First-time Golden Shears winner Rowland Smith gave his $3000 prize away to cancer research in honour of his late mother yesterday.
The Hastings 26-year-old, who lost his mum to cancer, took the crown in the Masterton shearing competition at the weekend on quality points.
With 16-time winner David Fagan out of this year's open, the shearing title truly was open for the taking.
Smith was the third fastest, behind rivals Dion King and John Kirkpatrick, also from the Hawke's Bay, who took second and third place, respectively.
His generosity earned a standing ovation from the 1000-strong crowd, event spokesman Doug Laing said.
Also moving was the attendance of defending champion Joanne Kumeroa, who was undergoing extensive chemotherapy to battle cancer. Kumeroa earned a well-deserved second place in the open wool handling, Mr Laing said.
"It was just amazing to see her compete."
Previous winner Joel Henare took out the wool handling title and Kirkpatrick took the PGG Wrightson National Circuit final in the three-day event.
- The Dominion Post