Six sheep – and a 16-year-old world shearing record set by two Southlanders was gone.
Te Kuiti shearer Stacey Te Huia and Sam Welch, of Waikaretu, shore 1341 ewes in nine hours to break the previous two-stand record of 1335 set by Southland shearers Darin Forde and Wayne Ingram at Blackmount's Wairaki Station in 1996.
Te Huia and Welch began the two-stand record attempt in a King Country woolshed at 5am. A large King Country crowd watched the record attempt in a woolshed east of Benneydale.
The pair's first session put them behind the eight-ball. They had shorn 292 ewes, Welch 149, Te Huia 143, in the two-hour run to breakfast. Forde and Ingram shore 306 in their opening run – 14 more than the would-be record-breakers.
However, by the end of the second run the pair had shorn 553 ewes, just 12 short of the 565 shorn by the Southlanders.
They were just under the hourly average needed to break the record.
Welch had shorn 277, while Te Huia, with two ewes rejected by the judges in his first run, had 276. The tough third run was from 10.15am to noon.
Going into lunch, they had shorn 815. Although still marginally short of the hourly average needed, they were only seven sheep shy of Forde and Ingram's lunchtime tally.
Te Huia took the lead shearing 409 ewes to Welch's 406.
In the final 3.15pm to the 5pm run, the competitors were within sight of the record.
They had shorn 1080 and were now ahead of the average hourly rate of Forde and Ingram. They needed another 256 ewes in the last run to break the record of 1335.
When the clock struck 5pm the pair had shorn 1341 ewes, six more than the Southland record. Te Huia had shorn 674, Welch 667.
Shearing Sports New Zealand spokesman Doug Laing said he was impressed with the pace and quality of shearing.
"Te Huia quickened the pace towards the end, he went under 30 seconds a ewe at the end."
Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman John Fagan said the duo turned a difficult first two hours into a stunning day of shearing.
Federated Farmers meat and fibre chairwoman Jeannette Maxwell said shearing should be a demonstration sport at the Commonwealth or Olympic Games.
"In 2008, it was mooted by Sports Shear Australia but, surely, time has come to elevate shearing's sporting status to the ultimate world stage," she said.
SHEARER SHRUGS OFF BROKEN RECORD
"At the end of the day records are made to be broken."
Gracious at hearing that his and Wayne Ingram's 1996 two-stand ewe record for nine hours of shearing was broken by six ewes yesterday, Southland shearing contractor Darin Forde, left, said he was pleased for Stacey Te Huia and Sam Welch.
"It was only a matter of time," Forde said. "I hope they have a few beers to celebrate – I know that we did."
When he heard the news, Forde had just completed eight hours of shearing 616 full shear lambs at Blackmount's Wairaki Station – the shed where their record was set 16 years ago.
"I'd just like to congratulate the boys – well done to them. I knew it would be close as they have prepared pretty well – that's another Southland record gone."
Forde is not giving up on competing in the shearing arena and is determined to have another crack at getting into the world shearing team for 2012.
- The Southland Times
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