Two in a row
by Ann van Engelen
New Zealand representative Troy Pyper has scored his fourth win of the 2019–2020 shearing sports season with a successful defence of the Peninsula Duvauchelle Shears Open title in Akaroa.
Shearing in the first final since the traditional December break at the peak of the season in woolsheds throughout the country, Troy, from Invercargill and now based in Canterbury, shore the 20 sheep in Saturday’s final in 19min 10.35sec, 45 seconds quicker than runner-up Ringakaha Paewai, of Gore, whom he beat by almost two points in the final count.
Third was Hugh De Lacy, of Rangiora, and fourth Shaun Burgess, of Rakaia.
In a field 11, which started in the heats, it became Troy’s fourth win of the season, following victories at Ellesmere in October and the Marlborough and Nelson shows in November. He was also the top-performing New Zealander and second-placed individual overall in the three-a-side trans-Tasman shearing test in Dubbo, NSW, at the end of November, auguring well for the rematch at the Golden Shears in Masterton on March 7.
Well-performed shearers coming through the grades dominated the three other finals, the Senior final being won by 2016–2017 first-ranked Intermediate shearer Liam Norrie, of Cheviot, the Intermediate final by Darfield shearer Sam Bryan, whose last win had been at the Amuri show in March 2018. The Junior final provided the third win in five finals for competitions newcomer Chase Rattray, of Ashburton. Opening the season with fifth place at the New Zealand Spring Shears in Waimate, Chase won at Rangiora and Ashburton before being runner-up at the NZ Corriedale Championships in Christchurch.
The season steps-up next weekend with five competitions throughout the country, with the A-grade Northern Southland community shears on Friday, with woolhandling starting at 7.30am and shearing from 8am, both at Selby’s woolshed at Five Rivers.