermediate two years later, scored her first Senior shearing win, being first to finish the 8-sheep final and claiming a 1pt margin over runner-up Jack Hutchinson, a recent arrival from England.

Michael Buick, a Rathkeale College pupil from of Pongaroa and son of Open shearer and multiple New Zealand teams member David Buick, won the Intermediate final, Kaivah Cooper, of Napier, continued winning form in the Junior grade, and Ged Billing, also a Rathkeale pupil, won the Novice event.

Flaxmere brother-and-sister Naki and Nohokainga Maraki were first and second respectively in the Senior woolhandling final, Bradley’s sister, 2023 Golden Shears Novice woolhandling champion Eleri Bradley, won the Junior woolhandling final, and Novice woolhandling honours went to Sophie Humphrey, of Masterton.

There were 67 entries cross the 9 grades, with 38 shearers, including 15 in the Open class, and 29 woolhandlers, including 13 in the Open class, with organisers looking for even more in the revival of the Manawatu show competition next Saturday and the Central Hawke’s Bay A and B Show’s championships on November 11.

Results from the Wairarapa Spring Shears at the Wairarapa A and P Show at Clareville, Carterton, on Saturday, October 28, 2023:


Open final (15 sheep): Hermi Braddick (Eketahuna) 13min 29sec, 47.65pts, 1; David Gordon (Masterton) 13min 42sec, 49.8333pts, 2; Paraki Puna (Napier) 14min 4sec, 51.6pts, 3; Tama Niania (Gisborne) 14min 10sec, 56.4333pts, 4.

Senior final (8 sheep): Laura Bradley (Woodville) 9min 44sec, 39.95pts, 1; Jack Hutchinson (England) 10min 24sec, 40.95pts, 2; Kapua Brown (Taumarunui) 10min 9sec, 42.075pts, 3; Bruce Grace (Wairoa) 10min 17sec, 43.475pts, 4.

Intermediate final (5 sheep): Michael Buick (Pongaroa) 9min 1sec, 36.05pts, 1; Cheyden Winiana (Nuhaka) 7min 19sec, 39.15pts, 2; Jake Goldsbury (Maraetotara) 6min 49sec, 39.45pts, 3; Tim Dickson (-) 7min 48sec, 45.4pts, 4.

Junior final (4 sheep): Kaivah Cooper (Napier) 8min 9sec, 34.45pts, 1; Kingston Renata (-) 8min 23sec, 40.9pts, 2; Marshall Buckman (Apiti) 9min 46sec, 45.55pts, 3; Maureen Chaffey (Pongaroa) 11min 8sec, 49.4pts, 4.

Novice (1 sheep): Ged Billing (Masterton) 4min 22sec, 29.1pts, 1; Candon Bolton (-) 4min 57sec, 32.85pts, 2; Waiari Puna (Napier) 3min 19sec, 34.95pts, 3; George Peacock (Dannevirke) 3min 20sec, 36pts, 4.


Open final: Jasmin Tipoki (Martinborough/Napier) 109.656pts, 1; Keryn Herbert (Te Kuiti) 114.888pts, 2; Ngaio Hanson (Eketahuna) 119.676pts, 3.

Senior final: Whakapunake (Naki) Maraki (Flaxmere) 97.124pts, 1; Nohokainga Maraki (Flaxmere) 104.212pts, 2; Angeline Colquhoun (Masterton) 125.050pts, 3.

Junior final: Eleri Bradley (Woodville) 65.082pts, 1; Makayla Neil (Kawhia) 70.194pts, 2; Waiari Puna (Napier) 77.188pts, 3.

Novice: Sophie Humphrey (Masterton) 75.662pts, 1; Gemma Buick (Pongaroa) 90.512pts, 2; Piata Braddick (Eketahuna) 96pts, 3.

© Scoop Media

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