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Pahiatua Shears - Northland Gun Keeps Winning

The Northland shearer who has been sweeping almost all before him on the road to this week’s Golden Shears now has some history now on his side as well as the hot-paced form.

Yet to qualify for a Golden Shears Open final, and eliminated in the semi-finals last year when also in the hottest of form, Toa Henderson on Sunday completed a cleansweep of three major North Island pre-shears titles.

In at least the last 30 shears, no other shearer has won the Taumarunui Shears, Apiti Shears and Pahiatua Shears Open finals without also going-on to also win the Golden Shears Open title – a.k.a. the Wimbledon of shearing.

His Pahiatua Shears win completed the first cleansweep of the three pre-shears finals since 2018 when Hawke’s Bay shearer Rowland Smith won the treble and the Golden shears Open final for a third consecutive year.

Now with 10 mainly-major show wins this season, Henderson was quick to remind himself that the job is far from done, recognising that as much as “the Goldies” is often said to be about the complete package and the top six inches there is still “the bottom six inches” – as-in keeping his feet on the ground, with Smith still the major threat despite having had just a couple of appearances this season, and just a single win.

Turning on the pace in now trademark mid-race fashion, Henderson shore the 20 sheep in Pahiatua’s final – in the Fouhy family woolshed in the Tane-Kaitawa area east of the town, - in 16m 1.47s, 20 seconds quicker than next-man-off Stu Connor, the English shearer who holds a World record of 872 lambs in nine hours and who moved from England to Hawke’s Bay in November.

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Ultimately Connor was third, having shorn blow-for-blow with Henderson for a significant part of the contest, but better quality points enabled Southland shearer Leon Samuels to claim second place overall, with victory to the northlander by 1.609pts.

On a day with more than 150 competitors shearing more than 1300 sheep across the five grades, there were two big wins for Wyndham shearers, with Nathan Bee, of Wyndham, winning the Senior final by 1.658pts from Papatawa shearer Laura Bradley, who this week has chance to become the first woman to win the Golden Shears Senior title, and Emma Martin, beating leading North Island hope Dylan Young by 1.637pts to win the Intermediate final.\

Napier shearer Kaivah Cooper completed another cleansweep of the three weekend events, in the Junior grade, while Grady Collis, of Dannevirke, won the Novice final.

Finalists throughout the grades included shearers from England, Ireland, Wales and Germany.

RESULTS from the Pahiatua Shears at Fouhy family farm, Tane, Pahiatua, on Sunday, February 25, 2024:

Open final (20 sheep): Toa Henderson (Kaiwaka) 16m 1.47s, 55.624pts, 1; Leon Samuels (Invercargill/Roxburgh) 16m 32.66s, 57.233pts, 2; Stu Connor (England/Hastings) 16m 21.02s, 59.101pts, 3; Hemi Braddick (Eketahuna) 16m 23.11s, 59.456pts, 4; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 17m 53.35s, 60.418pts, 5; Brett Roberts (Mataura) 17m 48.68s, 61.134pts, 6.

Senior final (10 sheep): Nathan Bee (Wyndham) 10m 47.57s, 38.779pts, 1; Laura Bradley (Papatawa) 11m 6.74s, 40.437pts, 2; Dre Roberts (Mataura) 11m 8.27s, 41.514pts, 3; Blake Crooks (Rangiora) 11m 36.94s, 41.947pts, 4; Bruce Grace (Napier) 11m 50.68s, 43.134pts, 5; Callum Bosley (Cornwall, England) 11m 44.52s, 47.226pts, 6.

Intermediate final (6 sheep): Emma Martin (Gore) 7m 48.34s, 31.583pts, 1; Dylan Young (Gisborne) 7m 44.39s, 33.22pts, 2; Julian Karl (Germany) 8m 42.12s, 33.272pts, 3; Paddy Dunne (Ireland) 8m 29.7s, 34.985pts, 4; Heath Barnsdall (Piopio) 9m 34.74s, 35.737pts, 5; Ross Kehely (Kaitaia) 9m 48.74s, 37.37pts, 6.

Junior final (5 sheep): Kaivah Cooper (Napier) 8m 5.76s, 30.288pts, 1; Marshall Buckman (Apiti) 8m 4.38s, 31.219pts, 2; Orlando Ratima (Hunterville) 8m 39.97s, 31.399pts, 3; Bedwyr Siencyn (Aberystwyth, Wales) 9m 11.78s, 37.989pts, 4; Flyn Innes (Martinborough) 8m 5.1s, 38.255pts, 5; Peter Losty (Meath, Ireland) 9m 12.73s, 38.437pts, 6.

Novice final (2 sheep): Grady Collis (Dannevirke) 6m 53.42s, 26.671pts, 1; George Prouting (Dannevirke) 5m 40.15s, 29.008pts, 2; Ashlin Swann (Wairoa) 6m 30.45s, 29.023pts, 3; Waiari Puna (Napier) 6m 27.05s, 30.353pts, 4; Shawna Swann (Wairoa) 7m 24.34s, 35.717pts, 5; Grace Croasdale (Eketahuna) 7m 31.59s, 46.58pts, 6.

© Scoop Media

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