New Zealand Shearing Contractors Association president Mark Barrowcliffe may be the top boss in the industry but also
runs a gang of some of the top up-and-coming talent as was shown at on the opening day of the New Zealand Shears in Te
Staff of the Piopio-based enterprise claimed the first two titles of the three-day championships, the Junior
woolhandling final won by Rahera Kerr, 31, from Hauturu, and the Senior final by Azuredee Paku, 36, from Masterton.
Both from inter-generational shearing families, they were unofficial pre-post favourites as the top-performers in their
grades during the season.
Kerr reached 10 finals and added today’s success to earlier wins at the Central Hawke’s Bay Aand P Show in Waipukurau in
November and the Rangitikei Shearing Sports North Island Championships in Marton in February.
Paku reached 9 finals, with just the one previous win, also at Marton, but is now looking forward to mixing it with the
big guns of the Open grade next season.
Among Kerr’s mentors has been Te Kuiti’s Keryn Herbert, who today retained the North Island Open Woolhandling Circuit
title, in a final normally held at the Golden Shears in Masterton, which were cancelled last month because of Covid-19
Level 2 alert.
Herbert’s win, qualifying for a place in the New Zealand transtasman series team next summer if the series goes ahead,
was some consolation for missing out on a place in the five for the New Zealand Shears Open final, to be contested on
She and 9-times winner and 2010 World Teams Champions teammate Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape, were both eliminated in the
Former Southland shearer Troy Pyper justified his late decision to fly north for the Shears by being top qualifier for
the National All-Breeds Shearing Championships, which will be shorn on Saturday afternoon and which would otherwise also
have been held in Masterton.
Today’s semi-final comprised 12 qualifiers from an earlier curtailed series of four shows, but it was a disaster for
Hawke’s Bay-based Scotsman and former World and Golden Shears champion Gavin Mutch – the top qualifier from the
preliminaries but who was held up by car problems en route, and made it with barely 30 seconds to spare, only to tail
the field on the day.
Entries for the championships accelerated to the highest level in Te Kuiti for several years, with more than 270
shearers and woolhandlers expected to have taken part by the end on Saturday night.
The championships weren’t held last year because of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Results from the first day of the 2021 New Zealand Shears shearing and woolhandling championships being held in Te Kuiti
on April 8-10:
National All-Breeds Shearing Circuit semi-final (8 sheep -2 merino, 2 longwool, 2 second-shear, 2 lambs, first 6
shearers to final on Saturday afternoon): Troy Pyper (Invercargill/Cheviot) 10min 16.92sec, 42.971pts, 1; John
Kirkpatrick (Napier/Pakipaki) 11min 15.25sec, 45.513pts, 2; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 11min 33.37sec, 46.919pts,
3; Leon Samuels (Invercargill) 11min 29.64sec, 49.607pts, 4; Ringakaha Paewai (Gore) 12min 0.18sec, 52.009pts, 5; Axle
Reid (Taihape) 12min 56.09sec, 53.555pts, 6; Brett Roberts (Mataura) 12min 4.24sec, 54.212pts, 7; Paerata Abraham
(Masterton) 11min 50.07sec, 56.754pts, 8; James Ruki (Te Kuiti) 13min 12.13sec, 57.982pts, 9; Simon Goss (Mangamahu)
12min 21.43sec, 58.947pts, 10; Matene Mason (Masterton) 12min 18.47sec, 60.799pts, 11; Gavin Mutch (Scotland/Dannevirke)
10min 33.18sec, 61.284pts, 12.