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Aussie stint made it for new Kiwi shearing hero


On behalf of Shearing Sports New Zealand

December 22, 2010

Aussie stint made it for new Kiwi shearing hero

An unbroken run of 79 days shearing in West Australia earlier this year proved the making of the man as King Country shearer Stacey Te Huia came back from a failed World eight-hour ewe-shearing record last January to smash the record today despite torrential rain outside and a 40-minute power cut.

Te Huia, a 32-year-old "happily single" father of two shore 603 strong-wooled predominantly romney flock to smash the previous record by 25 at Moketenui Station, between home-town Te Kuiti and Benneydale.

First to congratulate him was Far North shearer Matthew Smith who had shorn the previous record of 578 near Te Pohue, Hawke's Bay, on January 15. Te Huia missed-out by five sheep in a bid for the record just four days after Smith's effort, and said today that while at the time he did not want to think about another record, he had waited 11 months to get the record back in the family.

Older brother Hayden held the record at 495 for nine years after a day's shearing at Marton in 1999 when the pair set a two-stand record, which ironically is being tackled by Smith's brothers, Doug and Rowland, at Te Pohue, on January 11.

Te Huia, of Maniapoto and Tuwharetoa descent on the sides of both father Dean and mother Jo, said a troubled back had limited his serious training for last summer's attempt to about four months.

Based with Jury Shearing at Kojonup in West Australia from August to the start of November, he not only worked his marathon 79 days, but also ran the roads for an hour before each day in the shed, and and did an hour in the gym each night.

"It helped the endurance," he reckoned, as he drooled over his first beer in eight months.

He couldn't wait to get the latest record bid out of the way, and was unworried by the rain that had prevailed for much of the last week, nor a power cut with the race almost won and the fourth and final two-hour run about to start at 3pm.

Contractors Michael Cornelius and Mal McQuilkin, from The Lines Co in Te Kuiti, raced more than 20km to the woolshed and discovered an easily-fixed pole fuse fault a few metres from the woolshed. More to the relief of over 100 supporters than the challenger the run-home was soon back on, albeit 40 minutes late.

"I wasn't worried at all," said Te Huia, who had started at 7am and posted 146 in the first two hours to morning smoko, three down on Smith's opening run 11 months ago.

But with 39 in less than half an hour just before the break he was into a groove in which he remained, setting a run record of 152 in the two hours to lunch, going one better with 153 after the meal, and coming home with another 152 to the eventual finish at 5.40pm.

The quality on the sheep, estimated to have averaged about 55kg each and carrying an average of over 3kg of wool each, was among the better seen in record attempts, and no sheep were rejected by World Sheep Shearing Records Society judges Ralph Blue, of Dubbo, NSW, Paul Harris, of Waipara in North Canterbury, Hugh McCarroll, of Tauranga, and Ian Buchanan, of Te Kuiti.

Te Huia, from a family of shearers, had the best of support as he flailed his new Lister Nitro handpiece - shorter and lighter, said the experts. Among those managing the attempt were icon David Fagan, on the 18th anniversary of the day he shore a nine-hour lambs record of 810 in Southland in 1992. Te Huia's woolhandlers were Worlds teams champions Sheree Alabaster, of Taihape, and Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu and Te Kuiti, assisted by Hannah Neal, of Te Kuiti.


© Scoop Media

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