World Shearing Record
Southland shearer Megan Whitehead got off to a comfortable start in her bid for a new World record with a first hour ahead of the target after the start at 5am in a woolshed near Gore.
The 24-year-old Whitehead is targeting a record of 648 lambs in nine hours, set by Waikato shearer Emily Welch 13 years ago.
In the first hour she shore 75, three ahead of the hourly target of 72.
Going into the last quarter-hour before the breakfast break at 7am she was on target for just over 150 in the first run, compared with the 144 first-run total shorn by Welch in her record in November 2007.
Five judges from the World Sheep Shearing Records Society are overseeing the record – one watching from Australia via AVL – and yester gave the green light for the attempt to go ahead when a sample shear of 20 lambs produced 21kg of wooll, comfortably over the required minimum of 0.9kg per lamb.
Whitehead faces four other runs of 1hr 45mins each heading to the finish at 5pm. The woolshed was reported packed with supporters from the start.