Napier Woolhandler takes big honors at World Champs

Napier woolhandler Angela Stevens may have some career thinking to do after scoring the first win of a possible family rout at the World shearing and woolhandling championships in Invercargill when she won the Southland All Nations senior woolhandling final.

It was the first of the major support-event titles to be presented, the 25-year-old mother-of-one taking a break from a busy computer points-scoring role at the four-day championships to compete, and try to watch husband Ricci in the All Nations Senior machine shearing event, and father John Kirkpatrick in the All Nations Open machine shearing and his fourth attempt to win become World individual champion at his fourth attempt.

It was the highlight of the short career of Angela Stevens in a busy 12 months in which she became New Zealand Junior woolhandling champion last April, the top-ranked New Zealand Junior woolhandler for 2015-2016, got married, and had her first child, the now seven-month-old Carter.

Secretary of Shearing Sports New Zealand's North Island computer points scoring committee, on which she works with mother Raylene, she was non-committal when asked if she would try to somehow one-day emulate her champion shearer father who won two World teams titles in the course of representing New Zealand at World Championships in Norway (2008), Masterton (2012), Ireland (2014) and now Invercargill, as well as winning four Golden Shears open shearing titles and more than 200 other events.

"I was going to finish at Senior," she said tentatively as husband Ricci stepped forward for the congratulatory hug, before heading-off to prepare for the All Nations Senior shearing final in front of a crowd expected to be over 2000 people tonight.

Steven's hadn't worked most of the season, in which the family has started a new shearing contract run in Hawke's Bay, but burst into contention for such elevated Senior honours when she won the North Island Senior woolhandling title at the Rangitikei Shearing Sports in Marton last Saturday.

The form continued with second place in a field of 32 in the All Nations heats on the opening day of the championships on Wednesday and a repeat effort in the semi-finals.


Southland All Nations Senior woolhandling final: Angela Stevens (Napier) 47.88pts, 1; Ebony Turipa (Gore) 52.37pts, 2; Lashara Anderson (Christchurch) 58.25pts, 3; Emma-Kate Rabbidge (Wyndham) 60.69pts, 4; Nova Kumeroa-Elers (Mataura) 64.97pts, 5; Krystal Gulliver (Gore) 98.33pts, 6.


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