It was payback time for Southland shearer Brandon Mguire-Ratima as he won the Golden Shears Intermediate shearing final in Masterton this afternoon.
The win came 12 months after he was named the winner of the 2017 final, and had been presented the prizes and given a victory speech, before being summoned to an official-looking room to be told there’d been a points fault and he had actually been the runner-up.
He recalled today the reversal “pulled me down” – the prizegiving having been watched by thousands of people via live-streaming, including excited family and friends at home, and in Masterton where also has relatives.
As a consequence, he skipped the New Zealand championships in Te Kuiti four weeks later, but with four wins already behind him in one season in the Intermediate grade has bounced back with another six in his second, including at Taumarunui and Pahiatua a week ago.
Tut today he left no doubts about where it was really at as he won by more than five-and-a-half points, a particularly big Golden Shears finals margin achieved despite the fact he was just fourth to finish the six-man final of eight sheep each.
The 21-year-old already has an established record for quality whis enabled him to comfortably overcome the time-points advantage he conceded to quicker finishers Daniel Seed, of Woodville, Welsh shearer Gwydion Davies, and Madison Bright, of Takapau, spanning almost 40 seconds from Seed’s first-man-off 11min 24.133sec.
Despite the ultimate margin, he wasn’t confident when he finished, saying he though he would get “hit” hard in the pen judging.
“I don’t really know what to say,” he would tell the crowd in victory speech second-time-around.
Employed in the South Island by contractor Brry Pullin and in the north by Mark Barrowcliffe in the King Country, Maguire Ratima comes from a shearing family, his brother being a prominent Senior grade shearer. He expects to be back in the King Country for the New Zealand championships next month, before stepping-up to Senior-class for next season.