Waipawa shearer Cam Ferguson has managed to secure the last available place in the New Zealand team for 2019 World Shearing Championships in France in July.
The 35-year-old once again came second to Rowland Smith after a dramatic New Zealand championships Open final on Saturday night.
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It saw the former world champion lose a sheep off the front of the board and haul it back onto the stage midway through the 20-sheep final.
However the second place was enough to secure his place in the New Zealand team for July, with Hawke's Bay's Rowland Smith already in the team after his Golden Shears win in early March.
Ferguson completes the make-up of the Allflex New Zealand Shearing and Woolhandling Team, with Smith, woolhandlers Pagan Karauria, of Alexandra, and Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape, and blade shearers Tony Dobbs, of Fairlie, and Allan Oldfield, of Geraldine.
As expected, going for a 17th win in a row since mid-January, Smith won comfortably, with a margin of 1.651pts to Ferguson.
But with 0.668pts covering 2nd to 5th, Ferguson claimed the second World championships singlet by just 0.196pts from third placegetter and Wairarapa farmer David Buick, the only one of the six finalists not to have won a World title.
Reigning World teams champions Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, and individual World titleholder John Kirpatrick, of Napier, were 4th and 6th respectively, split by 2012 World champion, Taranaki farmer and Scotland international Gavin Mutch.
Ferguson is best known for his winning the 2010 World title in Wales, beating teammate and shearing legend David Fagan, now Sir David Fagan.
He battled a back injury to qualify for the right to defend the title in Masterton two years later, when he was runner-up, with just 0.068pts standing between him and a second title.
Ferguson overcame the odds again, after breaking two bones in a game of touch football in late 2015.
A couple of months later his eldest daughter was badly injured in a work crash, and he's also since had to grapple with the complexities of being a working solo-dad and getting a family shearing business under way.
The winner of more than 40 Open finals, including the 2010 Golden Shears which set him on the path to the win in Wales, he has shorn 11 finals since the twin hits to the family in the summer of 2015-2016, for just one win at Mayfield, in the South Island, two years ago.
The first pointer to his new goal came when he was runner-up in the PGG Wrightson Wool National Circuit final on merinos, crossbred ewes and lambs in Masterton on March 2 and as winner of the New Zealand Speedshear Championship at the Rural Games in Palmerston North a week later.