Shearer Stevens takes it all in stride ahead of woolhandling final

Napier shearer, woolhandler and presser Ricci Stevens grabbed some consolation for the Kirkpatrick family shearing enterprise’s Golden Shears Day 2 disappointments when he won the Triathlon, the best combined points in all three disciplines in the shearing sports.

Stevens, 25, was one of only a small number of competitors who entered all three disciplines, at one stage hopefiul of also qualifying for finals in each category.

The big disappointment yesterday came in the Senior shearing, for which he was among the form competitors, when he was eliminated in the heats, a few hours before the shock quarterfinals elimination of father-in-law, shearing gang boss and new World Champion shearer John Kirkpatrick from the Open championship.

Stevens did, however reach the final of the pairs woolpressing, in which he and teammate Jimmy Samuels were runners-up, 

There were mixed outcomes today at the start of the last day of the three-day 57th Golden Shears when he qualified for the Junior woolhandling final, from a semi-final held moments after wife Angela, also 25, a favourite to win the Senior final, was eliminated in her semi-final.

The disappointment of missing his individual goal of a treble at the Shears was on Friday night barely visible for Ricci Stevens, originally from Gisborne and a graduate in sports exercise studies at Massey University before he took to the shearing game, under the now watchful eye of the parents-in-law now running a shearing gang in Napier, where the focus is on quality at work as well as in competition.

“Johnny tries to make us shear in the shed as we would at a show,” said Stevens (pictured in the wool pressing pairs final). Despite his early ejection from the Senior shearing, he said: “I’m happy.”

Image:
Ricci Stevens

Results:

Triathlon (combined points from shearing, woolhandling and pressing heats): Ricci Stevens (Napier) 173.227pts, 1; Carmen Smith (Pongaroa) 186.376pts, 2; Jono Hicks (Marton) 203.88pts, 3; Jimmy Samuels (Marton) 221.659pts, 4; Linton Palmer (Dipton) 230.609pts, 5.

Special Awards:

FMG Quality Awards (best quality in shearing heats): Open, Tony Coster (Rakaia) 6.667pts, 1; Senior, Paul Swann (Wairoa) 5.2pts; Intermediate, Blake Hewes (Glen Murray) 6.25pts; Junior, Mark Ferguson (Elsthorpe) 6.25pts..

Friends of Golden Shears (best quality points in woolhandling heats): Open, Joel Henare (Gisborne) 51pts; Senior, Sam Tipene (Eketahuna) 71pts; Junior, Crystal Bird (Mangatainoka) 72pts..

Les Field Memorial Trophy (best quality woolhandling all grades): Joel Henare.

McGregor Trophy (best quality points in shearing heats, local): Open, Rikihana Chase; Senior, Stacey Reiri; Intermediate, Ruka Braddick; Junior, Chris Dickson; Novice, Louis Smith. Winner: Rikihana Chase.


From Doug Laing, media officer, Shearing Sports New Zealand.