Thursday, February 22, 2024

Beginners’ pluck as five set shearing record

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Crew new to record attempts smashes world tally by 326 lambs.
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Five shearers new to attempting shearing records smashed a world record by 326 lambs in Southland on Sunday, January 14.

The Forde Winders Shearing crew of Trevor Holland, of New Plymouth; Max Winders, of Colac Bay; Trent Hewes, of Tuakau; Ben Boyle, of Invercargill; and Josef Winders, of Tussock Creek, sheared a new world five-stand eight-hours strongwool lambs record of 3236.

The previous record of 2910 was shorn in a King Country woolshed nine years ago by the Barrowcliffe shearing crew of Ringakaha Paewai, Willie Hewitson, Aidan Copp, Jock MacDonald and George Parker.

The crew shore four two-hour runs at the Grant brothers’ Campbell’s Block in the Hokonui Hills, west of Gore, starting at 7am and finishing at 5pm, under the watchful eye of six World Sheep Shearing Record Society referees, and a board, pen, gear and diet and nutrition crew of more than 50.

More than 100 onlookers also packed the woolshed, urging the five past the old mark, past 3000 and ultimately Holland, in the quest for a personal milestone, reached with the last catch – a personal tally of 701 for the day.

Needing a combined average of at least 727.75 per run to break the record, the shearers were always comfortably ahead of the required pace, and tallied 816 in the first run from 7am to 9am, 811 in the second run from 9.30am-11.30am, 809 in the third run from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, and 800 in the last from 3pm to 5pm.

The referees, convened by Scottish official Andy Rankin, oversaw the pre-record wool weigh-in on Saturday, where the fibre from 20 sample sheep totalled 23.708kg, an average of 1.1854kg a lamb and safely over the minimum requirement of 0.9kg of wool per lamb.

It’s estimated over 3.8 tonnes of wool was shorn during the day – more than 20 bales.

Organisers paid particular tribute to the farmers for getting the sheep together for what is understood to have been the seventh-biggest tally in an official World record attempt for any number of shearers.

Individual tallies were: Trevor Holland (172, 179, 172, 178) 701; Max Winders  (161, 161, 166, 162) 650; Trent Hewes (164, 161, 167, 159) 651; Ben Boyle (168, 159, 153, 150) 630, Josef Winders (151, 151, 151, 151) 604.

There have now been four successful record attempts in New Zealand this summer. Next-up is that of the Sutton Shearing crew of Hemi Braddick, Ray Kinsman and Flynn Harvey on the three-stand eight-hours lambs record of 1611 at Pohuetai Station, 516 Otope Road, Dannevirke, on Friday, January 19.

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