The national crossbred lambs junior woolhandling final line-up from left winner Charis Morrell, runner-up Heaven Little, third-placed Samantha Allen, and Georgie Blackbur, fourth

Big day for juniors

by Ann van Engelen

The Southland Shears national lambs shearing and woolhandling championships at the Winton A&P Show on Saturday saw 14-year-old Charis Morrell win the junior woolhandling final.

It was Charis’ first win, but not her first moment in the shearing sports spotlight. Her career started as an 11-year-old partnering with mother Gabriella Schmidt-Morrell to give the mum’s native Switzerland a presence at the 2017 world championships.

In Winton, Charis and fellow daughters of former champion shearer Dion Morrell, with world teams champion Pagan Karauria won the open woolhandling final for a fourth time, and sister Larnie Morrell placing third. Runner-up was Heaven Little who had the previous day added the Northern Southland Community Shears title on longwool to her first win at the New Zealand Spring Shears title in Waimate in October.

In the open final Pagan continued a sequence of national titles, being the first to win the national fine wool, spring shears, Corriedales and lambs titles in one season, but still seeking a first win in glamour North Island events the Golden Shears Open in Masterton and the New Zealand Shears Open in Te Kuiti.

Defending Winton open champion Joel Henare missed out on a place in the final, just 24 hours after winning the Northern Southland Community Shears longwool title near Lumsden. Runner-up in the final was Keryn Herbert who won the Winton title in 2011 and 2013.

Gore-based Krystal Schimanski won the senior woolhandling final. Krystals previous senior win was the New Zealand Woolhandler of the Year title two years ago. New Zealand team member David Buick won the open shearing final. He has now won both the New Zealand Lambshearing Championships at Fairlie’s Mackenzie Shears and the crossbred lambs title in Winton twice in a row.