By Chelsea Boyle
Eketahuna woolhandler Emaraina Braddick has added to her success in Dannevirke earlier this year by taking out the open finals of the Manawatu A & P show in Feilding.
The former Tararua College student said she had been helping in the woolshed “since I could hold a broom” because her father, James Braddick, is a shearing contractor.
“I have always had a real passion for it [woolhandling],” Miss Braddick said.
“I have dedicated a lot of time to it.”
“That first win [in Dannevirke] was definitely exciting.”
Miss Braddick has been competing in the same grade for about five years.
Prior to the competition in Manawatu she changed her approach to focus on improving her board points and time.
“[I] felt like it clicked at Manawatu,” she said.
“The shearer makes a big difference.”
“I had a really good shearer, that I have had before.”
Miss Braddick’s sisters can often be spotted competing at woolhandling events as well, and they have had their fair share of success.
“We all enjoy doing the shows together,” Miss Braddick said.
She said she is used to competing against her sister Ngaio Hanson in the same grade.
Between competing and working for her father’s shearing gang, Miss Braddick also finds the time to run the kitchen at the Tui Brewery.
“It’s a bit of a juggling game,” she said.
The most challenging aspect when working as a woolhandler can be the irregular hours, she said.
“It’s weather dependent.”
Miss Braddick has completed NCEA level 1, 2, and 3 units for woolhandling and is now working on level 4 credits.
Looking forwards, she is focused on competing in the North Island circuit and Golden Shears.