Rising wool-handling star, Gisborne teenager Joel Henare, is off to a cracking start in the new competition shearing season.
He beat his mentor, former world champion Joanne Kumeroa, to retain his Waitaki McKenzie merino shears open woolhandling title.
Henare was the top-ranked wool-handler in New Zealand last season. He won by almost 20 points in a competition which attracted 29 open woolhandlers.
The open shearing title was won by Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, in the absence of reigning champion James Fagan, of Te Kuiti. Fagan was in Australia competing in an invitation event at the Royal Perth Show.
The shearing season continues with the national finewool championships, in Alexandra, this weekend.