Ferguson leads attack on record

By Doug Laing


Former world and Golden Shears champion shearer Cam Ferguson is confident he will get his name back into the record books today, when he and two workmates tackle a woolshed tally record that has gone unchallenged for 14 years.

Waipawa shearer Ferguson will team with Dannevirke guns Adam Brausch and Ringakaha Paewai in pursuit of the world three-stand, eight-hours lambshearing record, targeting a tally of 1784 shorn by King Country shearers Digger Balme, Roger Neil and Dean Ball in 1999.

Ferguson, who won the world title in Wales in 2010 and six months later set a solo world record of 742 lambs in eight hours, which stood for a year, believes Brausch and Paewai are also capable of 700 each in a day in the record attempt, which will take place at Moa Stone Farm, east of Ormondville.

The three shared duties crutching the lambs at the weekend, although Brausch took a break on Saturday to compete at the Taihape A&P; Show, where he reached the open final and finished third.

With ideal conditions forecast for the week, more than 2500 of farmer Dave Chadwick's lambs have been culled, the first to be shorn before a panel of World Sheep Shearing Records Society judges this afternoon, when they must average at least 0.9kg of wool per lamb.

Today's record attempt, overseen by a panel of at least five headed by Australian judge Peter Artridge, was expected to start at 7am and end at 5pm, with four two-hour runs, two-half-hour "smoko" breaks, and an hour off for lunch.

In the 1999 record, near Benneydale in the King Country, the pace was set by Balme, who finished with 621, while Neil shore 600 and Ball 563. Balme opened the day with 154 in each of the runs before lunch and upped the pace in the afternoon for separate run tallies of 157 and 156. The latest effort will be the first record attempt in Southern Hawke's Bay since an eight-stand tally of 3316 in nine hours was shorn at Mangaorapa, near Porangahau, in December 1970.

It will be the first of three shearing record attempts within three weeks. On February 5, Golden Shears champion John Kirkpatrick and three others will target a four-stand record in Southland. On February 12, King Country shearer Stacey Te Huia will tackle the ultimate tally, the nine-hour ewes record of 721 shorn by Hawke's Bay shearer Rodney Sutton in 2007.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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