Female shearers lead the way in new record attempts

Doug Laing, Shearing Sports New Zealand July 21, 2023

Catherine Mullooly winning the senior final at the Poverty Bay Show in Gisborne NZ in 2015. Image – SSNZ.

CHAMPION New Zealand shearer Catherine Mullooly’s attempt on the solo women’s eight hours strong wool ewe record next January will be one of seven scheduled bids at different records in the next 12 months.

And four of the record attempts confirmed by the World Sheep Shearing Records Society will be made by female shearers.

The King Country shearer is targeting the record of 370 strong wool ewes established by English shearer Marie Prebble in England in August last year.

Mullooly is originally from Matawai, near Gisborne and is planning to make her attempt on 10 January at Nukuhakari Station, 780 Te Marama Road, Waikawau, near the coast west of Te Kuiti.

It will be her first attempt at a record, but in 2014 as an Intermediate in competition Mullooly was the first female to finish a season as the No 1-ranked shearer in any of the grades since Shearing Sports New Zealand began its grade-by-grade acclamation 32 years earlier.

It didn’t stop there, for Mullooly went on to win senior competition finals and women’s events in New Zealand and England, including the 2021 Women’s final at Te Kuiti’s New Zealand Shears.

She was also one of the five female shearers featured in first-time filmmaker Jack Nicol’s 2018 documentary She Shears.

Another record challenge confirmed last week was English shearer Steve Rowberry’s 4 August attempt on Te Kuiti shearer Jack Fagan’s men’s solo eight hour strong wool lamb record of 754, shorn last December.

Also confirmed last week was a Southland bid for the five-stand eight-hour strong wool lamb record of 2910 that was set in King Country in January 2015 by local shearer Jock Macdonald, Southland shearers Ringakaha Paewai and Willie Hewitson, Australia-based Kiwi Aidan Copp, and South Australian shearer George Parker.

Lined up for the new bid on 14 January at Campbell’s Block, Hokonui Hills, near Gore, are Max Winders, Trent Hewes, Trevor Holland, Ben Boyle, and Josef Winders, with Jake Hewes listed as a reserve.

World sheep shearing record bids so far notified for the 2023-2024 year are (shearers from New Zealand unless stated otherwise):

August 4 (Friday): Steven Rowberry (England), 8 hour strong wool lambs, at ‘The Dorelands’, Abbey Dore, Herefordshire, England. (Current record: 754, Jack Fagan, Puketiti Station, King Country, December 22, 2022).

December 15 (Friday): Megan Whitehead and Hannah McColl, two-stand and solo Women’s 8 hour strong wool lambs, Grant Brothers Tin House, 759 Otapiri-Mandeville Road, Gore. (Current records: two-stand 903 (Ingrid Baynes 470, Marg Baynes 433), Mangapehi, King Country, January 13, 2009; solo 601, Sacha Bond, Fairlight Station, Northern Southland,February 4, 2023).

December 19 (Tuesday): Sacha Bond, women’s 9 hour strong wool lambs, Centrehill Station, 611 Centrehill Road, Mossburn. (Current record: 661, Megan Whitehead, Craigellachie, Southland January 14, 2021).

December 23 (Saturday): Paerata Abraham and Chris Dickson, 8 hour two stand and solo strong wool lambs, Whitespurs Farm, 320 Puketiro Road, Masterton. (Current records: two-stand 1410 (Simon Goss 715, Jamie Skiffington 695), The Glades, Mangamahu, January 4, 2023; solo 754, Jack Fagan, Puketiti Station, King Country, December 22, 2022).

January 10 (Wednesday): Catherine Mullooly, Woman’s solo 8 hour strong wool ewes, Nukuhakari Station, 780 Te Marama Road, Waikawau, King Country. (Current record: 370, Marie Prebble, Trefranck Farm, Cornwall, England, August 25, 2022).

January 14 (Sunday): Forde Winders Shearing Ltd (Max Winders, Trent Howes, Trevor Holland, Ben Boyle, Josef Winders, reserve Blake Hewes), five stand 8 hour strong wool lambs, Campbell’s Block, Hokonui Hills, Gore. (Current record: 2910 (Ringakaha Paewai 618, Willie Hewitson 613, Aidan Copp 586, Jock MacDonald 564, George Parker 539), Piopio, January 6, 2015).

February 14 (Wednesday): Sacha Bond, Women’s 9 hour strong wool ewes, Centrehill Station, 611 Centrehill Road, Mossburn. (Current record: 452, Kerri Jo Te Huia, Otapawa Station, Tiraumea, NZ, January 15, 2018).


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