Wed, Mar 8, 2023 5:30 AM

Tapawera shears and speed shear


Eloise Martyn

Tapawera was buzzing with shearers from across top of the south from afar as Kaikoura and Canterbury.  The competition drew a big crowd with the annual music in the mountains event being held at the same venue. With 702 caravans on site and upwards of 2000 people the campers were well entertained. In the morning the day started with the junior shearers going through the grades with the open class after lunch. It's safe to say there was great entertainment for the onlookers and competitors enjoying their day. It was nice to have people from the crowd acknowledge the skill that the shearers have, with a number talking of their roots to the land and farming background -clearly bring back fond memories.

Much thanks needs to be given to the people behind the scenes. From the farmer Pamela Irvine of Mt Jones farm supplying 330 beautiful hill country Perendale ewes, the crutching team that prepared the sheep days beforehand and the team that makes the event run on the day.

Many thanks to David & Lynn Baigent, Sheryl Win, and the competition judges on the day. Baden & Hamish Barker for the work they do behind the scenes and on the day and to the many people volunteering their time to make this event happen.

Last of all I need to acknowledge our fantastic sponsors. We have great support from our sponsors, and I thank them very much. Without them we don’t have a show.  It was a great day, cheers to you all - Kerry Irvine, Tapawera Shares Organiser.

Kerry Irvine, key organiser, in action. Photo: Supplied.

Former Southland shearer Floyd Haare successfully defended the Tapawera Shears Open shearing title when the annual competition was held south of Nelson on Saturday. Haare, 35, now based at Bainham, near Collingwood, dominated the four-man final shearing the 20 sheep in 19min 24.22sec, beating second-man-off and eventual runner-up Nick Nalder, of Takaka, by more than two sheep, a buffer of almost 9pts on time.

There were more than two minutes back to veteran Blenheim competitor Chris Jones, who won the Open Plate at Tapawera last year, and who at the age of almost 65 has competed at all three top-of-the-south shows so far this season, also finishing third at the Marlborough show in October.

There were nine shearers in the Open class at Tapawera, among 19 shearers across the four classes, notably Lydia Thomson, who has now shorn in 10 finals this season for seven wins, including two national title wins, at the Corriedales championships in Christchurch and the crossbred lambs championships at Winton. She was also runner-up in two other national title events, on the longwool of the Waimate Spring Shears and the full wool of the Northern Southland Community Shears near Lumsden.

Headed for the Intermediate grade next season and having recently shorn 200 ewes in a day at work for the first time, Thomson also won a women’s event on Saturday, and in the Clean Shear was third behind Jones and Senior final winner Timo Hicks, of Tapawera. The Intermediate final was won by Dylan Hamlin of Bainham.

Despite the smaller number of entries, Lyn Baigent, who does the points at all the shows in the region, said it was a good day - "but hot."

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