Welsh blade shearing duo set first British two-stand nine-hour record

Sheep Central October 4, 2017

Welsh blade shearing record setters Clive Hamer and Gareth Owen in action.

A WELSH blade shearing duo, Gareth Owen and Clive Hamer, have set the first British nine-hour two-stand blade shearing lamb record of 397 crossbred lambs.

Over nine hours from 5am on Saturday September 30 at Fernhill Farm, in Compton Martin, Somerset, the two men clipped their way around an average of 44 of the Romney-Shetland lambs every hour.

As part of the attempt, Gareth Owen also gained the solo blade title of 202 lambs using 7.25 inch blades.

The British Wool Marketing Board the men are Welsh wool producers, top United Kingdom blade shearers. Clive Hamer is also a British Isles Shearing Competitions Association (BISCA) judge.  The competition was supported by British Wool, which runs blade and machine shearing courses as part of its annual training program.

Gareth, a sheep farmer in the Snowdonia National Park, farms more than 1000 sheep at 2600 feet, with his wife and two daughters, aged 11 and 13 years, near Caernarfon, in Gwynedd. He cut his teeth on blade shearing aged 15, has competed for Wales and sheared around the world. He has just returned from New Zealand, where he competed against fierce competition in the World Championship Blade Shearing Finals.

“This was the first UK attempt, and we are delighted to have now set British records and benchmarks, which open up the path for others to try follow,” he said.

Clive Hamer farms at Hirnant, Elan Valley, near Rhayader and shears sheep commercially in the UK and in New Zealand.  He also regularly takes part in sheering competitions.

“This was a big challenge and I am delighted to have sheared alongside Gareth to set the record.

“We were both aware that, unless standards such as these are set, there is nothing for others to aspire to,” he said.

“I am sure that in the not too distant future, we will see other shearers taking up this challenge.”

Gareth said blade shearing is an important skill that should be maintained, especially for upland farmers.

“Each year I probably blade shear between 150-200 sheep, usually those which have strayed.

“The shears are light to carry and, depending on the breed, size, and condition, you can usually shear a sheep in about 2 to 3 minutes,” he said.

The overall aim of the attempt was to set the records for double stand and solo, and to set a British sheep shearing standard.  When asked why setting the benchmark was important Colin MacGregor, British Wool’s Head of Shearing, said:

“Shearing is integral to the harvesting of wool and as such we must ensure that we maintain skills across a range of techniques.

“In the last few years there has been a resurgence in both competitive shearing and record attempts, both which have helped to raise the profile of sheep shearing,” he said.

“As a result we now have a very healthy group of young people across the UK who want to develop their all-round shearing skills and this includes blade shearing.

“On behalf of British Wool congratulations to both Gareth and Clive for their achievements today and for setting the first ever blade shearing standards.”

Source: British Wool.


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