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Kiwi shearer confirms new bid for World record

Kiwi shearer confirms new bid for World record

New Zealand shearer Stacey Te Huia is back in training for another crack at one of the toughest of shearing records after an Australian run which has produced the best results of his occasional competition career.

Based in Bathhurst, NSW, Te Huia won the local show Open final and a Speedshear at the weekend, making it “six in a row.”

He had previously won at Canowindra, Carcoar, Inverell, Conargo and Grenfell. The Inverell show decided the NSW representatives for the Australian championship later in the year, but Te Huia is ineligible for selection.

The bid on Southern Hawke’s Bay shearer Rodney Sutton’s World Record tally of 721 ewes shorn in a King Country woolshed in nine hours in January 2007 is expected to be in mid-January next year at Waitara Station, off State Highway 5 between Taupo and Napier.

Te Huia’s highest nine-hour tally is 703 in February 2013, when making an unsuccessful bid for the record in a woolshed east of Benneydale, near his home town of Te Kuiti.

Renowned for the intensive fitness regime he endured in addition to the grind of shearing hundreds of sheep each day, Te Huia expects to step even further up to the mark and said after his latest wins on Saturday: “I start trainingtomorrow. Eight months is the respect this record deserves.”

He expects to remain in Australia working until November, before returning home for what will be only the fifth attempt at the record since legendary King Country shearer David Fagan broke the 700 barrier with a tally of 702 in February 1994.

Central Otago shearer Dion Morrell raised the bar to 716 in 1995, and Southland gun Darrin Forde shore 720 in 1997, unchallenged until Sutton broke the mark by just one.

Te Huia is currently in the World Sheep Shearing Records Society’s books with two other ewes records, with a two-stand nine hour-record of 1341 shorn with Waikaretu contractor Sam Welch in January 2012, and the solo record for eight hours of 603 shorn in December 2010.

Sister Kerri-Jo Te Huia has the women’s eight-hour lambshearing record of 507, while Stacey Te Huia and brother Hayden had set a two-stand, eight-hour ewes record in 1999.

Next season’s record bid is expected to take place in the same shed in which brothers Rowland and Doug Smith set the current eight-hour record of 1066 in January 2011.


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