A world sheep shearing record attempt which was to have taken place today in Central Hawke's Bay has had to be cancelled because the lambs selected for the event would not have met the requirements of the World Sheep Shearing Records Society.
Secretary Hugh McCarroll, of Tauranga, said the judges, including one from Australia, inspected sheep and deliberated for more than six hours in the woolshed at Moa Stone Farm, east of Ormondville, before making the decision after 9pm.
The judges, who had gone to the shed for the traditional day-before wool-weigh, where a sample of lambs is shorn to ensure they meet an average minim of 0.9kg of wool per lamb, found many were "bald" about the head.
"There was just not enough top-knot," he said. "All of the judges commented as they arrived driving past the sheep in the paddocks, there's not a lot of top-knot on these sheep."
"It was very disappointing," he said. "They hadn't done enough homework. It'll be a bit of a wake-up call for everybody."
Event manager Bill Hale said the Judges had needed at least 90 per cent to meet the head wool requirement.
"Got 83 per cent, fought hard, but couldn't get the break," he said.
The rules are aimed at protecting the integrity of the records system and the interests of others who have shorn records in the past.
Shearers Cam Ferguson, of Waipawa, and Adam Brausch and Ringakaha Paewai, from Dannevirke, had been preparing for at least six months, and fees totaling almost $4000 had been paid to the society as part of the costs of the event.
More than 2000 lambs had been culled from the flock on the farm in preparation for the attack on the World eight-hour, three-stand record of 1784 set by King Country shearers Digger Balme, Roger Neil and Dean Ball in 1999.
As the Judges headed home, the shearers returned to the shed today to shear the lambs, a warm-up for tomorrow's shearing competitions at the Dannevirke A and P Show.