Luis Pincol is living his dream.
The Chilean shearer has become the first South American to win an openclass shearing final, winning the Peninsula Duvauchelle Shears last weekend.
Mr Pincol, who is based in Waimate, shore 20 sheep in 20min 25sec, scoring 67.7pts, to finish ahead of second placed Willy McSkimming, of Oamaru, who made 68.8pts in his 20min 41sec run.
The win left Mr Pincol stunned.
‘‘I was really surprised,’’ he said.
‘‘I was really happy with my job and with the time. I tried to follow the other shearers and just keep going and concentrate on the job.’’
Becoming the first South American to win an open title was extra special, considering there was no competitive shearing in Chile.
He moved to New Zealand with his wife Susana Gonzalez and their children in 2013.
Moving to New Zealand was always ‘‘one of my dreams’’ he said.
‘‘Because the shearing season in Chile is only four months and we can shear the whole year through in New Zealand.’’
He had always worked in the shearing industry, but never competed.
Within two months of living in New Zealand, Mr Pincol moved to Geraldine and took up competitive shearing.
Moving through the ranks, he spent five seasons in the senior grade, winning 20 finals, including senior finals at the 2016 and 2019 Peninsula Duvauchelle Shears, before being elevated to the open.
He represented Chile at the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Invercargill in 2017, and in France in 2019 — the only country he has competed in outside New Zealand.
He caught the bug for competitive shearing from the start, he said.
‘‘It’s everything, actually — meeting different people [and] learning more skills with the top guys.’’
Three years ago Mr Pincol moved to Waimate, to work for Warren White at Waimate Contracting. Mr White had been a great support, as had Rakaia shearer Shaun Burgess and his family, Mr Pincol said.
He was set to compete at Northern Southland Shears, in Lumsden, tomorrow and planned to take each competition as it came.