Part-timer finally grasps shearing crown
Part-time Blenheim shearer Tony Nott's rich patch of form continued when he won the Top of the South circuit open final for the first time at the Nelson A&P Show.
In an open-class shearing career stretching-back more than 20 years, it was the 51-year-old's first win in the event.
Defending champion Chris Jones was runner-up in the 20-sheep final, having won the show open final the previous day.
In the Top of the South final, Mr Jones beat Mr Nott off the board by over half-a-minute, the time of 24min 27sec, stamping the contest as one of the most testing finals on the Shearing Sports New Zealand calendar of more than 60 shows from October to April.
Once the judges had completed their job, Mr Nott's better quality had overcome the time-points deficit, enabling him to win by more than two points.
Mr Nott had the previous week finished eighth in the national corriedale championships at the 150th Canterbury Show, all but securing a place in the PGG Wrightson national finals in March with just three of the five qualifying rounds shorn.
The 2012 final winner, Angus Moore from Ward but now based in South Otago, is a certainty to defend the title in the finals at the Golden Shears, while Mr Jones is also a prospective finalist.
North Canterbury shearer Dave Brooker, of Hawarden, was last off in the Top of the South final, taking 27mins, but ultimately claimed third place ahead of Richard Sampey, of Blenheim.
The Top of the South Senior final was won by Travers Baigent, of Golden Downs, near Nelson, while Aaron Booker, of Ward, scored a weekend double, winning the Nelson Show and Top of the South Intermediate finals.
The Nelson and Stratford shows completed the pre-Christmas phase of the Shearing Sports New Zealand season. The next competition in the North Island is the Western Shears' National Lambshearing Championships at Raglan on January 5 and the next in the South Island the Peninsula Duvauchelle Show a week later.