Southland shearers and woolhandlers proved they are a cut above the rest in the lower grades at the Gore Southern Shears last week.
The woolhandling, held at the Hokonui Pavilion on Friday, had about 60 entries and the Elers family, of Mataura, had the top results.
Nova Kumeroa Elers won the senior final and Krome Elers the junior final.
In the shearing, Winton man Jade Maguire-Ratima won the senior final, Mataura shearer Tyson Crown won the intermediate final and Gore shearer Brodie Horrell won the junior final.
Secretary Sharon Hillis said entries in the competition were up from the previous year.
“It’s been a really great two days. The crowd really got behind all of them, supporting them – we’re really happy with how it all went.”
World champion shearer John Kirkpatrick won his eighth South Island Shearer of the Year title.
He edged out Casey Bailey, of Riverton, by a split second for the fastest time of just over 19 minutes but scored top points in the pen judging.
Mr Kirkpatrick, of Hawke’s Bay, competed in about four Southland competitions to qualify for the competition.
Reigning Golden Shears champion Rowland Smith, of Hastings, defended his Southern Shears open title, shearing 20 sheep in under 18 minutes.
Mataura shearer Brett Roberts, who won the open final at Northern Southland Community Shears and Otago Shears, failed to make the final.
In the New Zealand v Wales test match, New Zealand shearers Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, and David Buick, of Pongaroa, easily beat Welsh shearers Lloyd Rees and Aled Jones by 16.706pts.
Mataura woolhandlers Tina Elers and her daughter Lucy were awarded Shearing Sports New Zealand judges’ badges at the competition.
President Murray Hewitson was pleased to see the number of young up-and-coming competitors at the show.
“We really want to get these young people going and there’s no better place to do that.”
More than 1800 sheep were shorn, and Mr Hewitson paid tribute to the committee members who had worked tirelessly to put the show together.