Last Golden Shears qualifying event called off

The last round of qualifying for this week's Golden Shears contest came to an abrupt end after a power cut.

The 59th annual Golden Shears championship starts in Masterton on Thursday.

The finalists for the three-day event are found in a series of shearing events, including the Pahiatua Shears in northern Wairarapa on Sunday.

However, a tree falling on power lines brought an early end to the event, which was the last qualifying round in the PGG Wrightson Wool National Circuit.

The 12 finalists for the circuit showdown at the Golden Shears this week, with the winner claiming a place in the New Zealand team for a home-and-away transtasman test series next summer, will be based on points from four earlier rounds at Alexandra, Waimate, Christchurch and Marton.

Masterton shearer David Gordon, who won a curtailed Senior event at the Pahiatua Shears on Sunday, pictured a day early at the Apiti and District Show.
Masterton shearer David Gordon, who won a curtailed Senior event at the Pahiatua Shears on Sunday, pictured a day early at the Apiti and District Show. Photo credit: Doug Laing SSNZ

Shearing Sports New Zealand zone delegate and former Golden Shears president, Philip Morrison, said the power cut in the competition woolshed off Mangaone Valley Rd, about 20km southeast of Pahiatua, happened during the Junior semi-finals, just over two hours into the day.

The Intermediate and Senior heats had also been completed and with the Open-class heats featuring at least five who have won the World championship or the Golden Shears Open, about 80 competitors were expected to have shorn during the day, from as far as Invercargill and Northland.

Shearers waited patiently for five hours but, with no sign of a reconnection by 3pm, a decision was made to cancel, with prizegiving for the three lower grades based on placings in the heats.

The Golden Shears run Thursday 28th February until Saturday March 2nd.
The Golden Shears run Thursday 28th February until Saturday March 2nd. Photo credit: Supplied

Masterton shearer, who at the age of 13 won the 2010 Golden Shears Novice final, claimed the Pahiatua Senior title, 2017 Golden Shears Junior champion Mark Ferguson, of Elsthorpe, won the Intermediate event, and scotswoman Katie Reid added the Junior title to her previous win at Taumarunui on Friday.

The power cut was understood to have been caused by a tree falling onto lines in Tiraumea Rd.

The cancellation also stopped Golden Shears Open favourite and defending champion Rowland Smith from completing a rare treble of wins on the last weekend before the Golden Shears, after his wins at Taumarunui on Friday and Apiti on Saturday.

It was the last shakedown for shearers before the Golden Shears, but woolhandlers have one more chance with the Wairarapa Pre-Shears Woolhandling Championships at Riverside Farm north of Masterton on Wednesday.

Newshub.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz