World Shearing Championship Series

Published: Mon 18 Jan 2016 09:55 AM
World Shearing Championship Series
January 17, 2016
World shearing champion Rowland Smith has made a flying start to a gruelling New Zealand team selection series he hopes will have him defending the title in Invercargill in 13 months’ time.
The two-metres tall Hawke’s Bay-based Smith, who claimed his World title in Ireland in May 2014, won the two opening legs in the series on longwool ewes at Lumsden on Friday and in the national crossbred lambs championships at the Winton A and P Show on Saturday.
But there’s a long way to go, with four more rounds, and then a final at the Canterbury Show in November before the two machines shearers are named for the 17th World shearing and woolhandling championships in Invercargill ILT Stadium Southland on February 9-11, 2017.
Smith has been almost invincible in the last two years, having been beaten just twice in 18 finals dating back to his second Golden Shears win in March 2014. Chasing hardest in the selection series are 2014 World championships teammate John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, and Southland hope Nathan Stratford.
In the woolhandling series, 2012 World champion Joel Henare, from Gisborne, and Alexandra’s Pagan Rimene, shared the spoils, with a win each in the opening rounds.
The Shearing Sports New Zealand team will ultimately comprise two machine shearers, two woolhandlers and two blade shearers.
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