Having only started in the sport in 2018, Stephanie McNair’s flair for target shooting has seen her shoot through the ranks. Starting out in D grade just two years ago, where she was shooting indoors only, Stephanie soon qualified for C Grade in 2019 and then A grade by the end of that same year, missing B grade altogether.
Stephanie has won and been highly placed in many competitions during 2020, which featured top shooters from around New Zealand, including those who have competed at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games. She has also had international wins against teams from Great Britain and USA. Young and ambitious, Stephanie has big plans for the future, aiming to make the NZ Oceania Games Team for outdoor/air rifle shooting as well as the North Island Open, Junior and Women’s shooting teams where she can then qualify for the New Zealand teams. Stephanie also plans to become the top secondary school shooter for 2021 during the Secondary School nationals held in September.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzJ36_AZlBs&list=PLD5tckUE6W8xvZXoXqTishiM8rdaw2Y3O&index=31
Winning more than 160 Open finals since the start of the 2006-2007 season, including multiple Golden Shears and New Zealand titles, and the 2014 World Championship in Ireland – Rowland Smith is certain to be one of the best shearers in New Zealand. In March 2020, Rowland Smith won the Golden Shears Open title for a 7th time, overtaking the six of original Golden Shears household name Brian ‘Snow’ Quinn and now second only to the 16 of Sir David Fagan. Continually striving to be the best, Rowland now has his sights set on the 2023 World Championship. Not just a keen competitor, Rowland also takes a keen interest in the development of young shearers and is the key instructor and motivator at the Great Raihania Shears secondary school competition at the Hawke’s Bay A and P Show.
Having competed in 15 open woolhandling finals in the 2019-2020 season across New Zealand – from Winton in the south, to Taumarunui and Rotorua in the north – Keryn Herbert established herself as the contender to beat. After winning five of the competitions (including the North Island Circuit Final at Golden Shears) and coming runner up six times, Keryn staked her claim as the number one ranked open wool handler of the season for her fifth time. With more than two decades of exceptional wool handling experience, Keryn is no stranger to the spotlight. Since 2005, Keryn has won 48 Open Finals, represented New Zealand nine times in TransTasman Tests, and won a World teams title in Wales. Always hungry for more, Keryn is now gearing up to claim the prestigious Golden Shears title in 2021.
It’s fair to say that Murray and Deneece Goldsworthy’s lives revolve around harness racing. Responsible for establishing the country’s first Kids Kartz in 2003 after hearing about similar ventures in Australia, North America and Europe, Deneece and Murray committed themselves to developing New Zealand’s next generation of harness racers. Dedicating almost two decades of their lives to the Kids Kartz initiative, Deneece and Murray have introduced and encouraged many rising stars aged between 6 and 16 into harness racing, educating them about horses and ponies. With eight clubs and approximately 300 youngsters involved in the sport around the country, Kidz Kartz has played a crucial role in developing New Zealand’s top drivers such as Zachary Butcher, Josh Dickie and Alicia Harrison – for without the help of Deneece and Murray, may not have been possible.
President of the Waimate Shears Championships Society since 2005, elevated the Woolhandling and Shearing sport following the unpredictable circumstances for competitions due to the COVID-19 Crisis. An unforgettable contribution, Warren settled the industry’s uncertainty, adding the South Island Woolhandling Finals and Winter Comb Open Shearing Event to the programme, which promoted the resurrection of the National Shearing Circuit which had been at risk of cancellation. Alongside the Waimate Shears Championships Society, Warren also runs the annual Waimate, New Zealand Spring Shearing and Woolhandling Championships – one of the top-three Shearing Sports Competitions in New Zealand. Aiming to stage the best shearing sports competition possible, Warren hopes to bring the World Championships to Waimate in the future.
With a career spanning more than 30 years, Sally Mallinson’s dedication to dog trials is exemplary. Having started her career as a competitor where she placed in a few events, Sally went on to dedicate 17 years as secretary to the Hilton/Gapes Valley Collie club. Proving her devotion to the dog trialling community, Sally also spent 13 years as Editor of the New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Association newsletter, where she turned a once small-town, monochrome newsletter, into a full-colour magazine that is distributed throughout New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. Sally meticulously planned two South Island championships and a New Zealand national championship in her time as secretary – involving at least two years preparation per event, collating sponsorship, handling substantial six-figure budgets, and processing thousands of dogs. With the commitment required to organise one championship, let alone three, while still attending to their other dog trial duties and a full-time job, it’s clear that Sally Mallinson is committed to going the extra mile for the dog trialling community.
