Piopio shearing gang breaks world record

SHEAR AMIBITION: Piopio shearer Jock MacDonald in the process of breaking a world record at Puketiti Station as part of ...
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SHEAR AMIBITION: Piopio shearer Jock MacDonald in the process of breaking a world record at Puketiti Station as part of a Barrowcliffe shearing gang.

An eight-hour lamb-shearing record has been smashed in a King Country woolshed.

A Barrowcliffe shearing gang based in the Piopio area beat the world five-stand strong wool lamb shearing record on Tuesday.

They shore 2910 lambs at Puketiti Station, southwest of Piopio - 272 up on the previous record from December 2013.

Piopio shearer Jock MacDonald, 28, said he was "pretty rapt" but a bit sore.

Team-mate Aidan Copp came up with the idea of a record attempt and MacDonald started as a back-up.

But he was glad to end up in the stand and shear 564 lambs - more than the 528 each man needed.

"Makes it a bit harder for someone else to try to break [the record]," he said.

"It's a good achievement to get."

Shearing records seem to run in the family - his father, Alan MacDonald, broke a nine-hour solo lamb-shearing record in 1993 and won a world championship title in 1994.

And both parents were present at Jock MacDonald's stand on Tuesday.

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The other record-breaking shearers were Ringa Paewai, who shore 618 lambs, Willie Hewitson (603), Aidan Copp (586) and George Parker (539).

The shearers started at 7am and did two-hour runs with scheduled breaks.

The third run was toughest for MacDonald but he came back for the last.

"It was a nice feeling to know that we had no more after that run. Have a cold beer afterwards and that's it," he said.

"She was a pretty full-on day but there was a bloody good atmosphere last night [Tuesday]."

Among those shouted a drink were event hosts Rusty and Hillary Morgan and their team from Puketiti Station.

Their support played a big part in helping the gang get their first record, Barrowcliffe Shearing contractor Mark Barrowcliffe said. "I'm glad it's over. It's a lot of work setting up and cleaning up . . . It's a great team-building exercise and you've got your top guys pushing the boundaries. The signs were early on that it was looking good."

After their marathon attempt the team got 24 hours of rest before heading back to work today.

The World Sheep Shearing Records Society appointed chief judge Peter Black of Australia to lead the team of judges.

Society secretary Hugh McCarroll said the shearers shore "close to the edge" and just one caution was issued on the day.

libby.wilson@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

 - Waikato Times

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