Acclaimed as a world champion and world record-breaking shearer Cam Ferguson has still been left almost speechless with news he has been made a Master Shearer.
He and fellow Hawke's Bay gun Dion King were both accorded the exalted status at Shearing Sports New Zealand's annual meeting on Thursday.
Now 29 and among the youngest to be made a Master Shearer, he said from Alexandra, where he was sitting out the rain: "I'm stunned. I thought I was too young. I thought I didn't have enough experience."
He now has a choice to make as to where he may be presented with the award, initially favouring being among his own people in Central Hawke's Bay.
But whatever, he wants to give a bit back to the locals anyway, announcing he plans to team with long-time shearing mates Adam Brausch and Ringa Paewai in an attempt on the world three-stand record for lambs in eight hours, in Southern Hawke's Bay in December.
Ferguson's major achievements were winning the Golden Shears open final and world individual and teams titles in Wales in 2010, a solo record of 742 lambs in eight hours in January last year, and in March this year a second world teams title and second placings in both the World Championships and Golden Shears open finals.
King's major triumphs were winning the Golden Shears title and the PGG Wrightson National on the same night in 2006, and shearing a world nine-hour record of 866 lambs in January 2007, having also held the eight-hour record for a short time in 2002.
The national organisation also granted Master Woolhandler status to Te Awamutu's Keryn Herbert, whose successes include last year's Great Raihania Shears open woolhandling title at the HB Show.