Rowland Smith continues winning ways at Wairoa

Reigning World, Golden Shears and New Zealand championships Open shearing titles holder Rowland Smith scored his 25th win in 12 months with victory in the Wairoa A and P Show's Open shearing final on Saturday.

Dating back to his Northern Southland Community Shears win on January 21 last year, the Maraekakaho gun has won 23 finals in New Zealand and two on tour in the UK with New Zealand teammate and Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick, who was runner-up on Saturday.

One of the youngest shearers to be bestowed Master Shearer status by Shearing Sports New Zealand, as he was in August last year, Smith has now won 92 finals in an Open-class career stretching into its 11th season.

But while they include his 2014 World Championships triumph in Ireland, his bid to reach a career century before the end of the season won't include any World title defence, one of his few misses having been when third in the New Zealand team selection series final in November and missing out on a place in this year's team.

Despite being last to finish Saturday's 20-sheep final, albeit less than 17 seconds after first-man-off and 2012 World champion and 2017 title Scotland hope Gavin Mutch, Smith won by 2.62pts from Kirkpatrick.

Wairoa locals Bart Hadfield and Lachie Baynes won a shearing match against French World championships pair Loic Leygonie and Thimoleon Resneau, while in other events promising Hawke's Bay shearers Paraki Puna, of Napier, and Anaru Wakefield, of Porangahau, won the Senior and Intermediate finals respectively, while first-time finalist Keith Swann, of Wairoa, won the Junior final.

Results of the Wairoa A and P Show shearing championships on Saturday, January 21, 2017:

Open final (20 sheep): Rowland Smith (Hastings) 17min 2.84sec, 60.04pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 16min 58.95sec, 62.85pts, 2; Gavin Mutch (Scotland/Whangamomona) 16min 46.19sec, 62.86pts, 3; Rikihana Chase (Taihape) 16min 57.62sec, 67.63pts, 4.

Senior final (9 sheep): Paraki Puna (Napier) 12min 1.19sec, 48.39pts, 1; Jack Dever (Wairoa) 11min 34.32sec, 48.49pts, 2; Darren Alexander (Whangamomona) 12min 10.21sec, 49.73pts, 3; Ricci Stevens (Napier) 12min 12.38sec, 53.39pts, 4.

Intermediate final (6 sheep): Anaru Wakefield (Porangahau) 9min 54.23sec, 36.21pts, 1; Jeremy Leygonie (France) 10min 15.19sec, 52.59pts, 2; James McKenzie (Wales) 9min 44.49sec, 44.56pts, 3; Sam Davison (Masterton) 11min 41.17sec, 53.56pts, 4.

Junior final (4 sheep): Keith Swann (Wairoa) 9min 43.43sec, 1; Hemi White (Napier) 10min 9.6sec, 47.73pts, 2; Carmen Smith (Pongaroa) 9min 41.52sec, 49.58pts, 3; Atawhai Hadfield (Wairoa) 11min 20.74sec, 50.04pts, 4.

Teams (10 sheep): Wairoa Shears 79.78pts (Lachie Baynes 9min 40.13sec, 39.51pts; Bart Hadfield 9min 11.46sec, 40.27pts) beat France 1102.43pts (Loic Leygonie 9min 51.32sec, 45.17pts; Thimoleon Resneau 10min 33.33sec, 57.27pts).


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