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Three-stand Shearing Record Bid Near Dannevirke On Friday

Three shearers working throughout the Tararua District of Southern Hawke’s Bay and Northern Wairarapa are in the latter stages of preparation for their bid for a World record this week.

Eketahuna shearer Hemi Braddick, who when finally winning an Open final for the first time at Gisborne in 2022 spoke of his hopes of one-day taking part in a record attempt, will be joined by Dannevirke-based Ray Kinsman, from Fairlie, and Flynn Harvey, from Kaitaia, in challenging the World three-stand, eight-hours strongwool ewes record on Friday, at Pohuetai Station, 516 Otope Road, Dannevirke.

Working for Dannevirke contractors Sutton Shearing, the trio is targeting the 1611, shorn by Luke Mullins (554), Eru Weeds (539) and James Mack (518) at Waitara Station, Te Pohue, on January 17, 2017, 13 months after the previous record of 1347 was set, also in Hawke’s Bay.

Friday’s record attempt will, according to World Sheep Shearing Records Society rules, comprise four two-hour runs, starting at 7am and ending at 5pm, with half-hour breaks for morning and afternoon tea and a one-hour break for lunch.

Sheep must average at least 3kg of wool each, as determined in a sample shear of 10 sheep and wool-weigh on Thursday, overseen, as will be Friday’s bid, by members of a five-man panel of records society referees, convened by Dave Brooker, of South Australia.

It is the seventh of eight record attempts scheduled in New Zealand for the 2023-2024 summer, with all-but-one successful. In December the women’s solo eight and nine hours strong wool lambs records were broken in Southland, on January 7 Wairarapa shearer Amy Silcock set a solo women’s ewes record near Pahiatua, also in the Tararua District, only to see it broken three days later in a King Country woolshed, and on Sunday a new men’s five-stand eight-hours strongwool lambs record was shorn in Southland.

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On February 9, Sacha Bond, originally from the Tararua District, will, in Southland, attempt to add the women’s solo nine-hours ewes record to the nine-hours lambs record she set before Christmas

Of the three in Friday’s attempt, Braddick has been the most successful competition shearer, competing regularly and loyally in the Open class, reaching numerous finals in the North and South islands over 10 years before a break-through win at Gisborne in October 2022. Kinsman had two wins in the Junior grade in the South Island in 2011 and Harvey won the national fullwool final at the Northern Southland Community Shears near Lumsden in 2018.

Their attempt has been in the planning more than a year, a “line in the sand” being reported by Sutton Shearing in February last year when Braddick did 170 in a two-hour run and Harvey did 169.

They’re in good hands, the record being managed by boss Rod Sutton, a Shearing Sports New Zealand Master Shearer who has held four World nine-hours strongwool records, including the glamour nine-hours solo ewes and lambs records.

He started out in December 1997 with 713 in a three-stand record of 1933 lambs, he is still a holder of the two-stand nine-hours lambs record of 1637 set in December 1999, during which he sheared 823, a year later he sheared a solo lambs record of 839, and in January 2007 he sheared a ewes record of 721,

The record bid comes at the start of a busy three days in shearing sports, with the Northern Southland Conmmunity Shears' national fullwool shearing and woolhadling championships in Lumsden also on Friday, A and P show competitions at Kaikohe, Wairoa, Takaka and Winton on Saturday, including the Southland Shears' national crossbred lambs shearing and woolhandling championships on Saturday, and the Royal New Zealand Horowhenua Show's shearing and woolhandling Championships in Levin on Sunday.

Details of the two previous three-stand eight-hour records, with run-by-run tallies, are:

January 22, 2015, at Big Hills Station, Kereru, Hawke’s Bay. A record of 1347 was shorn by Shelford Wilcox (129, 122, 121, 116 – 488), Kalin Chrystal (127, 126, 118, 115 – 486), and Errol Chrystal (102, 102, 83, 86 - 373. Combined run-by-run tallies: 358, 350, 322, 317.

January 17, 2017, at Waitara Station, Te Pohue, Hawke’s Bay. A record of 1611 was shorn by Luke Mullins (138, 139, 139, 138 – 554), Eru Weeds (134, 133, 136, 136 – 539) and James Mack (126, 134, 132, 126 – 518). Combined run-by-run tallies: 398, 406, 407, 400.

A women’s record of 1120 was shorn by Maureen Hyatt (410), Margaret McAuley (409) and Glenda Betts (301) in Southland on February 19, 1981, under rules which existed prior to the formation of the World Sheep Shearing Records Society and revision of the rules in 1983.

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