Henderson Leads The Way As The Guns Head For The Golden Shears - At Pace

Published: Sun 25 Feb 2024 11:22 AM
Northland shearer Toa Henderson was in ever-increasingly dominant form as he entered the last weekend before the Golden Shears with major wins at Taumarunui on Friday and Apiti on Saturday.
In the 20-sheep, six-man Open finals at both the Taumarunui Shears and the Apiti Sports Shears, each of which attracted more than 200 shearers and woolhandlers across the grades, Henderson, from Kaiwaka, posted fastest time with best quality points both on the shearing board and with the finished product in the pens.
The Taumarunui win was comfortable enough, with his 16m 48.04s the quickest by 10 seconds and a 2.332pts margin over Te Kuiti shear Mark Grainger.
But at Apiti 24 hours later, he smashed ‘em, his 15m 26sec being a record for a 20-sheep final at Apiti, finishing 23 seconds quicker-than and five points clear-of runner-up, three-times Apiti Open winner and miracle man David Buick, who is continuing a comeback from severe pelvic and other injuries received when crushed in a ditch on his Pongaroa farm in October 2021.
With the Pahiatua Shears still to come on Sunday to complete the build-up to the 62nd Golden Shears, starting in Masterton on Thursday, it was for Henderson, scoring his eighth and ninth Open-final wins of the season, almost the complete package needed to win the big Open final next Saturday night.
But, yet to shear in shearing’s glamour 20 minutes, he remained in one-step-at-a-time mode after an Apiti final that had three shearers from overseas, possibly a first for a major Open final in New Zealand, and said: “The top of the country were here, except one, who we all know who it is, that wasn’t.”
The absentee was Hawke’s Bay shearer Rowland Smith, going for a 9th Golden Shears Open win this week and likely to be the TAB opening-price favourite, despite just three shows and one win in 2024.
Third at Taumarunui was former World and Golden Shears Open champion Gavin Mutch, who has lived in New Zealand more than 20 years and is now farming in Southern Hawke’s Bay, 4th was Gethin Lewis, from Wales and a seasonal shearer in Hawke’s Bay for most of the last decade, and fifth was World nine-hours lambshearing record-holder Stuart Connor, who moved from England to Hawke’s Bay in November.
At Apiti, Te Kuiti shearer Jack Fagan was third, Mutch was fourth, and fifth and sixth were Masterton shearers Paerata Abraham and Chris Dickson.
It was at Apiti a day of family success for the runner and runner-up, with Henderson’s dad, Mike, winning the veterans event, and Buick’s daughter, Gemma, winning the Novice woolhandling.
Other features of the start to the weekend were the Taumarunui Intermediate win by West Australian shearer Danielle Mauger, Papatawa shearer Laura Bradley’s win in a 10-sheep Apiti Senior final, with fastest time and marking her further as a prospect to be the first woman to win the Golden Shears Senior title, and Napier shearer Kaivah Cooper’s Junior wins at both Taumarunui and Apiti, taking him to eight wins this season.
Each of the two shows attracted 74 woolhandlers across the grades, with Open-final honours shared.
At Taumarunui, Logan Kamura, of Marton, scored his second win in a week, with Chelsea Collier of Hamilton the runner-up and first-season Open competitor Te Anna Phillips third.
At Apiti, former World teams title winner Keryn Herbert, of Te Kuiti, scored her fourth win this season, and her third at Apiti in a career tally of 56 Open-final victories. Ngaira Puha, of Apiti, was runner-up, and third was 2009 Golden shears Senior champion and occasional Open competitor Ratapu Moore, from Northland but based in Marlborough with husband and reigning PGG Wrightson Vetmed national shearing circuit champion Angus Moore.
The woolhandlers are not competing at Pahiatua and have their final shakedown on Wednesday at the Wairarapa Pre-Shears Woolhandling Championships in a woolshed just north of Masterton, incorporating the North Island Senior and Junior woolhandling circuit finals.
