Northland-raised Hawke's Bay shearer Rowland Smith has tonight completed an amazing reply to his omission from the New Zealand World Championships team with a cleansweep of major events on the final night of the 57th Golden Shears in Masterton.
The 30-year-old 2014 World champion was the man of the night as he won his fourth Golden Shears Open title, his first PGG Wrightson National Championship all-breeds title and led New Zealand to victory over Australia in a Transtasman test, the first time New Zealander had been eight tests since March 2013.
Last month he had to sit-out what would have been a defence of the World title he won in 2014, had he not missed out on a place in the team after finishing only third in a selection series final in November.
A crowd of over 1000 packed into Masterton's War Memorial Stadium waited in anticipation of a possible first home victory in the 20-sheep Open final which crowned the triumphs.
But Smith had left it in no doubt in his defence of Golden Shears the title, overtaking pacemaking Taranaki-based 2015 champion and Scotland international Gavin Mutch on the last two sheep to finish first in 17min 19.05sec, 23.886sec and ultimately win by a comfortable margin of 3.325pts from Feilding shearer Aaron Haynes, who repeated his second placing of two years ago.
Third was Southland shearer Nathan Stratford, who had been top qualifier for the final and who put in one of his best Golden Shears Open final performances but was still unable to sneak a South Island win, which has not otherwise been achieved since 1989.
Listen to Rowland Smith talk to The Country's Jamie Mackay about his success at the Golden Shears in the audio above.
Smith also had the best quality points, but Mutch sacrificed the points in the race for time as his bid came largely unstuck over the latter stages of the race.
Many would have been surprised by the result of the test match in which Australian shearers Daniel McIntyre, Jason Wingfierld and series veteran Shannon Warnest were all finished their six merinos, three longwools and three lambs before Smith, the first Kiwi to the button.
But it highlighted a special determination which was also evident in the PGG Wrightson National, which Smith won by 1.618pts from 2013 winner John Kirkpatrick. Stratford was again third, and defending champion and five-times winner Tony Coster, of Rakaia, was fourth.
The two-metres-tall super-shearer won the Southland All Nations Open final support event in Invercargill, one of a sequence of wins which stretched to 11 in a row with his Open final win last night. Having first sheared Open class in 2006, with Golden Shears Junior and Senior titles behind him, his latest sequence included his 100th win in the top class.
Henare was in commanding form throughout the Golden Shears to claim the Open woolhandling title for a fifth consecutive time, his total being one short of the record of six won by late mentor Joanne Kumeroa between 1995 and 2012.
The runner-up was Taihape's Sheree Alabaster, who remained without a Golden Shears title despite having won the New Zealand Championships Open title seven time in Te Kuiti.
Third was Pagan Karauria, of Alexandra, and 2012 Junior champion Anne Maree Kahukura, of Omakau, was fourth in her first Golden Shears Open final.
Earlier in the day, Darren Alexander, of Whangamomona, won the Senior shearing title which had been won by father Lloyd Alexander 29 years ago, the Intermediate final was won by Connor Puha, of Kimbolton, and the Junior final was won by 43-year-old Hawke's Bay farmer and part-time shearer Mark Ferguson, who hadn't shorn a competition two months ago.
The Senior woolhandling final was won by Taihape's Jamie McLean, nine years after she won the Junior title, which was this year won by Napier's Ricci Stevens, deriving some satisfaction after an earlier elimination from his more favoured Senior shearing event.
RESULTS from the 57th Golden Shears Shearing and Woolhandliung Championships in Masterton, NZ, on March 2-4, 2017:
Lister Shearing Transtasman Shearing Test (12 sheep - 6 merinos, 3 long wools, 3 lambs): New Zealand 225.3534pts (R owland Smith 17min 45.072sec, 73.67pts; Nathan Stratford 18min 1.987sec, 75.016pts; Tony Coster 17min 50.029sec, 76.667pts) beat Australia 237.969pts (Jason Wingfield 15min 51.416sec, 75.071pts; Shannon Warnest 16min 58.816sec, 78.357pts; Daniel McIntyre 17min 39.154sec, 84.541pts). Godfrey Bowen Trophy (best quality points): Rowland Smith (New Zealand).
CP Wool Transtasman Wool handling test: New Zealand (Sheree Alabaster, Joel Henare) 298.4pts beat Australia (Sophie Huf, Mel Morris) 468.48pts.
