Young Golden Shears champion dedicates win to mum who died in car crash

Taumarunui woolhandler Te Anna Phillips during her emotions Golden Shears Junior final win in Masterton on Friday.
Taumarunui woolhandler Te Anna Phillips during her emotions Golden Shears Junior final win in Masterton on Friday. Photo credit: Pete Nikolaison Golden Shears

The winning of a Golden Shears championship title held extra meaning for a competitor, who dedicated the win to her mother after she died in a road tragedy.

The 60th anniversary of the Golden Shears shearing and woolhandling championships was held over four days in Masterston, wrapping up on Saturday

Te Anna Phillips, of Taumarunui won the junior woolhandling final.

Phillips said she had wanted to make mother Sunnie Hughes, who died in a car crash in 2015 proud.

The now 22-year-old started competing a year or so later, with just her home show in Taumarunui.

"My mum was my everything, she still is," said Phillips.

"My inspiration, my hero. All I've ever wanted to do was make my mum proud. That's what brought me to the Goldies."

Had she been among the crowd in Masterton's War Memorial Stadium, she would have been "screaming" the house down, she said.

In the coveted open shearing championship on Saturday night, favourite Rowland Smith took out the title for the seventh time.

He held off a spirited challenge from 10-time finalist Nathan Stratford and first-time finalist and fellow Invercargill shearer Leon Samuels, who were second and third respectively.

Central Otago-based Gisborne woolhandler Joel Henare's won his eighth consecutive Golden Shears Open woolhandling title.

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