Watch: Henare relishing dual roles at NZ Merino Champs

By Pam Jones

World woolhandling champion Joel Henare said it was "no problem" wearing two hats at the New Zealand Merino Championships in Alexandra at the weekend.

Henare, who won the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships woolhandling title in Invercargill earlier this year and regained the New Zealand Merino Championships open woolhandling title at the Alexandra event on Saturday, was both competitor and commentator at the two-day merino championships, the opening event of the 2017-18 shearing sports season.

Henare said he enjoyed both competing and commentating.

World woolhandling champion Joel Henare soaks up the action at the New Zealand Merino Championships. Photo / Pam Jones
World woolhandling champion Joel Henare soaks up the action at the New Zealand Merino Championships. Photo / Pam Jones

"It's something I've learned to juggle over the years. It's very satisfying, and it's (commentating) my way of giving back, of giving my time."

Henare (26), who is originally from Gisborne but now based in Alexandra with Peter Lyon Shearing, started competing in woolhandling aged about 12 and has been commentating since he was about 14.

He said his passion for commentating was kindled by listening to other professionals and he enjoyed bringing his knowledge to the practice.

"I just like adding my comments in. I know the people and I know what's happening up there."

Henare also won the Golden Fleece Woolhandler of the Year.

Australian Damien Boyle regained the New Zealand Open Merino Shearing Championships title last weekend, making it his seventh such title in eight years.

Australian shearer Damien Boyle shears his way to a seventh New Zealand Open Merino shearing championships title in eight years at the New Zealand Merino Championships in Alexandra at the weekend. Photo / Pam Jones
Australian shearer Damien Boyle shears his way to a seventh New Zealand Open Merino shearing championships title in eight years at the New Zealand Merino Championships in Alexandra at the weekend. Photo / Pam Jones

Boyle had won the final six times in a row from 2010-15 before Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, restored the Kiwi pride with a popular victory last year.

But Stratford had to settle for third place on Saturday. Troy Pyper, also of Invercargill, was second.

Second in the open woolhandling after Henare was Pagan Karauria, of Alexandra, and third was Monica Potae, of Milton.

Ranfurly shearer Vanni Stringer won the senior shearing final and Colin O'Neill and Dion Morrell won the transtasman event.

The senior woolhandling title was won for a second time by Ebony Turipa, of Gore, and the junior title by Linda Duncan, of Alexandra.

- Otago Daily Times

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