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For the record, back to work Monday

For the record, back to work Monday

It might not be everybody’s way of easing back to work after the holidays, but it’ll be all go for shearer Kerri-Jo Te Huia as she goes for a woman’s record in which she’s expected to shear for nine hours at under 75 seconds a sheep.

Making no forecasts herself, Te Huia will be after a record for the most strongwool ewes shorn by a woman in the standard woolshed nine-hour day.

The record is currently unclaimed under a controversial restructuring of shearing records rules in 1983, which dispatched previous marks to a closed register.

But on February 21 the previous year, Maureen Hyatt shore 522 ewes in nine hours near Mossburn, just 16 days after setting a lambs record of 569. There is a current women’s nine-hour lambs record of 648, shorn in November 2007 by Emily Welch.

The bid by Te Huia, who holds an eight-hour lambs record of 507 set five years ago, will make her new bid in the 10-stand woolshed of Otapawa, in the Tiraumea district east of Eketahuna, which is on State Highway 2 north of Masterton.

It’s set to start at 5am, with a two-hour run to breakfast, followed by four runs of 1hr 45mins each from 8am to 5pm, broken by half-an-hour for morning tea, an hour for lunch, and 30 minutes for afternoon tea.

Sister of shearer Stacey Te Huia, who shore 674 in a two-stand record in 2012, a merino ewes record of 530 in Australia in 2015, and two other records which have since been broken, Kerri-Jo Te Huia was today taking a break – “eating and sleeping”, in temperatures “as hot-as.”

Thunder and rain forecast for the lower North Island weren’t expected to cause problems, with the woolshed a shed able to provide cover for over 3500 ewes.

The countdown starts on Sunday afternoon with a sample shear before World Sheep Shearing Records Society judges Arwyn Jones, from Wales, North Island appointees Ian Buchanan and Bart Hadfield and Robert McLaren, from the South Island. Wool from 10 sheep will have to average over 3kg a sheep for the record to be able to go ahead.

The attempt is one of two currently planned, with South Island shearer Leon Samuels targeting the men’s record for strong wool ewes in eight hours. His bid on the mark of 644 shorn by New Zealand champion Rowland Smith in England last July is scheduled for January 29 at Argyle Station, Waikaia, about 50km north of Gore and 200km by road west of Dunedin.


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