Bathurst shearer Nathan Mullins left quite an impression at the National Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Dubbo last weekend, finishing fifth in the novice division.
Mr Mullins, who was in attendance at the event for the first time, was one of two NSW competitors selected to contest the novice division and went up against shearers from all other Australian states.
"I'm feeling good about the result as I worked really hard in preparation for the event," he said.
"The national championships are on a different level from regular shows, as you're competing against shearers who have been training all year for it."
Mr Mullins, who first picked up the shears 13 months ago, has spent much of the last year honing his skills at various sport and quick shearing events across the state.
"Quick shearing events reward how fast you can shave, while sport shearing is about how clean and presentable your sheep is after the shear," he said.
"I attend these events nearly every weekend, and they require a great deal of commitment."
When not competing, Mr Mullins spends weekdays shearing sheep on his family's property at Mount David, near Burraga.
"You start at 7.30am and work until 5.30pm with three breaks in between," he said.
"It can get very hot in the shearing shed, which is why I have a 20 litre drum of water on standby at all times."
Mr Mullins said shearing also provides a unique workout for the whole body.
"Shearing puts a lot of pressure on your legs and if you don't hold the sheep properly, it can strain your back and hips," he said.
"You have to follow the proper procedures, otherwise your body will hate you for it."
After his success at the national championships, Mr Mullins hopes to build on his skills and compete in higher divisions at future events.
"My goal over the next few years is to achieve Australian champion in the highest division, which will grant me the opportunity to compete overseas against French, Scottish and Kiwi competitors," he said.
"It's all about practice, which is why I'm glad this is my day job as well."