RESULTS from the Taumarunui Shears shearing and woolhandling championships on Friday, February 23, 2024:
Open final (20 sheep): Toa Henderson (Kaiwaka) 16m 48.04s, 56.102pts, 1; Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 17m 0.88s, 58.434pts, 2; Gavin Mutch (Scotland/Dannevirke) 16m 58.25sec, 58.463pts, 3; Gethin Lewis (Rhayader, Wales) 17m 22.92s, 58.796pts, 4; Stuart Connor (England/Hastings) 17m 25.22s, 59.361pts, 5; Lionel Taumata (Gore) 19m 22.77s, 65.189pts, 6.
Senior final (10 sheep): Sean Fagan (Te Kuiti) 10m 52.4sec, 40.52pts, 1; Bruce Grace (Wairoa/Napier) 11m 16.07s, 42.304pts, 2; Dre Roberts (Mataura) 11m 09.59s, 43.18pts, 3; Blake Crooks (Rangiora) 11m 22.17s, 44.059s, 4; Callum Bosley (England) 11m 53.53s, 45.877pts, 5; Jimmy Napier (Riverton) 12m 58.63s, 46.632pts, 6.
Intermediate final (6 sheep): Dannielle Mauger (Mullalyup, West Australia) 9m40.23s, 33.178pts, 1; Ethan Fladgate (Te Awamutu) 9m 7.89s, 35.062pts, 2; Julian Karl (Traunstein, Germany) 9m 22.32s, 36.449pts, 3; Kyle Rhodes (Wairoa) 8m 41.29s, 37.398pts, 4; Emma Martin (Gore) 10m 5.7s, 37.618pts, 5; Cheyden Winiana (Nuhaka) 9m 40.17s, 38.676pts, 6.
Junior final (4 sheep): Kaivah Cooper (Napier) 6m 40.27s, 25.524pts, 1; Orlando Ratima (Hunterville) 7m 10.89s, 27.045pts, 2; Lachie Cameron (Kimbolton) 7m 40s, 30.5pts, 3; Marshall Buckman (Apiti) 7m 1.33s, 31.067pts, 4; Thomas Marchant (Maramarua) 6m 53.69s, 33.185pts, 5; Arana Marshall (Huntly) 8m 9.78s, 35.489pts, 6.
Novice final (2 sheep): Blake Wildermoth (Kaitieke) 5m 22.92s, 27.646pts, 1; Kevin Noone (Ireland) 6m 1.29s, 28.565pts, 2; Rebecca Dickson (Tikokino) 7m 59.3s, 30.465pts, 3; Alex Glasgow (Marton) 6m 52.43s, 30.622pts, 4; Mack Belton (Whanganui) 7m 56.36s, 38.318pts, 5; Te Anna Phillips (Taumarunui) 9m 33.14s, 41.157pts, 6.
Open final: Logan Kamura (Marton) 44.43pts, 1; Chelsea Collier (Hamilton) 55.95pts, 2; Te Anna Phillips (Taumarunui) 70pts, 3; Brittany Tibble (Gisborne) 89.43pts, 4; Miri Haig (Taumarunui) 99.16pts, 5.
Senior final: Vinniye Phillips (Taumarunui) 63.918pts, 1; Whakapunake (Naki) Maraki (Flaxmere) 66.57pts, 2; Nohokainga Maraki (Taumarunui) 73.19pts, 3; Tre Ratana Sciascia (Taihape) 74.224pts, 4; Kalah Hadfield (-) 82.374pts, 5.
Junior final: Alice Otimi 55.932pts, 1; Bryndyll Pinkham 56.87pts, 2; Rahera Lewis (Taihape) 63pts, 3; Kaivah Cooper (Napier) 67.868pts, 4; Kelly Barrett (Kawhia) 81.03pts, 5.
Novice final: Addison Tarrant 35.56pts, 1; Mark Delaney 53.72pts, 2; Herbert Ela 60.72pts, 3; Maaka Nikora (Taumarunui) 70.632pts, 4; Olivia Burton 72.91pts, 5.
