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Masterton trio in national finals

Paerata Abraham is one of three Masterton shearers to qualify for the national shearing circuit final. PHOTOS/FILE

SHEARING

Although Paerata Abraham, Matene Mason, and David Gordon won’t be competing in front of family and friends at their hometown Golden Shears, the Masterton shearers are still gunning for national championship glory.

The trio is among 12 shearers who will compete for the PGG Wrightson Vetmed National Shearing Circuit title on Saturday at the finals to be contested in a Central Otago woolshed.

David Gordon is one of the rising stars on the national shearing circuit.

2019 winner Abraham, Mason, and Gordon qualified for the showdown after the fourth and fifth qualifying rounds at the Apiti and Districts Show shearing and woolhandling championships, about 40km northeast of Feilding.

The finals, to be held at Armidale Merino Stud, near Gimmerburn, comprise two six-man semi-finals, followed by the final for the top six over 20 sheep each over four different wool types.

The event is in its 50th season and incorporates the McSkimming Memorial Triple Crown, contested at the Golden Shears in Masterton ever since the inaugural event in 1972-1973 until the cancellation of the Golden Shears because of the covid-19 pandemic in the past two seasons.

Shearers amassed points at five competitions during the season, including the New Zealand Merino Shears in Alexandra, the Waimate Spring Shears [crossbred long wool], and the New Zealand Corriedale Championships in Christchurch.

The pandemic meant the usual lambs round at the Rangitikei Shearing Sports and Marton and the second-shear round at the Pahiatua Shears could not go ahead, and both were staged at Apiti.

The showdown at Armidale Merino Stud will be on merino wethers, half-bred merino-romney ewes, second-shear crossbred longwool and lambs, with four of each in the semi-finals and five of each in the final.

Top qualifier is 2014 winner Invercargill’s Nathan Stratford who is hot favourite to win a second title on the TAB at odds of $1.90.

Abraham is on the fourth line of betting at $10, with Gordon [$41] and Mason [$81] outsiders.

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