Awards are starting to take a diverse complexion for former Hawke's Bay shearer Matt Smith.
At the Golden Shears in Masterton on Saturday night he received his Master Shearer Award, just after being named the UK Farmers Weekly's Sheep Farmer of the Year in Britain.
The latest presentation recognised his record-breaking achievements in the woolshed, most notably the 731 ewes he shore at Trefranck Farm, near Launceston in Cornwall on July 26, 2016.
He had previously, at Waitara Station, north of Te Pohue in December 2010, shorn an eight-hour record of 578, a figure now overshadowed by the 644 brother Rowland shore at Trefranck Farm last July, and which was also recognised on Saturday night with a presentation from the World Sheep Shearing Records Society, soon after Rowland Smith won his fifth Golden Shears Open title.
The unique records, breaking new ground for shearing records in the UK, were however the last at Trefranck Farm, which Matt Smith farms with wife Pip, whose family have been on the property for more than 300 years.
There is some farming to be done, the 121 hectares being home to a 1000-head romney flock developed over the last four years since they married in 2014.
There are now also 250 pedigree breeding deer, the operation being described by the UK Farmers Weekly as a dramatic change from the beef and sheep operation run by Pip Smith's father, which comprised 350 charolais cattle, mules and lambing indoors, and a 25-cow suckler herd.
The couple had to acquire funding to invest in the deer and also erect fencing and purchase handling equipment in order to manage pasture land effectively, as well as keep livestock and people safe.
Pip Smith said: "The market for venison in the UK is flourishing and we were keen to take the farm in a new direction."
Matt Smith told the Masterton crowd he wouldn't be making it "home" as often as he would like, but the Master Shearer recognition capped-off his career, and to have his name alongside those who he had idolised was a "really, really humbling experience".
It came with a bit of advice for younger shearers that it is "a long road" but with dedication success would come eventually, overlooking perhaps the pathway thus far of 20-year-old nephew Brook Hamerton, who had earlier in the day won the Golden Shears Junior final.
Like his uncles, Hamerton grew-up around Ruawai in Northland, where he was told that he couldn't go shearing until after he'd been to university. He did that, for six weeks before heading to Hawke's Bay, the watchful eye of uncle Rowland, and the tutorship of step-dad and shearing trainer Peter Chilcott.