Shearers break 2500 tally in southern chill

By Doug Laing

Photo / File
Photo / File

Four shearers have posted a new lambshearing record with more than 2500 lambs in eight hours in the midst of a southern chill today (Tue).

The official tally of 2556 was shorn by Hawke's Bay shearers John Kirkpatrick and James Mack and Southlanders Leon Samuels and Eru Weeds in the Heiniger Four-stand Eight-hour Lambshearing World Record Challenge at Centre Hill, northwest of Mossburn.

Starting at 7am on a part-damp flock and with snow on nearby Mt Hamilton, they shore four two-hour runs and finished at 5pm, before a packed and cheering crowd and a haka to herald their place in the register of the World Sheep Shearing Records Society.

While the conditions had meant personal targets of around 700 and an overall tally over 2700 were never likely, it was a personal triumph for Kirkpatrick, who topped the count with 650.

Contractor and regular employer Brendon Mahony said in Napier he believed Napier-based Kirkpatrick had never before shorn more than 600 in an eight-hour day.

Samuels, from Invercargill, finished with 648, Mack, from Weber in Southern Hawke's Bay, posted 643 and Weeds, from Ohai, in Southland, ended with 615.

Judges during the day rejected seven lambs, all four shearers losing at least one before the official tally was posted.

Better known as a competition shearer, with more than 200 wins including four Golden Shears Open wins in almost 20 years of top-class competition, Kirkpatrick was not expected to top the tallies.


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