NEW Zealand shearer Sacha Bond has set a new women’s eight hour strong wool lamb shearing record of 601, smashing the previous mark by 91 lambs.
The King Country-based shearer and 29 year-old mum set the new record at Fairlight Station, south of Lake Wakatipu, on New Zealand’s south island on Saturday.
Sacha’s effort was 91 more than the previous record of 510, shorn by Canadian shearer Pauline Bolay in December 2019 at Waikaretu, in the Waikato District.
Bond needed an average of more than 127.5 lambs for each of the four runs, from the 7am start to the 5pm finish, and was well ahead from the outset, shearing 150, 150 and 150 in the first three runs, and 151 in the last. She passed the previous record with more than an hour to spare on the clock.
In her record three years ago, Bolay shore successive two-hour tallies of 127, 125, 131 and 127 to beat by three the previous record of 507 shorn by King Country shearer Kerri-Jo Te Huia at Te Hape, near Bennydale, on January 10, 2012.
But the record category is possibly best known for the 470 shorn at Mangapehi, also near Bennydale, on January 13, 2009, by Wairoa shearer Ingrid Baynes with mother Marg in a two-stand record that hasn’t yet been challenged.
Judging convenor Peter Artridge and New Zealand panelists Robert McLaren, Alistair Emslie and North Island official Bart Hadfield gave the green light for the weekend’s record to go ahead after a Friday afternoon wool weigh-in. Twenty of the target flock’s lambs averaged fleece weights of 1.034kg, comfortably exceeding the minimum requirement of 0.9kg.
The four runs, from 7am to 9am, 9,30am to 11.30am, 12.30pm to 2.30pm and 3pm to 5pm represent the standard eight-hour working day in New Zealand woolsheds, allowing breaks for morning and afternoon tea and lunch.
Maximum temperatures of 28-32 degrees Celsius had been forecast for the district for what was the 11th record attempt of the records society’s 2022-2023 year. All but one have been successful, including two just two days apart in December on the men’s eight hour solo strong wool lambs record, that now stands at 754.
Among Bond’s team on Saturday was partner Coel L’Huillier, who shore 677 in a three-stand men’s record in December 2019.
World Sheep Shearing Records Society chairman Paul Harris was unable to be present at the Bond shear because of judging commitments at a shearing sports competition taking place nationwide on Saturday, but said the spate of record attempts in the past year was not unexpected, and included some shearers whose dreams had been delayed by the global pandemic.
He said it takes a year or more to plan and prepare for most record attempts, and gather the resources and support teams to make sure it all happens on the day. In some cases, shearers have been targeting the more achievable records.
“The record broken by Bond at the weekend is regarded as one of the premier level goals, a 600-lambs tally for women having been seen in recent years as a possibility if everything lined-up on the day..”