Shearing record hopefuls (from left) Flynn Harvey, Hemi Braddick and Ray Kinsman in a wool shed in the days leading up to today’s attempt on the world three stand strong wool ewe record near Dannevirke.
THREE New Zealand shearers are making the most of the first run of their world record attempt in Southern Hawke’s Bay with a first-hour tally unofficially almost 20 a head of the required pace.
Watch the first videos of the attempt here
The attempt on the world three stand strong wool ewe record for eight hours started at Pohuetai Station, about 7km from Dannevirke, where the temperature was expected to pass 30 degress Celsius outside later in the day.
The target is the record of 1611 shorn by Luke Mullins (554), Eru Weeds (539) and James Mack 518) on January 17, 2017, at Waitara Station, between Napier and Taupo.
Challengers Hemi Braddick, of Eketahuna, Flynn Harvey, originally from Kaitaia, and Ray Kinsman, originally from Fairlie, need a combined average of 201.5 for each run to beat the record by the time the attempt ends at 5pm.
At the end of the first hour they had unofficially shorn 220, with Harvey shearing 74, and Braddick and Kinsman 73.
The first official run-by-run tally will be declared by World Sheep Shearing Records Society referees Dave Brooker (the convenor, from South Australia) and New Zealand officials Ronnie King, Neil Fagan, Alistair Emslie, and Bart Hadfield after the first run ends at 9am.
According to the rules, the sheep must be at least 18 months old and carry an average of at least 3kg of wool each, a requirement which was met at a pre-record wool-weigh on Thursday with a sample shear of 10 sheep from the flock producing 36.4kg.
About 100 people were reported to be watching in the shed early in the day as the shearers and their crews worked around the board and the pens, monitoring the time, tending the gear, with each shearer likely to use two combs and eight cutters each run, marshalling the sheep into position in the pens and taking care of other needs of the shearers.
Among those present were recent Catherine Mullooly, who nine days ago sheared a women’s solo record of 465, and Rowland Smith, who holds the men’s record of 644, shorn in England in 2017, while the record bid is managed by contractor Rod Sutton, former holder of the glamour nine-hours records on both lambs and still the holder of a two stand lambs record.