Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, showed winning form in
the Otago open shearing section in Balclutha on Saturday.
Photo by Helena de Reus.
Invercargill shearer Nathan Stratford found the major
breakthrough he was looking for when he won the Otago open
shearing title in Balclutha on Saturday.
Despite finishing nearly 30 seconds behind Cam Ferguson,
Stratford took the title with a convincing two-point lead
with his score of 61.835.
He is the first South Island shearer to win the Otago
competition's open title in more than 12 years.
Stratford said he was ''feeling great'' about the win and
described it as unexpected.
The Invercargill man has been shearing for 17 years, and said
he enjoyed meeting a range of people through the sport.
Otago Shearing and New Zealand Woolhandling Championships
president Bruce Walker said the open shearing final was one
of the best he had seen for several years.
''It was very close, a great win for Nathan [Stratford]. But
also good for Otago to have a southern winner after so
The two-day event in Balclutha attracted about 150
competitors which was slightly down from previous years, he
Omakau woman Anne-Maree Kahukura won the national senior
woolhandling title, after winning the junior title in
Masterton last year.
Stratford and John Kirkpatrick represented New Zealand
against Wales in the second Elders Primary Wool Shearing
Series. Each team had two shearers, and each shore six sheep.
New Zealand won the test, and the final match will take place
in two weeks at the Pahiatua Shears.
Open shearing: Nathan Stratford (Invercargill), 61.835pts, 1;
Cam Ferguson (Waipawa), 63.903, 2; John Kirkpatrick (Napier),
63.939, 3; David Fagan (Te Kuiti), 65.875, 4; Darin Forde
(Winton), 66.738, 5. Senior shearing: Brett Roberts
(Mataura), 55.128 points, 1; Cory Palmer (Dipton), 58.340, 2;
Brook Todd (Dipton), 58.565, 3; Rob Mainland (Invercargill),
58.978, 4; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti), 59.278, 5. New Zealand open
woolhandler: Pagan Rimene (Masterton), 131.874 points, 1;
Joel Henare (Gisborne), 138.500, 2; Tia Potae (Milton),
140.894, 3; Taiwha Nelson (Alexandra), 273.850, 4. New
Zealand senior woolhandler: Anne-Maree Kahukura (Omakau),
176.244, 1; Stevie Mason-Smallman (Taihape), 177.220, 2;
Ataneta Puna (Napier), 222.618, 3; Juliette Lyon (Alexandra),
234.720, 4. New Zealand woolpressing team: Gordon family, 1;
Ken Payne and Bruce Walker, 2; Simon and Corey, 3; Telford
boys, 4. Open woolhandling circuit: Pagan Rimene (Masterton),
1; Joel Henare (Gisborne), 2; Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu), 3;
Tina Rimene (Masterton), 4; Amy Ruki (Invercargill), 5;
Taiwha Nelson (Alexandra), 6. Shearing and woolhandling team:
Dion Morrell team, 127.656, 1; Pango Me Whero, 130.200, 2;
A-Bro Hulks, 132.787, 3; Handpieces Hustlers, 153.165, 4.