Wairarapa shearer Hemi Braddick loomed further as a challenger for possible World title shearing in an era of new Open competition winners with a flying trip from the deep south to claim the Horowhenua Shears title in Levin on Sunday.
He was into his 10th season in the top grade before he had his first Open win at the Poverty A and P Show’s Gisborne Shears in October.
But it didn’t stop there, the 31-year-old from Eketahuna claiming placings in finals at the Hawke’s Bay show’s Great Raihania Shears, the Wairarapa A and P Show and the New Zealand Corriedale Championships in Christchurch as 2022 drew to a close.
Back from the competition break, Braddick hit the board running in the new year when he was runner-up to Mataura shearer Brett Roberts in the Northern Southland Community Shears Fullwool championship final near Lumsden on Friday and a semi-finalist in the Southland Shears New Zealand crossbred lambs final at the Winton A and P Show the next day before heading north to shear yet again less than 24 hours later.
Braddick was one of three in Sunday’s four-man final that had made the same journey, Masterton shearers Matene Mason and David Gordon finishing third and fourth respectively, while Gordon’s brother and fellow intrepid adventurer Adam Gordon completed a lucrative weekend w inning the Senior final after finishing third in the fullwool Senior final on Friday and winning the Senior final on the Winton lambs the next day.
Intermediate Hawke’s Bay shearer Bruce Grace made it a double for the weekend by adding a Hotowehenua title to victory at the Wairoa A and P Show on Saturday, the Junior final was won by Jake Goldsbury, from Waitotara, and the Novice event was won by Sam Fletcher, of Hawke’s Bay.
A feature of the day was number of competitors from overseas, working in New Zealand as the country combats a shortage of shearers in the mainshear, with finalists on Sunday including shearers from England, Ireland and Wales.
Other shearers included four from Mongolia, based with Piopio contractor Mark Barrowcliffe and each shearing in competition for the first time.
Up to 150 shearers and woolhandlers are now expected to converge on Taihape on Saturday for the local show’s A-grade 60th shearing and woolhandling championships, ahead of three shows in four days the following weekend – at Dannevirke on February, the North Island championships in Marton the following day, and the Aria Shears on Waitangi Day.
In the South Island the focus turns to the Tasman and West Coast regions, with the Tapawera Shears on Saturday south of Nelson and the Reefton Shears on February 4 at the Inangahua A and P Show.
Results from the Horowhenua Shears at Levin on Sunday, January 22, 2023:
Open final (20 sheep): Hemi Braddick (Eketahuna) 19min 15sec, 66.3pts, 1; Aaron Haynes (Feilding) 20min 46sec, 67.15pts, 2; Matene Mason (Masterton) 20min 53sec, 71.35pts, 3; David Gordon (Masterton) 21min 43sec, 77.95pts, 4.
Senior final (10 sheep): Adam Gordon (Masterton) 12min 29sec, 45.55pts, 1; Daniel Biggs (Mangamahu) 13min 4sec, 48.9pts, 2; Topia Barrowcliffe (Piopio) 12min 4sec, 51.6pts, 3; Logan Bethel (Levin) 14min 45sec, 54.85pts, 4.
Intermediate final (5 sheep): Bruce Grace (Napier) 6min 55sec, 29.55pts, 1; Sam Green (England) 6min 35sec, 33.15pts, 2; Darren Bryant (Levin) 8min 31sec, 42.15pts, 3; Craig Naylor (England) 8min 47sec, 48.45pts, 4.
Junior final (4 sheep): Jake Goldsbury (Waitotara) 7min 51sec, 38.05pts, 1; Lachie Cameron (Kimbolton) 10min 12sec, 38.35pts, 2; Pat Corrigan (Ireland) 8min 40sec, 41pts, 3; Evan Rowbotham (Wales) 9min 12sec, 43.1sec, 4.
Novice final (2 sheep): Sam Fletcher (Hawke’s Bay) 7min 47sec, 39.85pts, 1; George Peacock (-) 9min 2 sec, 56.1pts, 2; Ernie Timms (Levin) 6min 50sec, 73pts, 3; Camden Bolton (Feilding) 10min 10sec, 77pts, 4.