A Southerly Blowing At The Golden Shears

Published: Sat 2 Mar 2024 09:42 AM
A wind of Golden Shears change may have blown in from the south with a Southland team winning the annual championships’ first Regional Team Shearing Challenge in Masterton tonight (Friday).
In a South Island one-two finish, the team of Open shearer Brett Roberts, of Mataura, and Senior up-and-comer Nathan Bee, of Wyndham, beat North Canterbury combination Hugh De Lacy and Blake Crooks by 0.706pts, with third-place going to the Gisborne shearers Tama Niania and Te Ua Wilcox.
The win came after a startling effort by fellow Southland shearer Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, to become top qualifier for the 12-man glamour event Open shearing championship semi-finals, to be shorn late on Saturday afternoon.
Best known for quality shearing overcoming time deficits against the faster shearers throughout an Open-class career of 27 seasons, Stratford was the second fastest of the 12 qualifiers to graduate from the eight-sheep-each Top 30 shootout tonight.
But out of the race is TAB favourite and Northland shearer Toa Henderson, of Kaiwaka who finished ranked No 15, about threequarters of a point from qualifying.
With both original favourite Rowland Smith (injured) and Henderson out, the TAB immediately elevated Stratford to joint-favourite with fellow Southland shearer Leon Samuels.
Winner of six events in the South Island this season, Stratford is aiming to qualify for the Saturday night Open final for a 12th time, and the title for a first time. He was runner-up in 2019 and 2020 and third last year.
Meanwhile New Zealand team of Cushla Abraham, of Masterton, and Tia Potae, from Kennedy Bay, restored a little Kiwi transtasman pride, after the Black Caps’ Friday difficulties on the cricket pitch by beating a new Australian team of Marlene Whittle and Alexander Schoff in the New Zealand leg of an annual home-and-away woolhandling series.
The Kiwi win came after three consecutive victories by away teams, including a win Abraham and Potae in Bendigo, Vic, in October. New Zealand has now won 36 of the 47 transtasman woolhandling tests since 1998.
Meanwhile, Laura Bradley, of Papatawa, near Woodville, added the Golden Shears Women’s title to the New Zealand Shears Women’s title she won in Te Kuiti last April, some compensation for an early elimination from the senior shearing championship, in which she had been considered a strong candidate to be the first woman to win the Senior title.
Test team woolhandler Cushla Abraham won her second Golden Shears women’s woolpressing title, and in the latest chapter of a Masterton siblings rivalry Vinnie Goodger regained the men’s woolpressing title by beating brother, defending champion and 16-times winner Jeremy Goodger.
Results of finals on the second day of the 62nd Golden Shears being held in Masterton on Thursday-Saturday February 29-March 2, 2024:
Transtasman Woohandling: New Zealand (Cushla Abraham, of Masterton/Tia Potae, of Kennedy Bay) 302.6pts, beat Australia (Marlene Whittle, of Coleraine, Vic/Alexander Schoff, of Chinchilla, Qld) 339.2pts.
Abraham Shearing Women’s Invitation (six sheep): Laura Bradley (Papatawa) 7m 29.93s, 31.163pts, 1 Emma Martin (Gore) 8m 54.959s, 34.081pts, 2; Nicki Guttler (Australia) 9m 19.903s, 34.662pts, 3; Catherine Mullooly (Matawai) 8m 0.655pts, 34.7pts, 4; Danielle Mauger (Australia) 9m 43.13s, 36.823pts, 5; Alice Watson (Seddon) 8m 57.279s, 39.197pts, 6.
Shearwell Data Regional Teams Challenge (3 longwool and four second-shear sheep): South Zone 4 (Brett Roberts, of Mataura; Nathan Bee, of Wyndham) 7m 55.377s, 29.198pts, 1; South Zone 2 (Hugh De Lacy and Blake Crooks, of Rangiora) 7m 58.086s, 29.904pts, 2; North Zone 2 (Tama Niania and Te Ua Wilcox, of Gisborne) 7m 50.986s, 30.406pts, 3; North Zone 3 (Jack Fagan, of Te Kuiti; Forde Alexander, of Taumarunui) 8m 8.372s, 31.276pts, 4; North Zone 4 (David Buick, of Pongaroa; Laura Bradley, of Papatawa) 7m 53.367s, 31.811pts, 5; South Zone 1 (Angus Moore and Alice Watson, of Blenheim) 8m 345.035s, 32.845pts, 6.
Farmlands Men’s final (170kg target): Vinnie Goodger (Masterton) 166kg, 34.75pts, 1; Jeremy Goodger (Masterton) 156.5kg, 32.6pts, 2.
Farmlands Women’s final (150kg target): Cushla Abraham (Masterton) 150kg. 57.6pts, 1; Summer Pritchard (Pongaroa) 150.5kg, 61.8pts, 2.
Farmlands Pairs (170kg target): Vinnie and Jeremy Goodger (Masterton) 166kg, 32.4pts, 1; Joseph and Shyla Gordon (Masterton) 160.5kg, 75.75pts..
Triathlon (best heats points shearing, woolhandling and woolpressing combined): Jeremy Goodger (Masterton) 124.265pts, 1; Cushla Abraham (Masterton) 141.268pts, 2; Summer Prichard (Pongaroa) 146.224pts, 3; Vinnie Goodger (Masterton) 168.097pts, 4; Jodeisha Kirkpatrick (Gisborne) 179.198pts, 5; Ricci Stevens (Napier) 193.819pts, 6.

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