Woolly record set at 28.9kg

High Country home to Guiness World Record

Last updated 05:00 27/01/2014
Big Ben

HEAVY DUTY: Big Ben’s fleece is heavier than that of previous world champion Shrek.

WOOLLY WONDERS: Big Ben was one of four sheep recently captured after five years at large up the back of Mike Lindsay's farm.

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The High Country is home to a new Guiness World Record, thanks to the hefty 28.9kg woolly fleece of a humble sheep.

The attempt to set a world record for the most wool shorn from a single sheep was a huge success on Saturday night at the Omahau Hill Station woolshed, near Twizel.

Former world and current New Zealand bladeshearing champion Tony Dobbs was the shearer to secure the 28.9kg fleece.

Four woollies which had escaped muster for five years after straying on to retired land were shorn in the record attempt. The sheep were found by farmer Mike Lindsay at the Omahau Hill Station. They were finally captured last year.

The record attempt was a fundraiser for the Twizel Medical Centre, Mr Lindsay's daughter, Jess, said.

"There isn't actually a record but the unofficial record was 27kg from Shrek, which was shorn by blade shearer Peter Casserly. It was one of dad's crazy ideas and he thought we could do it to help raise money for the new Twizel Medical Centre, which needs $2 million."

Mr Casserly, along with Eli Cummings, a machine shearer who holds the record for shearing 810 sheep in a nine-hour day, were also in action.

"Now we have to send all the information away to get official confirmation of the world record.

"There were about 150 people in the woolshed, which was busting at the seams. We raised about $500 in cash donations. Now we hope to use the fleece to raise more money," Miss Lindsay said.

To comply with Guinness World Record requirements, two separate sheep shearing judges and a vet witnessed the shearing.

Video footage and personal witness accounts will be passed to the Guiness record officials, before final confirmation of the record can be given.

Mr Lindsay knew the sheep were hiding in the high country as their location had been pointed out by trampers who had spotted them in the distance on a few occasions, along with sightings by neighbours.

"He saw them one day and went exploring with the dogs to get them."

The shearing took place in front of friends, neighbours, shearing enthusiasts, local media, and even a documentary crew from Germany.

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- The Timaru Herald

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