Mataura shearer Brett Roberts took another step up as a high-ranking open-class shearer when he won the West Otago A&P Show championship at Tapanui on Saturday.
Roberts is focused on developing his competition skills.
“I think I’m pretty committed to it,” he said.
He has competed in five shows so far this year, leaving only one to come.
Roberts shares his skills between two family shearing companies run by his grandfather Cliff Waihape and his uncle Cody Waihape.
He is preparing to head to Masterton to shear until Christmas when he will return home.
He expects to be busy shearing in the south from December through to October.
The shearing work served as a good way to refine skills for competition, he said.
He paid tribute to the support he had from his partner Erin Walsh and his family.
Shearing Sports New Zealand media officer Doug Laing said the 24-year-old was in his fifth season in the top class after taking the lower grades in 2014 with the Golden Shears junior and senior titles and victory in a New Zealand championships intermediate final.
Mr Laing said Roberts had come straight from placing third in the New Zealand Corriedale Championships final in Christchurch the previous day.
“In Tapanui he dominated the heats, semifinal and then an all-Southland final of 11 sheep each, to win by just over three points from runner-up Andy Mainland, of Kapuka, east of Invercargill,” Mr Laing said.
Shaun Matheson, of Riverton was third and Ringakaha Paewai, of Gore, was fourth.
Roberts finished last season as No 9 ranked open shearer in New Zealand, his nine finals reaping his second open win, at Cheviot, and second placings at the Ashburton and Reefton shows and in A-grade competition at the Royal Easter Show in Auckland.
“He had continued the form this season, with fifth placing in the New Zealand Merino final starting the season in Alexandra and second again at Ashburton, the events both being won by New Zealand representative and 2017 World teams champion shearer Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill,” Mr Laing said.
Roberts controlled Saturday’s final, shearing the 11 sheep in 12min 0.08sec, beating second-man-off Matheson by 13sec and posting best points in both board and pens judging.
Lionel Taumata, from Taumarunui and based in Gore, won the senior final, his fourth win in eight finals this season and the 10th win of his senior career, also after finishing third at Christchurch the previous day.
He won by more than four points from the runner-up, Chilean shearer Luis Pincol, who had scored his 14th senior win at Pleasant Point a fortnight earlier.
Finals newcomer Stacey Whitu, of Roxburgh, became the sixth intermediate in the seven finals in the grade in the South Island this season, beating Gore shearer and Ellesmere show winner Brayden Clifford, who was shearing in his sixth intermediate final of the season.
West Otago A&P Show shearing championships at Tapanui. Saturday, November 17, 2018:
Open final (11 sheep): Brett Roberts (Mataura) 12min 0.08sec, 41.4584pts, 1; Andy Mainland (Kapuka) 12min 44.47sec, 44.0416pts, 2; Shaun Matheson (Riverton) 12min 13.34sec, 45.3033pts, 3; Ringakaha Paewai (Gore) 12min 24.38sec, 46.219pts, 4.
Senior final (six sheep): Lionel Taumata (Taumarunui/Gore) 17min 18.53sec, 28.593pts, 1; Luis Pincol (Chile/Geraldine) 7min 45.09sec, 32.665pts, 2; Ray Te Whata (Mossburn) 8min 41.59sec, 32.746pts, 3; Mitchell Murray (Amberley) 8min 24.09sec, 32.2045pts, 4.
Intermediate final (five sheep): Stacey Whitu (Roxburgh) 7min 9.84sec, 33.892pts, 1; Brayden Clifford (Gore) 9min 7.12sec, 35.756pts, 2; Brodie Horrell (Gore) 8min 6.46sec, 36.923pts, 3; Wayne Malcolm (Winton) 9min 17.37sec, 37.4685pts, 4.