RESULTS from the Apiti Sports Shears at Apiti on Saturday, February 24, 2024:
Open final (20 sheep): Toa Henderson (Kaiwaka) 15m 26s, 52.95pts, 1; David Buick (Pongaroa) 15m 49s, 57.95pts, 2; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 16m 36s, 58.5pts, 3; Gavin Mutch (Scotland/Dannevirke) 16m 15s, 58.5pts, 4; Paerata Abraham (Masterton) 17m 20s, 61.9pts, 5; Chris Dickson (Masterton) 15m 44s, 67.6pts 6.
Senior final (10 sheep): Laura Bradley (Papatawa) 10m 47s, 40.85pts, 1; Will Sinclair (Balclutha) 11m 4s, 41.9pts, 2; Bruce Grace (Napier) 10m 53s, 42.75pts, 3; Nathan Bee (Gore) 11m 55s, 44.35pts, 4; Blake McKenzie (Riverton) 11m 42s, 44.5pts, 5; Jack Hutchinson (Newcastle Upon Tyne, England) 10m 56s, 47.8pts, 6.
Intermediate final (6 sheep): Dylan Young (Gisborne) 8m 7s, 33.35pts, 1; Cody Waihape (Gore) 8m 41s, 33.3833pts, 2; Pat Corrigan 8m 23s, 34.65pts, 3; Emma Martin (Gore) 9m 22s, 34.7667pts, 4; Ryka Swann (Wairoa) 8m 53s, 36.65pts, 5; Matthew Smith (Otorohanga) 9m 8s, 36.9pts, 6.
Junior final (4 sheep): Kaivah Cooper (Napier) 6m 40s, 30.5pts, Lachie Cameron (Kimbolton) 6m 48s, 31.15pts, 2; Orlando Ratima (Hunterville) 6m 54s, 31.2pts, 3; Marshall Buckman (Apiti) 6m 44s, 32.7pts, 4; Benazzi Ward (Pirinoa) 7m 3s, 40.65pts, 5; Peter Losty (Meath, Ireland) 8m 5s, 41pts, 6.
Novice (2 sheep): Waiari Puna (Napier) 6m 42s, 29.6pts, 1; Grady Collis (Tauhoa) 9m, 32pts, 2; Abbey Grant(Feilding) 8m 9s, 32.45pts, 3; Ryan Craw (Coromandel) 6m 21s, 35.05pts, 4; Ben Soloman (-) 8m 3s, 39.15pts, 5; Te Anna Phillips (Taumarunui) 7m 58s, 40.4pts, 6.
Veterans (2 sheep): Mike Henderson (Kaiwaka) 2m 46s, 17.3pts, 1; Graeme Roadley (Wairoa) 3m 19s, 17.45pts, 2; Kevin Buckman (Apiti) 3m 55s, 18.85pts, 3; Blair McCarroll (Apiti) 2m 39s, 18.95pts, Tony Young (Feilding) 2m 46s, 19.8pts, 5; Russell Knight (Apiti) 2m 55s, 20.25pts, 6.
Open final: Keryn Herbert (Te Kuiti) 55.25pts, 1; Ngaira Puha (Apiti) 62.31pts, 2; Ratapu Moore (Seddon) 82.6pts, 3; Ngaio Hanson (Eketahuna) 83.524pts, 4; Chelsea Collier (Hamilton) 5; Marika Braddick (Eketahuna) 6.
Senior final: Vinniye Phillips (Taumarunui) 56.75pts, 1; Amy Bell (Weber) 74.968pts, 2; Cortez Ostler (Dannevirke) 78.15pts, 3; Nohokainga Maraki (Flaxmere) 89.44pts, 4.
Junior final: Mere Maraki (Flaxmere) 62.66pts, 1; Capree Wallace (Taihape) 64.44pts, 2; Makayla Neil (Piopio) 73.63pts, 3; Waiari Puna (Napier) 86.34pts, 4.
Novice: Gemma Buick (Pongaroa) 56.08pts, 1; Sophie Humphrey (-) 62.16pts, 2; Jemma Brears (Ohura) 64.59pts, 3; Caitlin Murphy (-) 70.84pts, 4.

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