Quality counts over speed
Blenheim shearer Tony Nott backed superior quality shearing ahead of speed to claim his fourth Marlborough open shearing title at the 140th Marlborough A&P Show in Blenheim on Saturday.
Shearing a 16-sheep final, Nott was almost 40 seconds behind fellow Marlborough shearer Chris Jones, who finished his sheep first in 18min 15.6sec.
However, 1.75pts better on the board and almost 2.5 better in the pens, Nott wiped the time-points deficit to come home a comfortable winner in a worthwhile shakedown before the Nelson show and Top of the South finals on November 24 and 25.
In more than 20 years of open-class competition around the top of the South Island, Nott has won four titles at Blenheim (1991, 2002, 2011, 2012) and last month qualified fifth from the heats at the New Zealand Spring Shears in Waimate.
Although failing to make the final among the tougher company at the first division competition, he carded an important eight points in the PGG Wrightson national round, and hopes to be at the Canterbury Show in the next leg on Friday for the New Zealand corriedale championships.
He plans also to compete in the fourth national round leg at Raglan in his first New Zealand Lambshearing Championships in January, and to compete at Pahiatua in the last qualifying round in February, where the top 12 will qualify for the 40th McSkimming Memorial Triple Crown at the Golden Shears in Masterton.
Spurred by fellow Marlborough shearer Angus Moore's win in the final last march, 51-year-old Nott decided as a bit of a "last hurrah" to support Moore around the circuit this season.
"I'll always do the local shows," he said.
"There's no-one else around to encourage the younger ones along, and the average age is about 50."
He sold his shearing business about eight years ago and now runs a concrete-pumping business, with some shearing on a three-stand mobile unit.
The senior final on Saturday provided another victory for defending champion Rowan Nesbit, of Rangiora. The runner-up, beaten by 2.62sec, was first-year senior Jotham Rentoul, from Wakefield, near Nelson. The intermediate final featured Irish shearer Joseph Stevens and Marlborough shearer Aaron Brooker in a close race, in which Stevens got the nod by a blow or two.
Results were: Open final (16 sheep) Tony Nott (Blenheim) 18min 54.41sec, 76.72pts, 1; Chris Jones (Blenheim) 18min 15.62sec, 78.97pts, 2; Richard Sampey (Blenheim) 20min 31.47sec, 85.51pts, 3; Frank Bint (Nelson) 22min 52.03sec, 106.41pts, 4.
Senior final (8 sheep): Rowan Nesbit (Rangiora) 14min 9.97sec, 62pts, 1; Jotham Rentoul (Nelson) 15min 52.41sec, 64.62pts, 2; Greg Moriarty (Waiau) 14min 58.5sec, 68.8pts, 3; Brett Langrell (Temuka) 14min 25.94sec, 70.42pts, 4.
Intermediate final (6 sheep): Joseph Stevens (Ireland) 14min 50.03sec, 66.33pts, 1; Aaron Brooker (Blenheim) 14min 50.69sec, 71.53pts, 2; Lyall Windleburn (Waiau) 15min 15.38sec, 77.44pts, 3.
Junior final (2 sheep): Sam Murray 5min 38.28sec, 64.91pts, 1.
The Marlborough Express