There was blood, sweat and maybe a few tears as a five Kiwis set a world shearing record in Kawakawa Bay yesterday.
The event was organised by husband and wife record-holding shearers Sam and Emily Welch and the group targeted the five-stand lamb shearing event for the unclaimed eight-hour tally record.
Sam Welch set the record alongside his brother, Richard, along with Angus Moore; Coel L'Huillier and Peter Totorewa.
At the end of the day, the quintet had shorn 2638 lambs with Sam Welch shearing 573; Richard Welch 491; Totorewa 449; L'Huillier 518 and Moore shore 607.
Sam Welch said he was finally ready to have another go, having taken more than a year to get over the January 2012 day in which he shore 667 sheep as he and Te Kuiti's Stacey Te Huia set a world two-stand record of 1341 ewes in nine hours.
Emily Welch is also a record-holder after shearing a women's record of 648 lambs in nine hours in November 2007.
The scale of yesterday's event meant that extra sheep had to be transported to Cashmore Farms from the Welch's farm in Waikaretu. These supplemented the Cashmore's Romneys to form a mixture of ewe and wether lambs.
Emily said there were 3000 sheep in total ready to be shorn.
''We have about 40 staff here and 3000 sheep - 660 came from Waikaretu and the rest belong to the Cashmores.''
The record shear took place over a standard eight-hour shearing day, starting at 7am, with four two-hour runs, morning and afternoon smoko breaks of 30 minutes and an hour for lunch.
''It went really smoothly and we are really happy,'' Emily said.
''It was hard work because they were very woolly lambs.''
It was said that Moore was looking the most exhausted after the strenuous day in the shearing shed.
''Sam feels really good – he's happy. Angus is looking the worst.''
A panel of 10 officiators were in attendance, appointed by the World Sheep Shearing Record Society.
The day marked the biggest shearing record bid in New Zealand since a six-stand nine-hour record in Southland in 2005.
Earlier this year, also in Southland, a four-stand record of 2556 was set by four shearers averaging 639 each in eight hours.
- © Fairfax NZ News