Shearer back to the top
King Country shearer Stacey Te Huia came back from a failed world eight-hour ewe-shearing record last January to smash the record yesterday despite torrential rain outside and a 40-minute power cut.
Te Huia, a 32-year-old "happily single" father of two, yesterday sheared 603 strong-wooled predominantly romney flock to smash Far North shearer Matthew Smith's record by 25 at Moketenui Station, between hometown Te Kuiti and Benneydale.
He was not worried by the rain that had prevailed for much of the past week, nor a power cut with the race almost won and the fourth and final two-hour run about to start at 3pm.
More to the relief of over 100 supporters than the challenger, the run home was soon back on, albeit 40 minutes late.
"I wasn't worried at all," said Te Huia, who had started at 7am and posted 146 in the first two hours to morning smoko, three down on Smith's opening run 11 months ago.
But with 39 in less than half an hour just before the break he was into a groove in which he remained, setting a run record of 152 in the two hours to lunch, going one better with 153 after the meal, and coming home with another 152 to the finish at 5.40pm.
Te Huia missed by five sheep in a bid for the record just four days after Smith's effort.
He said yesterday that while at the time he did not want to think about another record attempt, he had waited more than 11 months to get the record back in the family.