Founding member and Chairperson for the New Zealand Boot Throwing Association, Curly Troon is a keen promoter of Gumboot Throwing throughout New Zealand, and has successfully promoted Taihape as a destination of the sport for many years. Having been involved with Gumboot Throwing since the establishment of ‘Gumboot Day’ in 1985, which first highlighted the sport in New Zealand, Curly has found himself as a thrower, winner, organiser, promoter, demonstrator and helper of the sport. Alongside many notable achievements, Curly has been a member of the North Island team for the last five years and has competed in the Men’s Open, North Island Champs and was a member of the team who won the 2019 World Champion National Team Event.
A Golden Shears Open Shearing championship finalist in the 1970s, Greg Herrick has dedicated his life to the sport, including becoming president of the Golden Shears International Shearing Championships Society in Masterton, and chairman of the Golden Shears World Council, overseeing the World championships in an era more than doubling the number of countries involved. In 2019, Greg celebrated 50 years of service, including 16 years as the Chairman of the Golden Shears World Council, the recognised World body for shearing sports. The top Wairarapa shearer retired from the World Council in 2019, but aims to continue serving the Golden Shears movement, following a long-standing tradition of past presidents. As is the case with most Golden Shears presidents the job doesn’t really end – Greg, and the others can still be seen in the Golden Shears; expansive army each year, putting out chairs, welcoming official guests and in other roles.
Two-time Golden Pliers and four-time Silver Spades winner, Nick Liefting has been competing in fencing for 40 years. In 2008, Nick was invited to, and went on to win, the World Fencing Championships in Germany following his impressive WIREMARK Golden Pliers final performance. Although Nick retired from competitive fencing in 2015, he continues being involved in the sport, having organised the Franklin A & P Competition in February 2021, the first time the event had been run in 35 years. Nick is a fully active committee member of the New Zealand Fencing Competitions (NZFC) which administers and runs Fencing Competitions around New Zealand and is fully involved in organising, judging, mentoring, and even coaching some competitors on his training site. Also, an established Author, Nick invested 100% of profits made from his detailed auto-biography “The Golden Pliers” (which provides a look at 14 champions spanning 46 years of the Golden Pliers Competition), towards mentoring and coaching young people towards the path of the Golden Pliers Competition.
A 66-year-old grandmother of five, Sheree Taylor has been making waves in the wood chopping sport for almost 30 years axing gender stereotypes. Starting her wood chopping career in1983, Sheree has demonstrated consistency and longevity over her 36 years competing. As was one of the first women to compete in New Zealand at an official capacity, Sheree came across tension from the male-dominated competitor base and committed herself to working harder and competing to the best that she could, earning the respect of all competitors and paving the way for other women to follow. Sheree has created a lasting legacy for the sport, founding the New Zealand’s national women’s wood chopping team, The AxeFerns. As founder and former captain of the AxeFerns, Sheree has led her team to success around the world and has been named Matamata-Piako Sportsperson of the Year three times. From her career start in the United States in the 1990s, where she won six single-handed sawing world contests, Sheree now has 10 world titles under her belt and her world-class axe skills and dedication to furthering the sport are unmatched.
Hailing from Timaru, Tom Walsh has been successfully throwing his weight around for years.
Throwing things is in Tom’s genes with his father, livestock agent Peter, being a former NZ junior shot-put champion.
It is therefore no surprise that Tom has excelled in the sport of shot put. His success on the international stage has been outstanding – Commonwealth Games silver medalist in 2014 and gold medalist in 2018
Two-time world indoor champion in 2016 and 2018.
World outdoor champion in 2017 and bronze medalist in 2019 and Olympic bronze medalist in 2016.
In 2019 Tom won the Supreme Award winner at the Halberg Awards. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzOrEXR5jwk