The finalists for the 2021 Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards have been announced.
There are five categories this year, Rural Sportsman of the Year, Rural Sportswoman of the Year, Young New Zealand Rural Sportsperson of the Year, Outstanding Contribution to New Zealand Rural Sports Award and the Lifetime Legacy Award.
The awards dinner will be held on Friday, March 12 at Awapuni Function Centre, the night before the Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games in Palmerston North.
Before that gala event takes place, you can get to know the finalists a little better below.
Here are the finalists for New Zealand Rural Sportsperson of the Year.
Fonterra Young New Zealand Rural Sportsperson of the Year
John Morrison - harness racing
John Morrison was the country's top Junior Driver in the 2019-2020 season for the second year running.
After a neck and neck battle with closest rival Dylan Ferguson he took out the 2020 premiership with 35 wins, to Ferguson's 33.
By mid-December 2020, Morrison had eight training successes from 65 starters.
Just this year he made his New Zealand Cup debut with Di Caprio, finishing fifth in the great race.
Morrison comes from well-established racing stock, with his family's business being the Ashburton-based Morrisons Saddlery and Feed.
Also making his mark as a trainer, Morrison is set to be a key part of the sport in the decades to come.
Adam Gordon - shearing
A real record-breaker, Adam Gordon is proving himself as one to watch.
In 2019, Gordon won both shearing and woolhandling novice finals at the prestigious Golden Shears.
This was the first time anyone had won both titles in the same year.
It was also only the second time someone had won individual shearing and woolhandling titles in the 60 years of the Golden Shears.
In 2020, Gordon won eleven shearing finals, including two national title events in the South Island.
Ranking number one junior shearer nationally for the 2019-2020 season, Gordon went on to win six out of seven of his intermediate finals - including the New Zealand Spring Shears in Waimate and New Zealand Corriedale Championship near Hanmer.
With an ever-growing list of shearing accomplishments, Gordon seems well on his way to achieving his goal of winning the Golden Shears and becoming the number one ranked intermediate shearer in 2020-2021.
Stephanie McNair - target shooting
Stephanie McNair's flair for target shooting has seen her rise rapidly through the ranks.
Starting out in D grade just two years ago (where she was shooting indoors only), McNair soon qualified for C Grade in 2019, and then A grade by the end of that year - missing B grade altogether.
McNair has won, or been highly placed in, many competitions during 2020 which featured top shooters from around New Zealand, including those who had competed at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.
She has also had international wins against teams from Great Britain and USA.
Young and ambitious, Gordon has big plans for the future.
She aims to make the NZ Oceania Games Team for outdoor/air rifle shooting.
She also wants to make the North Island open, junior and women's shooting teams where she can then qualify for the New Zealand teams.
Another plan of McNair's is to become the top secondary school shooter for 2021 during the Secondary School Nationals held in September.