Whanganui's international action cowboy champion Bradley McDowell has once again beaten his rivals to the draw winning the Fonterra Junior Rural Sportsman o the Year award.
McDowell was awarded the honour at the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards were announced at a gala dinner evening at Awapuni in Palmerston North on Friday last week, on the eve of the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games.
The awards recognise both high-performance athletes and the people who work behind the scenes, are now in their third year.
Finalists came from fields as diverse as shearing, tree climbing, harness racing and cowboy action shooting.
McDowell first started cowboy shooting at 12-years-old, and was New Zealand junior champion in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. He is currently New Zealand North Island overall men's champion, New Zealand overall men's champion, Wyoming State junior champion, 2018 World junior champion, 2018 World's fastest junior cowboy, and is ranked seventh in the world overall men's championships.
McDowell achieved his world title at the age of 16 and is youngest New Zealand shooter to do so. His goal is to become the world's number one shooter and to get more young people introduced to the sport in New Zealand.
He beat fellow nominees Briar Burnett-Grant (Equestrian — Taupō) and Sheree Tomlinson (Harness Racing — Canterbury).
"Pistol New Zealand nominated me and then I sent a sort bio of my achievements and they ended up chosing me," McDowell said.
"I do live in a rural setting and I guess my sport is kind of rural, but the awards were open to any sports people. I'm quite proud to have been awarded the title and it's great for the sport. I am keen to become world open champion some day and will go back to Founders Ranch in New Mexico for another crack at some stage. The next world championship in is June and I'd love to make it there and defend my world junior title, but its expensive and I would definitely need a sponsor.
"In the meantime, the North Island Championships are in Whanganui around the same time in June and then there's the New Zealand Championships in November, also in Whanganui. I will try and get back to the worlds next year, unless a generous sponsor emerges beforehand," McDowell said.