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Shearing record hopefuls back on the holy NZ grail

At least two World shearing record attempts will be made in New Zealand this summer after a two-year hiatus in which four new marks were set overseas.

The first of the two attempts registered with World Sheep Shearing Records Society secretary Hugh McCarroll, of Tauranga is scheduled for December 7 when multiple records-breaker Stacey Te Huia will tackle one of the longest-standing records in the books.

Shearing in a woolshed near Ranfurly in Central Otago, North Island shearer Te Huia will attempt the 9hrs merino wethers record of 418 shorn by Rakaia shearer Grant Smith in November 1999.

Te Huia currently holds shares a two-stand ewes record set in 2012 and the solo 9hrs merino ewes record, shorn in Australia in February 2015.

The second attempt will be on December 23 when established multi-stand record-breaker Coel L’Huillier and records-bids newcomers Kaleb Foote and Daniel Langlands, all from Waikato, at King Country station Puketiti, will attempt the three-stand 8hrs strongwool lambs record of 1825 set by Welsh shearers Matthew Evans and Delwyn Jones and New Zealand shearer Ryan Miller in January 2017, also in the King Country.

For L’Huillier, from Te Akau, it will be a chance to get back into the books following the disappearance of a two-stand 8hrs strongwool ewes record 1068 he and King Country shearer Kelvin Walker held for more than two years before English shearing contractor Martin Howlett (539) and lefthander Jonny Roberts (536) shore a new mark of 1075 at Bigley Farm, near Salisbury in Wiltshire, on October 2.

That was the fourth record set overseas since the last record in New Zealand in January 2018 when Te Hui’s sister, Kerri Jo Te Huia, set a womens 9hrs solo strongwool ewes record in a North Wairarapa woolshed.

The other three were all in Australia.

Each of the record bids is expected cost over $10,000 to run, including recently-increased fees of $US2500 for the solo attempt and $US4200 for the three-stand attempt, and other costs associated with international judging panels required for each attempt, and feeding the substantial short teams.

The longest-standing record in the WSSRS register is the three-stand 9hrs strongwool ewes record of 1857 set by New Zealand shearers Ricky Pivac, Dion Morrell and Chris Brooker in 1993.

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