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Sheep Shearing World Record

The shearing community from across Australasia is again gathering for another World record attempt which will take place on Saturday in Australia.

New South Wales shearer Josh “Wah” Clayton, who has shorn regularly in New Zealand will make his second attempt on the World 8-hours merino ewes record, near Darkan, 200km south of Perth and just east of an area covered by a bushfire alert which closed the Quindanning-Darkan road in mid-December.

Clayton’s first attempt was on March 30 last year when poor weather contributed significantly to him falling 14 short of the then-previous record of 466 set by New Zealand-born Western Australian shearer Cartwright Terry in 2003.

From Young, NSW, Clayton shore separate two-hour runs of 114, 115, 115 and 108, to fall 14 short of mentor Terry’s mark, only to see another 31 added to the challenge with a new mark of 497 set by Australia-based, Hawke’s Bay-born Lou Brown on April 27 last year near Kojonup, also in Western Australia, with run-tallies of 120, 126, 126 and 125.

Brown averaged under 58 seconds a sheep and was the first to average under a minute a sheep in a merino ewes or wethers record attempt.

Little had had gone right in Clayton’s previous record bid near Harden, NSW, with poor weather during the lead-up meaning the sheep had to be held under-cover for most of the previous week. The day started with near-freezing temperatures outside, and at one stage hail was blowing-in under the ridge cap on the shearing shed and bouncing off his back while he was shearing, watched by about 200 supporters.

The fleeces also averaged over 4.5kg a sheep, well over the 3.4kg minimum requirement set by the

World Sheep Shearing Records Society.

The society has appointed a team of four judges for Saturday’s bid, headed by South African official Eddie Archer. The other three are NSW judge Mark Baldwin, Mike Henderson, of Western Australia, and David Brooker, from South Australia.

It is the fourth of six record attempts downunder so far registered with the society this summer.

The next will be a unique 4-stand women’s lambshearing record on January 23 at Waihi Pukawa Station, off the southern shores of Lake Taupo in New Zealand’s Central North Island.

Taking part will be Marlborough shearer and contractor Sarah Higgins, Natalya Rangiawha, of Raglan, Megan Whitehead, of Gore, and Amy Silcock, who has shorn mainly in the South Island but is originally from Wairarapa farming locality Tiraumea.

A further attempt on the solo 8-hour merino ewes record will be made by 20-year-old Western Australian shearer Ethan Harder near Cordering, Western Australia, on February 15.


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