Hawke's Bay shearers dominated the top event at the 53rd Golden Shears in Masterton at the weekend.
Shearers based in that region took the first four places in the open final, in an extremely tight finish.
Hastings-based shearer Rowland Smith, 26, was the hot favourite with the bookmakers for this year's Golden Shears after winning eight regional shearing finals over the last six weeks.
While he lived up to the billing his win was a very close shave. The shearer beat 2006 Golden Shears winner Dion King by a tenth of a point into second place and defending champion John Kirkpatrick was another tenth of a point behind in third.
Legendary shearer David Fagin, 51, missed out on a place in the final for only the fourth time in 30 years.
In other Golden Shears events, New Zealand beat Australia in a trans-Tasman test match, while world champion woolhandler Joel Henare of Gisborne added the Golden Shears woolhandling trophy to the cabinet.
John Kirkpatrick won the PGG Wrightson national shearing series title.