Wool Processing

New Zealand shearers to attempt lamb record on Friday

Doug Laing, Shearing Sports New Zealand, January 17, 2024

THREE New Zealand shearers working throughout the Tararua District of Southern Hawke’s Bay and Northern Wairarapa are in the latter stages of preparation for their bid for a world record this week.

Eketahuna shearer Hemi Braddick will be joined by Dannevirke-based Ray Kinsman, from Fairlie, and Flynn Harvey, from Kaitaia, in challenging the world three stand, eight hour strong wool ewe record on Friday, at Pohuetai Station, 516 Otope Road, Dannevirke.

The trio is targeting the 1611 lamb tally shorn by Luke Mullins (554), Eru Weeds (539) and James Mack (518) at Waitara Station, Te Pohue, on January 17, 2017, 13 months after the previous record of 1347 was set, also in Hawke’s Bay. The shearers works for Dannevirke contractors Sutton Shearing.

Friday’s record attempt will, according to World Sheep Shearing Records Society rules, comprise four two-hour runs, starting at 7am and ending at 5pm, with half-hour breaks for morning and afternoon tea and a one-hour break for lunch.

Sheep must average at least 3kg of wool each, as determined in a sample shear of 10 sheep and wool weigh-in on Thursday, overseen, as will be Friday’s bid, by members of a five-man panel of records society referees, convened by Dave Brooker, of South Australia.

It is the seventh of eight record attempts scheduled in New Zealand for the 2023-2024 Summer, with all but one successful. In December, the women’s solo eight and nine hour strong wool lamb records were broken in Southland, on January 7 Wairarapa shearer Amy Silcock set a solo women’s ewe record near Pahiatua, also in the Tararua District, only to see it broken three days later in a King Country wool shed, and on Sunday a new men’s five stand eight hour strong wool lamb record was shorn in Southland.

On February 9, Sacha Bond, originally from the Tararua District, will, in Southland, attempt to add the women’s solo nine hour ewe record to the nine hour lambs record she set before Christmas

Of the three shearers in Friday’s attempt, Braddick has been the most successful competition shearer, competing regularly and loyally in the open class, reaching numerous finals in the north and south islands over 10 years before a break-through win at Gisborne in October 2022. Kinsman had two wins in the junior grade in the South Island in 2011 and Harvey won the national full wool final at the Northern Southland Community Shears near Lumsden in 2018.

The trio’s attempt has been in the planning more than a year and a “line in the sand” being reported by Sutton Shearing in February last year was when Braddick did 170 in a two-hour run and Harvey did 169.

They’re in good hands, with the record being managed by boss Rod Sutton, a Shearing Sports New Zealand master shearer who has held four world nine hour  strong wool records, including the glamour nine hour solo ewe and lamb records.

He started out in December 1997 with 713 in a three stand record of 1933 lambs, he is still a holder of the two stand nine hour lamb record of 1637 set in December 1999, during which he sheared 823. A year later he sheared a solo lamb record of 839, and in January 2007 he set a ewe record of 721.

Friday’s record bid comes at the start of a busy three days in shearing sports, with the Northern Southland Community Shears’ national full wool shearing and wool handling championships in Lumsden also on Friday, A and P show competitions at Kaikohe, Wairoa, Takaka and Winton on Saturday, including the Southland Shears’ national crossbred lamb shearing and woolhandling championships on Saturday, and the Royal New Zealand Horowhenua Show’s shearing and woolhandling Championships in Levin on Sunday.

Details of the two previous three-stand eight-hour records, with run-by-run tallies, are:

January 22, 2015, at Big Hills Station, Kereru, Hawke’s Bay. A record of 1347 was shorn by Shelford Wilcox (129, 122, 121, 116 – 488), Kalin Chrystal (127, 126, 118, 115 – 486), and Errol Chrystal (102, 102, 83, 86 – 373. Combined run-by-run tallies: 358, 350, 322, 317.

January 17, 2017, at Waitara Station, Te Pohue, Hawke’s Bay. A record of 1611 was shorn by Luke Mullins (138, 139, 139, 138 – 554), Eru Weeds (134, 133, 136, 136 – 539) and James Mack (126, 134, 132, 126 – 518). Combined run-by-run tallies: 398, 406, 407, 400.

A women’s record of 1120 was shorn by Maureen Hyatt (410), Margaret McAuley (409) and Glenda Betts (301) in Southland on February 19, 1981, under rules which existed prior to the formation of the World Sheep Shearing Records Society and revision of the rules in 1983.

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