Golden Shears Open final (20 sheep): Rowland Smith (Hastings) 17min 19.05sec, 60.703pts, 1; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 18min 8.556sec, 64.028pts, 2; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 18min 0.865sec, 64.043pts, 3; David Buick (Pongaroa) 17min 27.703sec, 64.235pts, 4; Murray Henderson (Halcombe) 18min 16.796sec, 67.79pts, 5; Gavin Mutch (Scotland/Whangamomona) 17min 23.886sec, 68.144pts, 6.
PGG Wrightson National Championships final (15 sheep - 3 merinos, 3 corriedales, 3 longwools, 3 second-shear, 3 lambs): Rowland Smith (Hastings) 19min 32.206sec, 77.01pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 19min 15.225sec, 78.628pts, 2; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 20min 13.459sec, 79.873pts, 3; Tony Coster (Rakaia) 20min 11.415sec, 81.705pts, 4; Paerata Abraham (Masterton) 19min 9.382sec, 83.536pts, 5; Murray Henderson (Halcombe) 20min 33.293sec, 86.199pts, 6.
Golden Shears Senior final (12 sheep): Darren Alexander (Whangamomona) 13min 27.36sec, 51.451pts, 1; Tegwyn Bradley (Woodville) 13min 47.255sec, 52.280pts, 2; Aaron Bell (Waipawa) 12min 34.761sec, 52.738pts, 3; Nicholas Greaves (England) 14min 6.21sec, 56.561pts, 4; Lionel Taumata (Mataura) 13min 22.165sec, 57.358pts, 5; Conan Te Kene (Taumarunui) 12min 26.865pts, 59.509pts, 6.
Golden Shears Intermediate final (eight sheep): Connor Puha (Kimbolton) 12min 4.056sec, 45.453pts, 1; Brandon Maguire-Ratima (Winton) 12min 57.988sec, 47.024pts, 2; Laura Bradley (Woodville) 12min 38.529sec, 49.301pts, 3; Tom Brewer (Naracoorte, Australia) 12min 8.611sec, 53.431pts, 4; Josh Harding (Hunterville) 12min 52.578sec, 56.754pts, 5; Neil Bryant (Levin) 134min 42.913sec, 6.
Golden Shears Junior final (five sheep): Mark Ferguson (Kahuranaki) 9min 46.681sec, 35.334pts, 1; Brodie Horrell (Gore) 8min 51.463sec, 35.373pts, 2; Liam Norrie (Cheviot) 10min 18.783sec, 38.339pts, 3; Steve Hakaraia (Napier) 9min 29.337sec, 38.867pts, 4; Anne-Lise Humstad (Norway) 10min 18.509sec, 40.125pts, 5; Keith Swann (Wairoa) 11min 3.69sec, 44.985pts, 6.
Golden Shears Novice final (2 sheep): Mark Baxter (Pongaroa) 5min 9.975sec, 31.999pts, 1; Richmond Ngarangione (Gisborne) 6min 11.868sec, 35.593pts, 2; Ariana Hadfield (Wairoa) 8min 1.219sec, 37.061pts, 3; Leam Pritchard (Pongaroa) 5min 57.186sec, 39.359pts, 4; Flynn Harvey (Kaitaia) 8min 8.954pts, 5; 40.448pts, 5; Andrew Baxter (Pongaroa) 6min 32.665sec, 42.133pts, 6.
Maori-Pakeha Teams Event: Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) and Turi Edmonds (Raetihi) 73,036pts, 1; Axle Reid (Taihape) and Ringakaha Paewai (Gore) 75.117sec, 2; Kelvin Walker (Taumarunui) and Floyde Neil (Taumarunui) 78.64pts, 3.
Tui Encouragement Invitation (6 sheep): Tama Niania (Gisborne) 6min 42.543, 30.127pts, 1; Tipene Te Whata (Tautoro) 7min 14.631sec, 32.565pts, 2; Brett Roberts (Mataura) 7min 14.517sec, 32.726pts, 3; Jimmy Samuels (Marton) 6min 16.364sec, 32.984pts, 4; Hemi Braddick (Eketahuna) 6min 48.734sec, 33.271pts, 5; Jordan Boyes (Owaka) 7min 17.206sec, 33.527pts, 6.
