He treats shearing as a hobby and barely trained for the world’s premier shearing competition but Brodie Horrell’s approach proves you do not have to be part of the industry to win a national title.
Horrell (21), who grew up in Knapdale, won the the Golden Shears junior final in Masterton on Saturday, shearing five second-shear sheep in 8min 48sec and scoring 37.009 points.
He narrowly beat Topia Barrowcliffe, of Piopio, who finished with 37.232 points.
Stepping on to the stage to receive his red sash as the winner was overwhelming, Horrell said.
“It’s pretty awesome. The competition was really close, so it was awesome to win.”
Leading up to the Golden Shears, he had competed in only two competitions, in Gore and Waimate.
“I don’t really do any training for the Shears, to be fair. It’s really more of a hobby for me than anything.”
When it came down to the competition, however, Horrell proved his worth with his first big win.
“It’s probably the best I’ve ever shorn, I think. I was just really focused on the competition.”
There were a couple of “kicky sheep” but they could not stop him from winning the final.
It was the hardest event he had competed in but he took it all in stride.
“I don’t really get too stressed or anything like that. I don’t think too much into it.
“I just watched the other competitors and competitions throughout the day and went for it.”
He loved the opportunity to compete on the world’s biggest shearing stage, Horrell said.
“It’s a great competition. You really are competing against the best of the best when you go there.”
Horrell began competing in the Golden Shears in 2014 in the novice section, in which he finished fourth.
He had attended the competition three times since then, and was second in the junior section two years ago.
Growing up on a farm, he was naturally led into competitive shearing when he was about 16, Horrell said.
“There was a trainer around and he started getting us in shows, so I did a couple of them.”
These days, he worked as a shepherd, which took up most of his time.
He was looking forward to returning to the Golden Shears next year, but would compete in the intermediate section.
Horrell would consider improving his training regime to compete at the next level.
“I might have to start doing a couple more shows [and] compete in the circuit a little more next year.”