Wool Processing

Luke Vernon eight-hour Merino ewe shearing record underway

Terry Sim, April 12, 2024

Luke Vernon digs deep in his first shearing record attempt. Image – Luke Vernon 8 hour Merino ewe world record attempt – Facebook.

THE latest attempt on the solo world eight-hour Merino ewe shearing record is well underway in Western Australia this morning after some nervous moments at the wool weigh-in yesterday afternoon.

The 28 year-old New Zealand-born but Australian-based shearer from Ettrick in Central Otago is tackling the men’s eight-hour Merino ewe record at Thornton Park, Pingelly, where he is based about 170km south-east of Western Australia’s capital Perth.

Luke managed to shear 120 in his first two-hour run and 125 in the second run of the attempt today. The current record of 497 was shorn on April 27, 2019, also in West Australia, by Australia-based Lou Brown, originally from Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand. Shearing successive two-hour runs of 120, 126, 126 and 125, Brown broke a record of 466 that had been shorn in 2003 by Cartwright Terry, another Australian-based shearer from New Zealand.

Click here to watch the livestream on the record attempt’s official Facebook site to watch Luke’s progress. The invitation-only record attempt is closed to the public and an alcohol-free event.

World Sheep Shearing Records Society Inc referee Mark Buscumb said the first 10 sheep at the wool weigh didn’t make the required wool weight of 34 kgs for 10 sheep, but the next 10 ewes did – with 35.12kg.

Luke Vernon team member Paul ‘Pope’ Hick said he was nervous at the wool weigh, but the team was overjoyed when the sheep passed muster. After the wool weigh, Paul said Luke was doing well, despite the obvious first record attempt nerves.

“He’s been training since last October, so when you miss your first wool weigh at your first go at a world record there’s a lot of nerves.

“In the lead into it you want to get some sheep but you don’t want to have too much wool on them — it’s very nerve-wracking.”

Shearer and shearing video producer Rocky Wegner said the conditions were good for the record and the AMS-type Merino ewes were not tight and were expected to comb well.

“The whole team has done really well getting them ready, they look awesome.”



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