Young Ruawai shearer Rowland Smith donated his $3000 prize to cancer research after winning the open championship at the 53rd Golden Shears tournament in Masterton last weekend.
Smith, 26, took the open title by beating four-times winner John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, 2006 winner Dion King, of Hastings, and 2010 winner Cam Ferguson, of Waipawa.
The new champion then told the crowd "It's not for the money" and put his $3000 prize in with $8000 already contributed for cancer research.
Smith's mother, Christel, had died of cancer, making it a particularly poignant moment as Golden Shears competitors and spectators got behind woolhandling legend Joanne Kumeroa, 43, battling cancer but still finishing second in her attempt to win the wool industry pageant's open woolhandling title for a seventh time.
Smith was TAB favourite for the open championship after winning eight other finals in the six weeks leading into Shears week.
King poured on the pace throughout the contest, finishing the 20 second-shear sheep first in 16min 30.09sec, 16sec ahead of Kirkpatrick, and another 8sec ahead of Smith.
But Smith's event-best 10.45 quality points total secured him the major prize, with King having to settle for second overall, Kirkpatrick third and Ferguson fourth.
Smith told the Northern Advocate he had married Ingrid Baynes - a world record shearer - in December and they were enjoying living in Hastings.
He was proud to have won the open championship as he had competed around the world and considered there was nothing close to matching the Golden Shears as a professional shearing contest.