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New technology . . . The Waimate Shears were live streamed for the first time. The technology was also used to decide what looked to the naked eye like a dead heat in Friday night's speed shearing competition. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

By Sally Brooker

“I’m really pleased with how it went,” Waimate Shears organising committee chairman Warren White says.

The two-day event took place on October 11 and 12 at the Waimate A&P Shears Pavilion at the Waimate showgrounds. As the second fixture on the spring shears calendar, it attracted top-level competition from throughout New Zealand and a transtasman blade shearing test.

The latter was won by New Zealand’s reigning world champions, Allan Oldfield from Geraldine and Fairlie’s Tony Dobbs. They defeated fellow World Championship finalists John Dalla and Ken French.

The home-and-away series continues in Dubbo in November.

Despite their test triumph, both Oldfield and Dobbs were beaten in the open blades final by Waikari New Zealand representative Mike McConnell. His win secures his place in next year’s transtasman series.

In the machine shearing section, Nathan Stratford from Invercargill successfully defended the open title. His 10th Waimate win puts him just one behind knighted champion Sir David Fagan.

Stratford was the fourth-fastest to shear his 16 sheep, but the quality of his work elevated him to first. Manawatu’s Aaron Haynes was second and Invercargill’s Leon Samuels, third.

 

Pagan Karauria of Alexandra dominated the open woolhandling contest, showing the skills that won her the New Zealand Merino Shears title at home a week ago. Amy-Lee Ferguson of Invercargill was second and Alexandra’s Foonie Waihape third.

Waihape made history by winning Waimate’s first women’s shearing competition. She was also runner-up to Timaru shearer Jack Gordon in the junior shearing final.

Brandon Maguire-Ratima from Winton won the senior shearing and Mitchell Menzies from Ranfurly took the intermediate title.

The senior woolhandling went to Ohai’s Sunni Te Whare and the junior to Balclutha’s Heaven Little.

Mr White said the new live-streamed coverage that was viewed by some 7500 people was “amazing”.

The event went so smoothly because it has “a really good committee”. While some organisations struggled to find helpers, if anything needed to be done for the shears there were two volunteers ready to do it, he said.