Penalty warning no big hurdle

01:43, Jan 31 2009
HONOURS: Jimmy Clark receiving his prize from wife Jackie after breaking the record near Blackmount yesterday.

He came, he shore, he conquered.

Blackmount shearer Jimmy Clark set a world record when he shore 560 full-wool ewes in an 8-hour day at Wairaki Station yesterday, beating the previous record by 65 ewes.

A jubilant Clark struggled for the last hour and a-half of his feat but was rewarded with a cold beer.

"I'm absolutely buggered but it's all been worth it," he said as his wife Jackie planted a kiss on his cheek.

However, Clark's moment of glory was almost snatched away by a penalty warning from the judges because of too much wool left on some sheep.

Another slip-up would have spelt an end to his world record attempt but Clark tidied up his act and pulled out all the stops.


Event organiser Darin Forde expected Clark would shear 560 sheep after consistently putting out about 140 sheep every 2-hour run.

Clark didn't disappoint and at about 4.07pm smashed the previous record of 495 full-wool ewes set by Hayden Te Huia, of Marton, in 1999.

In the final 53min he managed to throw another 65 ewes down the chute.

Clark kept himself fuelled with high energy snacks and protein shakes, while a physiotherapist was on hand to attend to his aches and pains.

The romney sheep were not as easy shearing as he had expected.

Wet weather before the competition meant they had to be housed in the covered yards longer than usual.

They had lost a bit of condition in the yards, and there were a few bony ones, which made them harder to shear, he said.

Clark, who also holds two lamb shearing records, couldn't understand what all the fuss was about when about 200 people crammed into the woolshed at Wairaki Station.

"It was supposed to be low-key. I'm surprised how many people are here."

Clark was looking forward to a well-earned rest but would not attempt to break his own record.

"Let someone else have a crack at it," he said.


The Southland Times