It still had not sunk in for Gore woman Sharon Tuhakaraina on Monday that she won the senior woolhandling section at the Golden Shears in Masterton during the weekend.
Tuhakaraina took the top spot convincingly with a score of 129.864. Second place went to Ash Boyce, of Dannevirke, with 178.030.
“I was happy with my performance but you just don’t know until they call your name,” Tuhakaraina said.
It was her first time competing in a North Island show and she went in having no expectations, she said.
“It was awesome. I struggled with my nerves but just tried my hardest to stay focused in the finals.
“I was just going to try my best but I had awesome support which helped,” she said.
Tuhakaraina said throughout the heats she realised that she was one of the slower woolhandlers competing.
To combat this she went for quality on her first fleeces and speed on the last fleece.
“The rest of my points were good, so in the semifinals I just made sure to be quick on my last fleece and clean up but keep my quality up, and it worked.”
The skills she used during the weekend were passed on to her by her cousin, Sharon Lawton, “a master wool-handler”.
“She has taught a lot of woolhandlers around New Zealand for years. She’s pretty inspirational, humble and awesome.”
Tuhakaraina, who started pre-lamb woolhandling in 2011 with a push from her older brother, said she would be settling down for the next year to have a child but eventually hoped to become a shearer.