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Wairarapa shearers in good form


Wairarapa shearers were in good form at the Āpiti Sports Shears on Saturday, one of the last build-ups for the Golden Shears, starting in Masterton on Thursday.

Northland shearer Toa Henderson continued his ever-increasingly dominant form from Friday when he won the Taumarunui Shears, comfortably taking out the open final in a time of 15 minutes 26 seconds and a score of 52.95pts, five points clear of Pongaroa’s David Buick, with Jack Fagan third. 2015 Golden Shears champion Scotsman Gavin Mutch was fourth, and Masterton shearers Paerata Abraham and Chris Dickson were fifth and sixth, respectively.

The outstanding result of the final, though, goes to miracle man Buick, who is continuing a comeback from severe pelvic and other injuries received when crushed in a ditch on his Pongaroa farm in October 2021.

Henderson made it three from three for the weekend and 10 open final titles for the season, with victory in Sunday’s Pahiatua Shears, ahead of Leon Samuels, Englishman Stu Connor and Eketāhuna’s Hemi Braddick in fourth place.

Henderson’s form suggests he could be a major threat at the Golden Shears, although he has yet to shear with the pressure of the glamour 20 minutes that is the Golden Shears final.

The form of Abraham and Braddick also indicates they could repeat last year’s achievement of making the big dance come Saturday night.

The major absentee over the weekend was Hawke’s Bay shearer Rowland Smith, who is gunning for a ninth Golden Shears Open title and is likely to be the TAB opening-price favourite despite competing in just three shows and bagging one win in 2024.

Eketāhuna woolhandlers Ngaio Hanson [fourth] and Marika Braddick [sixth] wrapped up their Golden Shears preparations with solid efforts in the woolhandling final at Apiti, which was comfortably won by Keryn Herbert from Te Kūiti.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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