NEW Zealand shearer Leon Samuels is attempting another world record today – tackling the current record of 603 strong wool ewes in eight hours.
The ‘green light’ was given at a late Sunday pre-record wool weigh session, where the wool from 10 sample sheep shorn under the supervision of World Sheep Shearing Records Society judges weighed 33kg, comfortably over the minimum average of 3kg per sheep.
The attempt started at 7am today at Argyle Station, Piano Flat Rd, Waikaia, about 30km north of Gore, and is scheduled to finish at 5pm.
Shearing four two-hour runs, separated by morning and afternoon smoko-breaks of 30 minutes each and an hour for lunch, Samuels will need to average at least 75.5 sheep an hour to beat the record set by Te Kuiti shearer Stacey Te Huia at Moketenui, between Te Kuiti and Benneydale, on December 22, 2010.
Te Huia, who will be at the Argyle Station wool shed as a part of a trip to New Zealand before returning to his base in Australia, opened his 2010 record shear with 146 and then shore record two-hour runs of 152, 153 and 152, adding 25 to a record of 578 set 11 months earlier by Northland-raised Matthew Smith, who in England last July shore a nine-hour record of 731.
Samuels is already in the record books, as one of a four-stand gang who in February 2013 shore 2556 lambs in eight hours, including Samuels’ contribution of 648.
Record attempt manager and Heiniger Shearing representative Brendon Potae said that after regular rain in the area, Southland has had a hot week since the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Invercargill on February 8-11. Mainly fine weather with light winds and temperatures up to 25deg are forecast for Gore.
Today’s attempt by Samuels is one of four eight-hour shearing records he will try to break in New Zealand this summer; including a two-stand record of 1068 ewes set by Kelvin Walker and Coel L’Huillier on January 10, a three-stand record of 1825 lambs set the next day by Welsh shearers Matthew Evans and Delwyn Jones and Southland gun Ryan Miller, and a three-stand ewes record of 1611 by Luke Mullins, Eru Weeds and James Mack on January 17.
Judging convenor for today’s bid is Grant Borchardt, from Tara, Queensland, assisted by New Zealand judges Paul Harris, John Fraser and Robert McLaren.
Source: Shearing Sports New Zealand.