Irish shearer Ivan Scott breaks Kiwi Dion King's world record
An Irish shearer has stolen the world record away from a Kiwi by just one lamb.
Ivan Scott broke a New Zealander's world record with a total of 867 strongwool lambs in the UK on Sunday (local time).
The 35-year-old from Donegal, who has made New Zealand home for the shearing season, secured the title with a band of Kiwi helpers.
Scott needed almost every second of his nine hours on the shearing board at Trefranck Farm, in Cornwall, beating the record by one lamb – averaging 37.37 seconds a lamb or 96.33 lambs every hour.
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It was the first attempt on the ultimate lamb-shearing record by a non-New Zealander.
The previous record was set in 2007 by Hawke's Bay shearer Dion King in a King Country woolshed with a total of 866 lambs.
Scott's bid for the record got off to an uncertain start, with the big day being delayed due to rain.
But three World Shearing Record judges from New Zealand, Australia and Wales gave the go-ahead on Saturday afternoon.
Scott shore 193 in the first two hours from 5am, putting him slightly behind King's tally of 196 at the same stage but the Irishman managed to maintain an average time marginally ahead of what was needed to break the record.
Scott remained determined and focused, despite tiring near the end of the day.
He finished up with a final run of 166.
The lambs were a mix of Romney and crossbreeds, with an average of 0.966 kilograms of wool.
Scott has become known on the world shearing stage for his tally records and also holds nine All-Ireland Championships and a 2014 New Zealand Corriedale Championship.
In December 2008, while based in Canterbury, he set an eight-hour record of 736 at Rerewhakaaitu, south of Rotorua.
That record was broken in 2011 by 2010 World and Golden Shears champion Cam Ferguson but Scott reclaimed his title with 744 shorn at Opepe Trust Farm, near Taupo, in 2012.
At the start of April this year he shore a single sheep in 37.9 seconds, setting a Guinness record in a live-televised event, and on June 18 year he set an Irish record of 820 ewes in nine hours, showing he was on target for his big World record challenge.
However, Scott's personal best was set during a normal nine-hour work day, when he shore 878 without judges or the pressure of shearing alone in front of a crowd.
Having worked in New Zealand most summers since 2000, Scott has been employed mainly by Rotorua contractor Jeff Dorset, who flew to the UK to manage the record bid.
Also helping were England-based New Zealand shearers Matt Smith, and his brothers Rowland and Doug, and Australia-based New Zealander Cartwright Terry. The woolhandler was Helga Sinclair, from Scotland.
With the record out of the way, Scott will now start preparing for the 40th anniversary World shearing and woolhandling championships being held in Invercargill next year.
New record: Ivan Scott, Trefranck Farm, Cornwall, England.
First run (5am-7am) 193; Second run (8am-9.45am): 170. Third run (10.15am-Midday) 169. Fourth run (1pm-2,24pm) 169; Fifth run: 166. Total for 9 hours: 867. Average per lamb: 37.37 seconds. Average per hour: 96.33 lambs.
Previous record: Dion King, Mangapehi NZ, January 9, 2007
First run (5am-7am) 196; Second run (8am-9.45am) 170; Third run (10.15am-Midday) 168; Fourth run (1pm-2.45pm) 168, Fifth run (3.15pm-5pm) 164. Total for 9 hours: 866. Average per lamb: 37.41 seconds. Average per hour: 96.22 lambs