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David Gordon pushes legend hard

A piece of family history, brother and sister in the Open finals at the Wairarapa A and P Show’s Spring Shears. David Gordon was runner-up in the Open shearing final and sister Samantha third in the Open woolhandling final.  PHOTOS/DOUG LAING SSNZ


Hawke’s Bay shearer John Kirkpatrick celebrates a milestone with his eighth Wairarapa Show Open final win, 25 years after his first.

Champion shearer John Kirkpatrick continued to show advancing years are no bar to winning form as he won the Wairarapa A and P Show open final at Clareville on Saturday.

The 49-year-old’s third win in a fortnight came in a four-man final including two heir apparents not yet born when Kirkpatrick had his first open final win 25 years ago, also at the Wairarapa show.

The Hawke’s Bay gun has now had at least 183 wins in the top class, including eight in the Wairarapa final.

Runner-up David Gordon of Masterton, and fourth-placed Paraki Puna of Napier had just one open final appearance between them.

They reached the final after the surprise eliminations of 2019 New Zealand team members Cam Ferguson of Waipawa and David Buick of Pongaroa.

Gordon, the 2010 Golden Shears novice winner, came in fifth at the Warrnambool show in Australia last week, an event Kirkpatrick also won.

On Saturday he stepped-up another notch when he took the challenge to Kirkpatrick on the full-woolled ewes in testing heat at the Clareville Showgrounds, at one stage having about half a sheep up on the rest of the field.

Kirkpatrick took until the second half of the race to catch him. From there, with multiple World, Golden Shears and New Zealand titles to his name, he was all class, pulling away to be first off the board by 26 seconds and claim the win by 2.9pts.

While Kirkpatrick had the best time and outside penalties, there was almost nothing in the jobs on the shearing board. Kirkpatrick, Gordon and third-placed Murray Henderson of Halcombe each averaged 1.86pts, and
Puna 2pts.

Gordon was part of a unique family achievement. Sister Samantha Gordon taking third place in the Open woolhandling in which 2010 World champions Sheree Alabaster of Taihape and Keryn Herbert of Te Kuiti were first and second respectively.

It was Alabaster’s third Wairarapa show win in a row, and the 66th individual win of an open woolhandling career now in its 17th season.

Masterton shearer Sean Gouk broke through for his first senior final win in New Zealand, after two seasons of trying since winning the 2017 New Zealand Championships intermediate final.

Gouk had achieved a win in Ireland in 2018. His win blocked Mangamahu shearer Simon Goss’s hopes of a third win in a row after victories at Gisborne and Hastings over the previous fortnight.

Mangamahu shearer Daniel Biggs made it three from three in North Island intermediate competitions this season. The Junior final was won by Heath Barnsdall of Piopio.

The senior woolhandling final was won by Ataneta Puna of Napier, in a rare competition performance since winning the Golden Shears junior title in 2011.

Michael Buick, open shearer and son of David, won both the novice shearing and woolhandling events.


Wairarapa A and P show shears at Clareville.

Open final [15 sheep]: John Kirkpatrick [Pakipaki] 15min 21sec, 55.37pts, 1; David Gordon [Masterton] 15min 47sec, 58.27pts, 1; Murray Henderson [Halcombe] 16min 13sec, 60.513pts, 3; Paraki Puna [Napier] 16min 5sec, 61.45pts, 4.

Senior final [8 sheep]: Sean Gouk [Masterton] 11min 50sec, 48pts, 1; Simon Goss [Mangamahu] 11min 41sec, 49.25pts, 2; Paora Moanaroa [Eketahuna] 12min 55sec, 53.85pts, 3; Daniel Seed [Woodville] 12min 35sec, 54.05pts, 4.

Intermediate final [6 sheep]: Daniel Biggs [Mangamahu] 7min 34sec, 28.4pts, 1; Matt Hunt [Waikaka] 7min 53sec, 38.05pts, 2; Topia Barrowcliffe [Piopio] 9min 23sec, 42.15pts, 3; Alex Hokianga [Hastings] 10min 54sec, 48.9pts, 4.

Junior final [4 sheep]: Heath Barnsdall [Piopio] 10min 19sec, 42.95pts, 1; Matene Munday [-] 9min 24sec, 44.2pts, 3; Renee Biggs [Mangamahu] 15min 48sec, 59.9pts, 4.

Novice [1 sheep]: Michael Buick [Pongaroa] 29.65sec, 1; Haeora King [Matawai] 5min 27sec, 31.35pts, 2; Maureen Chaffey [Maraekakaho] 5min 20sec, 44pts, 3; Erueti King [Matawai] 7min 56sec, 53.8pts, 4.


Open final: Sheree Alabaster [Taihape] 95.7pts, 1; Keryn Herbert [Te Kuiti] 118.144pts, 2; Samantha Gordon [Masterton] 120.282pts, 3.

Senior final: Ataneta Puna [Napier] 97.668pts, 1; Jasmin Tipoki [Taumarunui] 103.938pts, 2; Bianca Hawea [Masterton] 112.894pts, 3.

Junior final: Paeone Dean [Masterton] 90.432pts, 1; Awhina Edmonds [Masterton] 107.15pts, 2; Shyla Karaitiana [Masterton] 127.126pts, 3.

Novice: Michael Buick [Pongaroa] 93.482pts, 1; Topia Barrowcliffe [Piopio] 105.12pts, 2; Joseph Gordon [Masterton] 115.15pts, 3; Hannah Miller [-] 137.682pts, 4.

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