Troy Pyper, winner of the Ellesmere A&P Show’s Open final, pictured at the Golden Shears this year

Test series warm-up

by Ann van Engelen

Based in Canterbury, shearer Troy Pyper backed-up his selection for a return to the New Zealand team for this summer’s trans-Tasman series with a successful defence of the Ellesmere A&P Show.

Troy didn’t have it all his way in a four-man final, with a narrow victory over runner-up, former national representative and Marlborough shearer Angus Moore. There were just 12 seconds in it as Troy was first to the finish, shearing the 10 long-wooled sheep in 9min 53sec. Once all the time and quality points had been collated, Troy got the nod by just 0.1pts.

Troy had seven wins in New Zealand last season, including a second New Zealand Corriedale Championships title in Christchurch. With three trans-Tasman tests behind him in 2015–2017, he regained a place when runner-up and first New Zealander home in the national Merino Championship, which was won again by West Australian shearer Damien Boyle in Alexandra. He plans to continue the shows in New Zealand before heading to the away test in the 2019–2020 trans-Tasman series, in which he will team with fellow Southland shearer Nathan Stratford and new international Paerata Abraham, of Masterton, in Dubbo, NSW, on November 29. The Dubbo visit will also include test matches for New Zealand’s two new world champion teams — blades shearers Allan Oldfield, of Geraldine, and Tony Dobbs, of Fairlie, and woolhandlers Pagan Karauria, of Alexandra, and Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape.

Waikaka shearer Brayden Clifford, runner-up at the Waimate Spring Shears, successfully defended the Ellesmere Intermediate title he won last year and William Duncan scored his first junior win by a narrow margin over Alice Watson, from Marlborough.