Australian shearers step up to attempt new eight hour Merino ewe record

Sheep Central, March 29, 2019

Heiniger Australia representative Rocky Wegner introduces world record aspirant Josh Clayton before tomorrow’s attempt.

Josh Clayton with the sheep to be shorn in his record attempt.

AUSTRALIAN shearers will try to set a new eight-hour Merino ewe record in the next month, starting with an attempt by New South Wales shearer Josh Clayton on Saturday.

Clayton will attempt to break the record of 466 ewes shorn in eight hours, set by New Zealander Cartwright Terry as part of a two-stand record of 924 set with brother Michael James Terry at Westindale, south of Perth, Western Australia, in February 2003.

He will make his attempt at Oxton Park, Wombat Road, Harden, NSW, and then on 27 April, Louis Brown will try to set a new record at Rockliffe Grazing, Samson Road, Kojonup, Western Australia. Brown is originally from Gisborne in Victoria, but is now based at Bunbury, south of Perth.

Shearing Sports New Zealand media officer Doug Laing said Clayton’s attempt will be more than just a day’s frantic shearing for the 35-year-old. His wife died of moto neurone disease 17 months ago and he has been training daily as well as shearing to help promote awareness of the disorder.

Clayton has been shearing mainly in his home area, but has also done two seasons at Quindanning in Western Australia, and six in New Zealand, working for shearing gangs in Taumarunui, Balclutha, Winton and Hastings. The shearers he worked with included champion Hawke’s Bay gun Rowland Smith.

NSW shearer Josh Clayton in action.

New Zealand King Country farmer Ian Buchanan will judge Saturday’s record attempt with Peter Artridge, of Mulengandra, NSW, Ralph Blue, of Yeoval, NSW, and Dave Brooker, of Lucindale, South Australia.

Terry, who had two-hour tallies of 114, 119, 118 and 115 when he set the record, will be present at both of the attempts over the next month, wishing the hopefuls all the best and helping run the attempt by Brown.

He was also present when now New Zealand-based Australian shearer Beau Guelfi made an unsuccessful bid for the record in June 2016, bowing-out at the lunch break with the record already well out of reach.

Sheep will need to average at least 3.4kg of wool each and Clayton will need to average more than 58.25 an hour and clip more close to 1.6 tonnes of wool during the day.

Mr Laing said no shearer has yet gone under a minute a sheep in an adult Merinos record bid, although New Zealand shearer Stacey Te Huia having come closest when he averaged almost 58.9 fine wools an hour when he set a nine-hour record of 530 in New South Wales four years ago.

There were no record attempts in New Zealand during the summer, and World Sheep Shearing Records Society secretary Hugh McCarroll estimated it was at least 20 years since the last time a summer passed in New Zealand without a single bid.

The society manages world record shearing bids for the standard eight and nine-hour working days, and has records on its books ranging from solo to eight-stand tallies.

Source: Doug Laing, Shearing Sports New Zealand.


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