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Former Cromwell-based shearing "rousie" Joel Henare, of Gisborne, has clinched his fifth "woolhandler of the year" title at the New Zealand woolhandling championships in Balclutha.
Mr Henare (21) has been unbeatable in Balclutha at the annual Otago shearing and NZ woolhandling championships since he claimed his first title at the age of 16. His triumph comes in the penultimate round of a series to find New Zealand's two woolhandlers for the world championships at the Golden Shears in Masterton on February 29 to March 3.
On Saturday, he edged his mentor, Australian-based former world champion woolhandler Joanne Kumeroa, of Whanganui, to claim his second competition victory in the series. Mrs Kumeroa maintains her lead in the New Zealand shearing sports selection series, which ends in Gore next weekend. Mr Henare's latest win boosts him to second place.