8 Apr 2013

Drama at shearing champs

6:33 am on 8 April 2013

The New Zealand shearing and wool handling championships in Te Kuiti at the weekend delivered more than the usual amount of drama and surprises.

Current Golden Shears open champion, Hastings shearer Rowland Smith, made it a double with a comfortable New Zealand Open Championship win.

The event had already created one upset with the elimination of the defending title holder, John Kirkpatrick in the semi finals.

But Doug Laing of Shearing Sports New Zealand said there was more drama and confusion to come when a mix-up in penning the sheep meant one of the finalists ended up a sheep short and one had too many.

Mr Laing said the mix up did not affect the final result, as Dion King, who had only 19 sheep in his pen rather than the required 20, was knocked out of the running on penalty points.

But there were plenty of surprises in the open wool handling final too, with three of the favourites, world champions Tina Rimene, Sheree Alabaster and Joel Henare, were all eliminated in the semi-finals.

Winner Hanatia Tipene from Te Kuiti had not competed in a wool handling event for a year.