South Island shearers go into the Canterbury Shears and New Zealand Corriedale Shearing and Woolhandling Championships well placed to continue a domination of the PGG Wrightson Vetmed National Shearing Circuit.
The championships start in Christchurch today with the woolhandling events, and the heats of the Open shearing championship constitute the third round of the circuit, which has five rounds, each with a different wool type.
The race is on to qualify in the top 12 for the finals at the 2023 at the Golden Shears in Masterton in March, marking the 50th anniversary of the event which incorporates the McSkimming Memorial Triple Crown, first presented in 1973 in honour of Central Otago finewool shearing legend Fred McSkimming and to recognise all-round shearing ability at the top level..
Defending circuit champion Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, has claimed maximum points from the first two rounds last month on finewool at Alexandra and long strongwool at Waimate, 2021 winner Leon Samuels, also of Invercargill, is currently in second place, and 2020 winner, defending Corriedales champion and Marlborough shearer Angus Moore is in third place.
Best-placed of the North Island shearers is David Gordon, of Masterton, in fifth place.
Following the Christchurch leg, the series will move to the North Island for lambshearing at Marton on February 4 and second-shear shearing at Pahiatua on February 26, with finals returning to Masterton after two years of Golden Shears cancellation during which the finals were held in 2021 at Te Kuiti and last March the first time in the South Island, at Armidale Merino Stud, near Gimmerburn, Central Otago.
Provisional points in the 2022-2023 PGG Wrighton Vetmed National Shearing Circuit after two rounds: Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 24pts, 1; Leon Samuels (Invercargill) 20pts, 2; Angus Moore (Seddon) 15pts, 3; Stacey Te Huia (Alexandra) 12pts, 4; David Gordon (Masterton) 11pts, 5; Gavin Mutch (Scotland/Dannevirke) 10pts, 6; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) and Ant Frew (Pleasant Point) 9pts, 7 equal; Jocky O’Neill (Alexandra), Chris Vickers (Palmerston), and Lionel Taumata (Gore), 8pts, 9 equal; Ringakaha Paewai (Gore) and Brett Roberts (Mataura) 7pts, 12 equal; Paerata Abraham (Masterton) 6pts, 14; Colin Dennison (-) 4pts, 15; Duncan Higgins (Owaka) and Troy Pyper (Cheviot) 3pts, 16 equal; Jake Rangiuaia (Mataura), Matene Mason (Masterton), Duncan Leslie (-), Hugh De Lacy (Rangiora), Willy McSkimming (Oamaru), Jordan Boyes (Owaka) and Taare Edwards (Ashburton) 2ts. 18 equal; Maaka Rangiuaia (Mataura), Colin O’Neill (Alexandra), Hemi Braddick (Eketahuna) and Beau Guelfi (Gisborne) 1pt, 25 equal.