Wool titles go far and wide

Gore woolhandler Erica Reti on her way to taking the NZ junior woolhandler title. Photo by Helena...
Gore woolhandler Erica Reti on her way to taking the NZ junior woolhandler title. Photo by Helena de Reus.
Judge Grant Bradfield keeps an eye on Dylan McGruddy, of Masterton, as he wins the Otago...
Judge Grant Bradfield keeps an eye on Dylan McGruddy, of Masterton, as he wins the Otago intermediate shearing title in Balclutha yesterday.

Young shearers and woolhandlers fought for three titles at the Otago Shearing and New Zealand Woolhandling Championships in Balclutha yesterday.

The three winners of yesterday's competition once again hailed from outside Otago, with Erica Reti (Gore) winning the New Zealand junior woolhandler title, Carlton Aranui (Raupunga, Hawkes Bay) winning the Otago junior shearing, and Dylan McGruddy (Masterton) taking the intermediate shearing title.

Two South Island woolhandling circuit titles were also awarded, with Liv Gardner (Southland) winning the junior section and Juliette Lyon (Alexandra) taking the senior.

The Balclutha event is also the first in an unofficial ''Grand Slam'' dating back to the 1970s, when it was won for the first time by 1977 world champion Roger Cox.

The Grand Slam also includes, in successive weeks, the Southern Shears in Gore and, in the North Island, the Pahiatua Shears and the Golden Shears.

The Balclutha event, also dubbed the Otago Shears, is held over two days and continues today in the Balclutha War Memorial Hall.

The New Zealand vs Wales shearing test match will be held this afternoon.

Rowland Smith, the reigning Golden Shears and New Zealand open champion, and Tony Coster, who has shorn in more than 50 finals over 20 years of competing, will represent New Zealand.

First day results. -

Junior New Zealand woolhandler: Erica Reti, 129.064 points, 1; Jasmaree Hogg, 130.812, 2; Jarrod Fletcher, 146.530, 3; Iri Ohuka, 177.660, 4.

Junior shearing: Carlton Aranui, 31.463 points, 1; Joel Richards, 35.787, 2; Eli Raheke, 36.025, 3; Hefin Rowland, 38.469, 4; Hemi Lambert, 41.071, 5.

Intermediate shearing: Dylan McGruddy, 39.685 points, 1; Lyall Winderburn, 41.569, 2; Jan Juppe, 42.329, 3; Chris Malcolm, 47.99, 4.

South Island junior woolhandling circuit: Liv Gardner, 88.94 points, 1; Jasmaree Hogg, 130.89, 2; Kerrie Duff, 130.93, 3; Nova Kumeroa-Elers, 152.22, 4.

South Island senior woolhandling: Juliette Lyon, 143.00 points, 1; Tawhai Cannell, 146.22, 2; Daine Rene, 172.25, 3; Sarah Higgins, 185.12, 4.

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