NEW Zealand sheep shearers James Mack, Eru Weeds and Luke Mullins are heading towards adding up to 170 sheep to a world three-stand shearing record.
The shearers are battling tough conditions of heat and well-wooled pumiced sheep in a Hawke’s Bay woolshed.
Targeting a three-stand tally of 1347 in eight hours, they had shorn 804 in the two two-hour runs to the halfway stage of the attempt at Waitara Station, inland northwest of Napier.
At the equivalent stage of the existing record shorn in Hawke’s Bay almost 13 months ago, shearers Shelford Wilcox, Kalin Chrystal and Errol Chrystal had shorn 708.
Youngest member Mullins, aged 35 and from Taihape but now living in Te Awamutu, tops the individual tallies with 277 (1348 and 139) at the one-hour halfway break. Weeds, 38, from Ohai in Southland but living in Roxburgh, Central Otago, had shorn 267 (134 and 133), and senior member James Mack, 43, from Waikato, had shorn 260 (126 and 134).
A team of World Sheep Shearing Society judges is overseeing the event, headed by Australia-based Peter Black, and including Welsh officials Arwyn Jones and Martyn David. An extra sheep shorn by Weeds was rejected by the judges, but convenor Peter Black, said the quality ratings have been comfortably within the requirements.
The shearers had a one-hour break before heading into the third run from 11.30am to 1.30pm, and the countdown run from 2pm to the end at 4pm.
Source: Shearing Sports New Zealand.