Dane Phillips as a 17-year-old winning the Golden Shears Junior final in 2008. Photo / Pete Nikolaison
A Kaiwaka shearer has bounced back 15 years after winning his first Golden Shears title by securing victory in the open final at the North Kaipara A and P Association’s Paparoa Show last weekend.
Dane Phillipps, 31, was 17 when he became one of two people from his tiny settlement who won the coveted Golden Shears titles in Masterton back in 2008 in the space of barely an hour.
He won a six-man junior shearing final, one of nine wins in 13 finals which at the end of the season made him the number two ranked junior shearer nationwide. Ahead of him was Tipene Te Whata of Tautoro, near Kaikohe, who was one of two other Northlanders in the Golden Shears final.
On Saturday, Phillips won a 12-sheep open final at the North Kaipara A and P Association’s Paparoa Show, beating more-favoured rivals Phil Wedd of Silverdale, and Neville Osbourne of Dargaville.
Ironically, close mate and number one Northland shearer of the moment, Toa Henderson, was away in the central North Island where on Monday at Aria in King Country he scored an important win over Hawke’s Bay-based multiple champion Rowland Smith, who, while born in the Bay, grew-up in Northland.
Buoyed by the win on Saturday, Phillips took a leaf out of Henderson’s book by heading to Aria as well. He drove the 330km south to make the semifinal and land a confidence-boosting 11th place in a field of 20 that included two World champions and six world record shearers.
It was a big step up from the field he had beaten two days earlier in the north when pipped by Wedd for line honours when each finished a tick under 10min 20sec for the dozen sheep.
Phillips had the better quality and claimed victory by over two points.
He said that when he won his “Goldies” title in 2008 he was still learning to shear and went chasing sheep to shear in New Zealand and Australia rather than chasing the competition shows.
As Northland shearing recovered from having no competitions last season, with the Covid-19 cancellation of all of its entire A and P show circuit, Phillips was runner-up to Toa Henderson at the Whangārei A and P Show in December.
Other finals at Paparoa were won by Kaiwaka-based Tama Nahona, from Whanganui, in the senior grade; veteran Rex Finlayson, of Kai Iwi Lakes, in the Intermediate grade, and Gus Berger, of Ahuroa, in the junior grade.
The next shearing competition in Northland is at the Northern Wairoa A and P Society’s Arapohue show this Saturday.
Results from the North Kaipara A and P Show Shears at Paparoa on Saturday, February 4, 2023:
Open final (12): Dane Phillips (Kaiwaka) 10min 19sec, 40.36pts, 1; Phil Wedd (Napier/Silverdale) 10min 18sec, 42.73pts, 2; Neville Osborne (Dargaville) 10min 49sec, 47.03pts, 3.
Senior final (6 sheep): Tama Nahona (Whanganui/Kaiwaka) 6min 34sec, 27.19pts, 1; Alan Boler (Wellsford) 7min 32sec, 32.43pts, 2; Graham McConnell (-) 8min, 34.83pts, 3.
Intermediate final (3 sheep): Rex Finlayson (Kai Iwi Lakes) 5min 38sec, 28.9pts, 1; Keanau Andrews (Okaihau) 6min 12sec, 37.26pts, 2.
Junior final (2 sheep): Gus Berger (Ahuroa) 3min 39sec, 28.45pts, 1; Malcolm Nahona (Kaiwaka) 5min 20sec, 33.5pts, 2; Tessa Berger (Ahuroa) 5min 45sec, 38.25pts, 3.
Novice: Sam Story, 1.
Veterans (2 sheep): Ralph Smith (Dargaville)3min 5sec, 20.25pts, 1; Jeff Wood (Ruawai) 2min 46sec, 23.3pts, 2; Gary Rix (-) 2min 48sec, 24.4pts, 3.