Young Woodville shearer and double Golden Shears champion Tegwyn Bradley has reached another milestone by winning his first title in England.
Winning a five-man Royal Cornwall Senior final on Friday at Strayer Park, Launceston, Bradley peeled the 10 suffolk and mule hoggets at a rate of under 55 seconds each and claimed the best points in shearing-board judging, the crucial factors in a win by 0.3pts over runner-up and local hope Greg Hutchings.
Their 40.35 and 40.65pts respectively were well clear of the 44.05pts of third-placed Bristol shearer John Malseed, who beat Bradley in the Royal Bath and West Show's Golden Shears of Great Britain Senior final on June 1.
Pictured winning the New Zealand Golden Shears Senior final in Masterton in March, Bradley almost succumbed under the weight of 11 points of penalties in the Cornwall show's pen judging before claiming his first win in his second season in the UK, having also been runner-up at the Devon County Show and at Royal Bath and West.
He's no stranger to victory in New Zealand, where he has won 25 finals dating back to the Novice final at the Central Hawke's Bay A and P Show at Waipukurau in 2011, when he was 17.
Turning 24 in three weeks' time, he has had 17 senior wins in New Zealand, including victory in 14 of his 22 finals in becoming Shearing Sports New Zealand's No 1-ranked Senior shearer in the 2017-2018 season.
From a farm off State Highway 2 north of Woodville, he's an old boy of at the co-educational agriculture-focused Feilding High School, which produced All Blacks rugby internationals Sam Whitelock, Luke Whitelock, Aaron Smith and Cody Taylor.
Bradley also studied at Lincoln University on the outskirts of Christchurch as he embarked on his shearing career, which will see him tackle Open class for the first time in October.
A Golden Shears finalist in all four lower classes, with 4th in the Novice final in 2012, second in the Junior final in 2014, Intermediate victory in 2016, and Senior runner-up and winner respectively in the last two years, he says he'd already decided before this year's win in Masterton that he would tackle the Open class next season.
He is well aware of the challenges of the step-up, a point highlighted last season by now Australia-based Masterton shearer and fellow former Lincoln University student Ethan Pankhurst, who won 16 Senior finals in two seasons, including a Golden Shears title in 2015, but who is yet to win an Open title.
Even great Northland and Hawke's Bay shearer Rowland Smith took four seasons to win an A-grade Open-class title in New Zealand, on a path which took him to 2014 World title four years later, and now multiple Golden Shears and New Zealand championships Open titles.
Bradley's domnation of the Golden Shears' Senior heats, semi-final and final this year prime him well for an attempt to become one of only a few to make the Golden Shears Open Championship Top 30 quarterfinal shootout in Masterton in their first season in the grade.
"I don't think there is a time when you'll be ready – It's a big jump," he said from England, where he is based at Washfield, near Tiverton and about 120km from the scene of Friday's win.
He said he wants to shear as many sheep as possible to "improve and focus", and try to do as many competitions in 2018-2019 in New Zealand as he did when he averaged one a week in the 23 weeks of the last season in September-November and January-April.
Northland and Hawke's Bay shearer Matt Smith, was third in the Open final of what is now his home Cornwall show. It was won by England international Adam Berry.
Open final (20 sheep): Adam Berry (England) 14min 10sec, 54.132pts, 1; Stuart Conner (England) 14min 41sec, 54.84pts, 2; Matt Smith (Cornwall, Eng/Ruawai, NZ) 14min 14sec, 55.858pts, 3; Grant Lundie (Scotland) 16min 14sec, 61.384pts, 4; Nick Harding (England)16min 4sec, 63.463pts, 5.
Senior final (10 sheep): Tegwyn Bradley (Woodville, NZ) 8min 29sec, 40.35pts, 1; Greg Hutchings (England) 9min 53sec, 40.65pts, 2; John Malseed (Bristol, England) 10min 55sec, 44.05pts, 3; Glynn Le Marquand (Cornwall, England) 8min 41sec, 46.05pts, 4; Keiran Gillespie (South Africa) 11min 21sec, 50.85pts, 5.