Canada’s Pauline shears record 510 lambs in 8 hours

Doug Laing, Shearing Sports New Zealand, December 9, 2019

New world women’s 8-hour strong wool lambs record holder Pauline Bolay, left, with Emily Welch.

NEW Zealand-based Canadian shearer Pauline Bolay has become a world record holder in an historic day in a Waikato wool shed.

The 33 year-old became the first North Hemisphere-born woman to set a shearing record on Saturday when she shore 510 strong wool lambs on Saturday at Whitford Farms, Waikaretu.

It gave her the world solo women’s 8-hours strong wool lambs record, previously held by King Country shearer Kerri-Jo Te Huia, who shore 507 in a woolshed east of Te Kuiti almost 8 years ago.

Bolay, 33, needed an average of 63.5 lambs an hour, caught, shorn and dispatched, and was constantly on target through the day of four two-hour runs from the start at 7am to the end at 5pm with 30-minute breaks for morning and afternoon ‘smoko’ and an hour for lunch.

She started with 127 in the opening run, and was just behind the target rate with 125 in the two hours to lunch. She broke the advantage line with 131 in the two hours after lunch and finished with 127 in the run to the end of the day, breaking the record with less than three minutes to go.

Te Huia followed a similar pattern when she set her record in January 2012, with runs of 124, 124, 133, and 126.

Canadian shearer Pauline Bolay during here record-breaking shear in New Zealand. Image – Supplied SSNZ

World Sheep Shearing Records Society secretary Hugh McCarroll said it was a “tough day” for Bolay, with humidity taking over from cooler early conditions and the coopworth lambs coming from three different properties in the area.

He said the wool shed was packed with shearing fraternity and local supporters as the countdown came towards the end.

“She was pretty emotional at the finish,” said McCarroll.

The event was managed by employers Sam and Emily Welch, both also World record holders, with Emily having set her 9-hours record in the same woolshed in 2007.

Bolay is from a farming family in Fairford, Manitoba and represented Canada as a shearer at the world shearing and wool handling championships in Masterton in 2012 and again this year in France.

After her triumph, Pauline posted that she had so many people to thank who made her shearing world record a reality.

“Words are not enough to express my appreciation and gratitude.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my whole support team that was there on the day and the months leading up to the day,” she wrote.

“Thanks to my friends and family for their immense support.

“A very special thank you to the crew from Clayton-Greene and Welch Shearing for being my pen boys on the day,” she said.

“You all did a great job warming up the lambs and filling up the pen, and catching my drink cups.”


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