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Brett Roberts' Long Road To First Open Win In 14 Months

Mataura shearer Brett Roberts scored his first Open final win in over a year with victory at the Mayfield A and P Show in Mid-Canterbury on Saturday.

Roberts, 30, hadn’t won since the national full wool championship final at the Northern Southland Community Shears (Lumsden) in January 2023.

That was the former Golden Shears Junior and Senior champion’s 14th Open final win, but he would endure 16 more finals, including three second placings and three thirds, before he could again be draped with a winning ribbon, in an Open final.

He had however made a recent return to the Golden Shears podium in Masterton, winning the shears’ new inter-region event with Wyndham shearer Nathan Bee, who, having shorn third in the Golden Shears Senior final on March 2 also won at Mayfield on Saturday.

In Saturday’s four-man final over 20-sheep each he was first to finish, taking 18m 43s and beating second-man-off Lionel Taumata, of Gore, by 16 seconds, although it was Pleasant Point shearer and Golden Shears semi-finalist Ant Frew who claimed second place with the better quality points.

Southland shearers claimed the Senior and Intermediate titles, with Bee claiming Senior honours by 1.7pts from Tasumarunui shearer Kapua Brow, and Cody Waihape winning the Intermediate final by 3.82pts from runner-up and fellow Mataura shearer Caleb Brooking.

English shearer Sam Wilson had his first win in New Zealand, in the Junior final, which also featured first Junior-final placings for Renee Tarrant, of Taumarunui, and 15-year-old Tye Meikle, of Oamaru.

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Four competitions remain in the South Island this season, with the Methven Lambshears this Saturday, the Flaxbourne A and P Show on March 24 at Ward, and the Oxford Show on March 30, with New Zealand Lambs championship titles at stake at the Mackenzie A and P Shows shears’ on Easter Monday.

RESULTS from the Mayfield A and P Show Shears at Mayfield, Mid-Canterbury, on Saturday, March 9, 2024:

Open final (20 sheep): Brett Roberts (Mataura) 18m 43s, 61.05pts, 1; Ant Frew (Pleasant Point) 19m 11s, 62.8pts, 2; Paul Hodges (Geraldine) 19m 2s, 64.5pts, 3; Lionel Taumata (Gore) 18m 59s, 66.75pts, 4.

Senior final (10 sheep): Nathan Bee (Wyndham) 10m 32s, 37.2pts, 1; Kapua Brown (Taumarunui) 10m 44s, 38.9pts, 2; Dre Roberts (Mataura) 10m 45s, 38.75pts, 3; Blake Crooks (Rangiora) 10m 56, 39.5pts, 4.

Intermediate final (6 sheep): Cody Waihape (Mataura) 9m 22s, 34.1pts, 1; Caleb Brooking (Mataura) 9m 15s, 37.92pts, 2; Casey Aramakatu (Gisborne) 8m 47s, 40.85pts, 3; EmmaMartin (Gore) 9m 42s, 32.77pts, 4.

Junior final (3 sheep): Sam Wilson (Durham, England) 8m 13s, 32.98pts, 1; Renee Tarrant (Taumarunui) 7m 31s, 37.22pts, 2; Tye Meikle (Oamaru) 9m 54s, 52.7pts, 3; Chloe Lund (Yorkshire, England) 10m 21s, 42.05pts, 4.

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