Hot favourites Rowland Smith and Joel Henare have successfully defended the two major titles at the 59th Golden Shears international shearinhg and woolhandling championships in Masterton tonight.
Smith, 32, won the Open shearing title for a 6th time, equalling the tally of early-years Golden Shears household name Brian Snow Quinn, who won five times from 1965 to 1972, whil Henare, 27, won a record 7th Open woolhandling title, all of them in a row.
Smith won a place at the World championships in France in July, but Henare missed his chance to defend his World title when he was eliminated in the semi-final of a selection series, from which first two placegetter Pagan Karauria, of Alexandra, and Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape, won places in the team.
The 2017 World teams champions, Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill and individual champion John Kirkpatrick, of Pakipaki in Hawke's Bay, were second and third in the shearing final but get a second chance at New Zealand championships in Te Kuiti on May 28-30 where the second machine shearing representative will be decided on March 30.
Bladeshearers Tony Dobbs, of Fairlie, and Allan Oldfield, of Geraldine, will also compete at the championships.
In other events tonight, Australian team Daniel McIntyre, Jason Wingfield and Callum O'Brien beat Kiwis Smith, John Kirkpatrick and Nathan Stratford in a transpasman test, while Masterton shearer Paerata Abraham claimed a place in next season's transtasman team after winning the PGG Wrightson Wool National Circuit final.