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Wales Closing The Gap, Bu Kiwis Nail The Shearing Win

Welsh shearers Gethin Lewis and Llyr Jones indicated a first win for Wales in a shearing test match in New Zealand might not be too far away when they were pipped by just 1.9 points at the new Hawke’s Bay Autumn Shears in Waipukurau yesterday.

The New Zealand team of Masterton shearers Paerata Abraham and David Gordon won the match, on the eve of the three-day New Zealand Shears shearing and woolhandling championships which start in Te Kuiti today (Thursday), with the Kiwis taking a 2-0 Wools of New Zealand International Shearing Series going into the final match on Friday night.

Having also won the first test by more than 6pts in Raetihi on March 16, Abraham and Gordon are in the process of avenging a 3-0 series loss to Wales in Wales last July.

Abraham won the race in yesterday’s match over 20 sheep each to finish in 16m 13s, beating Lewis off the board by four seconds. Gordon, last to finish, had the best quality points.

The Waipukurau shearing board again proved a happy hunting ground for Gordon, who won the Autumn Shears Open final, having won the Central Hawke’s Bay A and P Show Open final on the same shearing board in a quality-points countback after tieing with Hawke’s Bay veteran, 2017 World champion and four-times Golden Shears Open champion John Kirkpatrick last November.

Kirkpatrick, who with wife Raelene was behind the establishment of the new competition, was in the final again, but had to settle for third place, in his 30th season of Open-class shearing.

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The runner-up was Northland shearer Toa Henderson who claimed the fastest time (15m 33s for the 20 sheep), and goes into the New Zealand Shears hoping to go one better than his second placing in the Open final last year, and to secure a 13th win in the 2023-2024 Shearing Sports New Zealand season.

Having also won the Waimarino Shears Open final on the day of the first test three weeks ago, Gordon shapes as a genuine challenger in Te Kuiti, having claimed his New Zealand team singlet by placing in tha Open final in Te Kuiti 12 months ago.

Southland shearer Nathan Bee yesterday scored his 5th win of the season and his second in the North Island to beat Golden Shears winner Forde Alexander, of Taumarunui, by more than 3pts in the Senior final, and Patea shearer Blake Mitchell won the Intermediate final by just 0.05pts from Te Awamutu shearer and happy traveller Ethan Fladgate, who was going for three in a row after winning at the Oxford and Mackenzie A and P shows in the South Island over Easter.

Orlando Ratima, of Hunterville, scored a big win in the Junior final, more than 2pts clear of Napier teenager and Golden Shears winner Kaivah Cooper, who was gunning for a 7th win in a row, while third place went to Maramarua shearer Thomas Marchant, who had also won at both weekend shows in the South Island.

The Novice final was won by Mac Foreman, of Pahiatua.

It was Waikato-King Country just about all the way in the Open woolhandling final, in which Chelsea Collier, of Hamilton, scored her first win since February last year, beating favourite and runner-up Keryn Herbert, of Te Kuiti, by almost 19pts. Third place went to Peggy Sue Tohengaroa, of Aria, in her first Open final since 2017.

Collier had scored a big double last year at the national crossbred lambs championships in Winton and the Rangitikei Shearing Sports North Island championships in Marton, but today’s final was just her fourth in the 2023-2024 season.

It was the 10th final of the season for 4th-placegetter and New Zealand World Championships team member Ngaio Hanson, who remains without a win in the Open class.

The Senior woolhandling final provided a 4th win for the season for Saskia Tuhakaraina, of Gore, and Paige Marshall, from Taumarunui, claimed a first win in the Junior final.

The new competition attracted 137 entries, including 28 in the Open shearing and 23 in the Open woolhandling.

The first day of the New Zealand Shears today is devoted to woolhandling, starting with the Open championship heats, and the day session ending with the Novice, Junior and Senior finals and the Open semi-finals.

Shearing heats will be shorn tomorrow as the annual championships gather momentum, which includes the return of the Great New Zealand Sheep Muster on Saturday afternoon.

RESULTS from the Hawke’s Bay Autumn Shears at Waipukurau on Wednesday, April 3, 3024:


Wools of New Zealand International Shearing Series, Second Test (20 sheep): New Zealand (Paerata Abraham 16m 13s, 57.4pts; David Gordon 17m 23s, 59.7pts) 117.1pts, beat Wales (Gethin Lewis 16m 19s, 59.25pts; Llyr Jones 16m 39s, 59.75pts) by 1.9pts. New Zealand leads the series 2-0 and the third and final test will be shorn at the New Zealand Shears in Te Kuiti on Friday.

Open final (20 sheep): David Gordon (Masterton) 16m 10s, 56.2pts, 1; Toa Henderson (Kaiwaka) 15m 33s, 57.65pts, 2; John Kirkpatrick (Pakipaki) 16m 59s, 58.5pts, 3; Paerata Abraham (Masterton) 15m 47s, 59.1pts, 4.

Senior final (10 sheep): Nathan Bee (Wyndham) 9m 47s, 36.05pts, 1; Forde Alexander (Taumarunui) 10m 7s, 39.15pts, 2; Te Ua Wilcox (Gisborne) 10m 42s, 40pts, 3; Laura Bradley (Papatawa) 10m 38s, 40.3pts, 4.

Intermediate final (6 sheep): Blake Mitchell (Patea) 7m 42s, 31.77pts, 1; Ethan Fladgate (Te Awamutu) 8m 13s, 31.82pts, 2; Duncan Adams (Scotland) 8m 56s, 35.47pts, 3; Heath Barnsdall (Piopio) 8m 54s, 37.03pts, 4.

Junior shearing (4 sheep): Orlando Ratima (Hunterville) 6m5s, 27.25pts, 1; Kaivah Cooper (Napier) 6m 37s, 29.6pts, 2; Thomas Marchant (Maramarua) 5m 50s, 31pts, 3; Tom Clarkson (-) 6m 22s, 33.35pts, 4.

Novice final (1 sheep): Mac Foreman (Pahiatua) 3m 8s, 19.4pts, 1; Rebecca Dickson (Halcombe) 3m 42s, 21.1pts, 2; Angus Monk (-) 3m 4s, 31.2pts, 3; Noah Henricksen (-) 2m 42s, 35.1pts, 4.


Open final: Chelsea Collier (Hamilton) 35.824pts, 1; Keryn Herbert (Te Kuiti) 54.63pts, 2; Peggy Sue Tohengaroa (Aria) 63.53pts, 3; Ngaio Hanson (Eketahuna) 69.806pts, 4.

Senior final: Saskia Tuhakaraina (Gore) 41.562pts, 1; Amy Bell (Weber) 46.212pts, 2; Ashleigh Mei (-) 57.41pts, 3; Mere Maraki (Flaxmere) 59.56pts, 4.

Junior final: Paige Marshall (Taumarunui) 36.87pts, 1; Grace Croasdale (Masterton) 40.95pts, 2; Marama Timmins (Opotiki) 50.16pts, 3; Chloe Henderson (Hunterville) 50.712pts, 3.

© Scoop Media

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