A one-time top rugby hopeful who played for Napier Boys’ High School first fifteen in a national schools final is now planning to go right to the top in another pursuit – as a shearer, in Australia.

Sam Henderson, who played when NBHS was beaten 31-28 by Auckland school St Peter’s College in the 2017 final, is one of three listed as aiming to establish a three-stand crossbred lambs record for nine hours in West Australia on November 4.

Of New Zealand parents he spent his first six years at Boyup Brook, near where he will be shearing with fellow New Zealand shearers Levi Neill, based in Boyup Brook but from Taumarunui, and Jimmy Samuels, of Marton.

They work for Shear Pride, a family firm run by Neil’s brother, Floyd, the two already being in the books together having established a two-stand merino ewes record for nine hours in April.

Henderson, who reckons parents Paul and Justine moved back to New Zealand to live in Central Hawke’s Bay in 2007 “as soon as I started singing the Australian national anthem”, pressed in the woolsheds for Waipukurau shearing contractor Neil Waihape during school holidays and had shorn 3-400 getting on to the stand every now and then.

He’d tried studies at agricultural campus Lincoln College for a while but says he got too much into the “uni lifestyle”, so then worked in forestry a short time before getting back to shearing, starting fulltime in November 2020 and reaching a milestone of 300 in a day before Christmas.

Having decide he was too small to make it big in rugby he headed back to the old “stomping ground” of Boyup Brook in August 2021, and was soon knocking-up the tallies on the merinos of the west.

The November bid will be the first in the 9hrs, 3-stand crossbred lambs category, and the second of the season in Australia, following Australian shearer Ethan Harder’s 624 solo 8hrs merino lambs record this week, during which there were close Hawke’s Bay connections with right-hand man Elton Hokianga, from Hastings.

Shearers in or from Hawke’s Bay have had a high profile in World Record shearing, with more than 10 having featured solo and multi-stand categories in the books over the last two decades.

2023-09-20T06:13:48Z dg43tfdfdgfd