Golden Shears Open final: Joel Henare (Gisborne) 160.85pts, 1; Sheree Alabaster (Taihape) 218.228pts, 2; Pagan Karauria (Alexandra) 220.228pts, 3; Anne Maree Kahukura (Omakau) 289.22pts, 4.
Golden Shears Senior final: Jamie McLean (Taihape) 133.7pts, 1; Erana Smith (Ruatoria) 153.71pts, 2; Ebony Turipa (Gore) 168.1pts, 3; Ash Boyce (Dannevirke) 212.94pts, 4.
Golden Shears Junior final: Ricci Stevens (Napier) 180.48pts, 1; Tameka Hema (Gisborne) 192.98pts, 2; Sarah Davis (Rerewhakaaitu) 193.286pts, 3; Bianca Hawea (Masterton) 194.038pts, 4.
Golden Shears Novice final: Aromia Ngarangione (Gisborne) 46.2pts, 1; Georgia Oliverr (Masterton) 59.6pts, 2; Midz Peneha (Masterton) 73.4pts, 3; Shyla Karaitiana (Masterton) 91.4pts, 4.
North Island Circuit Open final: Maryanne Baty (Gisborne) 127.38pts, 1; Sheree Alabaster (Taihape) 137.664pts, 2; Carmen Smith (Pongaroa) 162.864pts, 3; Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu/Te Kuiti) 170.85pts, 4.
Men's Final: Vinnie Goodger (Masterton) 56.7pts, 1; Conan Gray (Masterton) 76.6pts, 2.
Women's final: Christine Wolland (Eketahuna) 54.2pts, 1; Carmen Smith (Pongaroa) 104.95pts, 2.
Pairs final: Vinnie Goodger and Conan Gray (Masterton) 46.45pts, 1; Jimmy Samuels (Marton) and Riccie Stevens (Napier) 103.75pts, 2.
Young Farmers Clubs:
Blue Ribbon Open Shearing Championship (six sheep): Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 7min 1.943sec, 26.763pts, 1; Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 7min 2.469sec, 30.29pts, 2; Linton Palmer (Dipton) 9min 21.469sec, 34.907pts, 3; Jacob Moore (Marton) 8min 29.566sec, 34.978pts, 4; Aaron Bell (Waipawa) 8min 34.256sec, 35.213pts, 5; Tegwyn Bradley (Woodville) 8min 57.197sec, 35.693pts, 6.
Shearing and Woolhandling teams event: Wairarapa (shearers Aaron Bell, Mark Grainger; woolhandlers Sam Gordon, Sarah Higgins) 219.512pts, 1; Marton (shearers Jimmy Samuels, Jacob Moore; woolhandlers Cortez Ostler, Logan Kamura) 248.616pts, 2; Ballance (shearers Tegwyn Bradley, Laura Bradley; woolhandlers Sumer Pritchard, Sam Pritchard) 288.513pts, 3.
Triathlon (combined points from shearing, woolhandling and pressing heats): Ricci Stevens (Napier) 173.227pts, 1; Carmen Smith (Pongaroa) 186.376pts, 2; Jono Hicks (Marton) 203.88pts, 3; Jimmy Samuels (Marton) 221.659pts, 4; Linton Palmer (Dipton) 230.609pts, 5.
R.E.O'Hara Memorial Trophy (best quality any shearing final): Mark Ferguson (Kahuranaki), Junior final.
FMG Quality Awards (best quality in shearing heats): Open, Tony Coster (Rakaia) 6.667pts, 1; Senior, Paul Swann (Wairoa) 5.2pts; Intermediate, Blake Hewes (Glen Murray) 6.25pts; Junior, Mark Ferguson (Elsthorpe) 6.25pts..
Friends of Golden Shears (best quality points in woolhandling heats): Open, Joel Henare (Gisborne) 51pts; Senior, Sam Tipene (Eketahuna) 71pts; Junior, Crystal Bird (Mangatainoka) 72pts..
Les Field Memorial Trophy (best quality woolhandling all grades): Joel Henare.
McGregor Trophy (best quality points in shearing heats, local): Open, Rikihana Chase; Senior, Stacey Reiri; Intermediate, Ruka Braddick; Junior, Chris Dickson; Novice, Louis Smith. Winner: Rikihana Chase.
Stewart Trophy (best local Junior shearer): Paora Moanaroa (Eketahuna).