Words Adrian Morgan | Images Clare Toia-Bailey
It was all happening at the NZ Merino Shears held in Alexandra over the weekend. image central was there to soak up the atmosphere and capture some of the action on finals night.
The NZ Merino Shears have been been running for more half a century and NZ Merino Shearing Society President, Dion Morrell, says
“The competition is a platform to showcase what we do and to set the standard for wool processing and shearing sheep in the work place.”
This year competitors from the Faulkland Islands and United Kingdom joined shearers and woolhandlers from all over New Zealand and Australia to compete in a series of heats followed by quarter finals and semifinals. The competition concluded last night with the senior and open shearing and open woolhandling competition finals.
If you have not been along to a competition before then make sure you check it out next year. It’s intense! There is plenty of action and the skill levels are awesome. The night started off with a transtasman ‘test’ comprising the top three shearers in the semi-finals of the open-shearing, the top open woolhandler and the two top finalists in the senior woolhandling from each country. New Zealand beat Australia – which is just the way we like it!
In the open championship Nathan Stratford from Invercargill ended West Australian Damien Boyle’s six-year reign as New Zealand Merino Shears Open champion. Boyle had won the title every year since Stratford last won the event in 2009.
Tasmanian, Jack Glover took out the senior shearing from Paraki Puna of Napier (2nd), Jay Stringer from Ranfurly (3rd).
Pagan Karauria won the open woolhandling title for the second year in a row, edging out Joel Henare, of Gisborne (2nd) and Amy Lee Ferguson of Invercargill (3rd)
There are heaps more photos of the championship on our website if you click here.
There is also great footage of the event on the NZ Merino Shearing Alexandra Facebook page as well as full details on results.
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