Wed, Mar 27, 2024 9:57 AM

More than a shearer - Moore's the president



Doug Laing

Champion shearer Angus Moore took it all in his strides multi-tasking as both competitor and the new president for his local A and P show in the Marlborough township of Ward.

He packed all the necessary gear for shearing at the Flaxbourne A and P Show on Sunday, except for the dress-trou needed for official stuff, like the grand parade between his shearing heat and the final, and presentations of trophies and a Royal Agricultural Society medal.

It didn’t quite mean completing the jacket and tie ensemble with moccasins a sheep-stained strides, but it was close. He had packed two pairs of jeans – the “good” ones for the shearing, and the “second” he wore at glad-rags time.

Moore also hadn’t thought about the possibility of having to present the winning ribbon to himself as possibly the first A and P show president to win his own show’s open shearing title.

The presentation role was taken up by Wairarapa farmer Dan Billing, who was at the show with rural support trust responsibilities but also shore in the Senior event, finishing third, while sons Ged and Will dominated the Intermediate event.

Former shearing champion and 2005-2014 MP Colin King handled the microphone.

One of the jobs that had to be done during the year was the upgrading of the Weld Park shearing facility and a new board of four-stands and pens was in use for the first time on Sunday.

There were just 18 shearers across the four grades, highlighting a problem Moore, a fulltime shearer and contractor, says is the reality for shows in remoter areas where numbers of sheep and local shearers have fallen drastically over the years.

But Moore says despite the falloff, shearing remains a popular stop at A and P shows throughout the country, keeping the loyals working to keep the competitions and exhibitions alive in areas such as Flaxbourne which was one of the first to see machine shearing in woolshed New Zealand, in the 1880s.

“That's why I fight hard for ours,” said Moore, who has seen up to 35 shearers at the show in the past. “Even with a few less shearers you can still entertain the gathered crowd if you have a few twists.”

A competitor at his local show since he was a teenager – and head boy at Marlborough Boys College – Moore had won the Senior final in 2006, and the Open consecutively in 2018, 2019, 2021 last year and now 2024, given that the show was cancelled in 2020 and 2022.

He was Golden Shears Sennior champion in Masterton in 2010, and is a three-times winner of all-bread championship the PGG Wrightson Vetmed National Circuit.

On Sunday it was one of the longest 20-sheep finals in the Shearing Sports New Zealand calendar this season.

Having competed only rarely this summer, Moore was in the New Zealand team that beat Australia in a test match at the Golden Shears in Masterton on March 2, won at the Cheviot show on March 16, and shore Sunday’s final in 21m 48.22s – three sheep clear of last-man-off, part-time shearer and Blenheim photographic businessman Richard Sampey, who clocked-out in 26m 24.4s.

Moore also dominated the quality to win by almost 10 points from runner-up Duncan Higgins, of Blenheim.

Marvelling on the day of horse sports, terrier racing, community gathering, and shearing, Moore said:  “We had an awesome show overall. Cracker weather, locals pitched in and it was a fantastic day.”

Timo Hicks won the Senior final, having won at his home Tapawera Sports Shears south of Nelson in January, Ged Billing won the Intermediate event, and local Sam Murray claimed Junior honours.

It was the only shearing sports competition in New Zealand at the weekend, after the cancellation of the Waitomo Caves Sports in the North Island on Saturday.

The season will finish with a flourish with the Oxford A and P Show on Saturday, the Mackenzie A and P Show’s national lamb shearing championships in Fairlie on Monday, the Hawke’s Bay Autumn Shears in Waipukurau next Wednesday, and the New Zealand Shears in Te Kuiti over the following three days, on April 4-6.

RESULTS from the Flaxbourne A and P Show Shears at Ward on Sunday, March 24, 2024:

Open final (20 sheep): Angus Moore (Seddon) 21m 48.22s, 72.56pts, 1; Duncan Higgins (Blenheim) 24m 4.5s, 82.18pts, 22; Chris Jones (Blenheim) 25m 21.26s, 88.06pts, 3; Richard Sampey (Blenheim) 26m 24.4s, 91.57m, 4.

Senior final (7 sheep): Timo Hicks (Tapawera) 10m 23.38sec, 43.03pts, 2; Seymour Lambert (Ward) 11m 28.03s, 44.83pts, 2; Josh Quinn (Seddon) 10m 57.28s, 46.86pts, 3; Dan Billing (Dannevirke): 9m 51.12s, 68.7pts, 4.

Intermediate final (4 sheep): Ged Billing (Masterton) 9m 20.1s, 41.26pts, 1; Will Billing (Masterton) 8m 42.33s, 44.37pts, 2; Jimmy Peters (Ward) 8m 42.37s, 45.12pts, 3; Billy Collins (Ward) 8m 29.62s, 54.48pts, 4.

Junior final (2 sheep): Sam Murray (Ward) 5m 5.6s, 28.78pts, 1; Jack Murray (Clarence) 6m 9.22s, 31.96pts, 2; Emilia Meling (Norway) 5m 10.12s, 36.51pts, 3; Ethan Baldwin (Lake Grassmere) 6m 41.34s, 39.07pts, 4.

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