England-based World record breaking Hawke's Bay shearer Matthew Smith has created more history by joining younger brother and former World champion Rowland as a Master Shearer.
The coveted status, created in the mid-1970s to recognise supreme shearing performance in competition and in the woolshed, and at the time backdated to include such past greats as Godfrey Bowen, was decided on Wednesday at the annual meeting of Shearing Sports New Zealand.
Smith, 33, awoke in England to a phone call with the news from SSNZ chairman Sir David Fagan, a Master Shearer who was three-times recognised in the New Zealand Honours for his shearing performances, culminating in a Knighthood in the 2016 New Year's list.
Born in Hawke's Bay and having first shorn in competition 20 years ago at the age of 13 while growing up in Northland, Smith set a World record of 578 ewes in eight hours at Waitara Station, between Napier and Taupo, in 2010.
He becomes the sixth Hawke's Bay shearer to be acclaimed as Master Shearer in the last decade, following multiple Golden Shears winner and now new World champion John Kirkpatrick and World record shearer Rodney Sutton in 2007, 2010 World champion Cam Ferguson and fellow Golden Shears champion and World record breaker Dion King in 2012, and Rowland Smith last year.