Former Hawke's Bay shearer and now UK farming awards winner Matt Smith has figured in yet another moment of shearing history — the first multi-stand world record ever attempted in the Northern Hemisphere.
But this time it was as a mentor to two English shearers who on Tuesday smashed a record once held by his own brothers, Rowland and Doug.
Shearing at Bigley Farm, near Salisbury in Wiltshire, contractor Martin Howlett and left-handed Jonny Roberts set a two-stand, eight hours' strongwool ewes record of 1075.
The previous record was 1068 set by New Zealand shearers Coel L'Huillier and Kelvin Walker near Benneydale in the King Country in January 2017, when they added two to a record shorn by Rowland and Doug Smith at Waitara Station, between Napier and Taupō in January 2011.
Smith had also set a record at Waitara Station, when he set a solo eight hours' ewes record in January 2010, and having moved to England made the Northern Hemisphere's first World shearing record in July 2016, claiming the ultimate target of the nine hours' strongwool ewes record at Trefranck, the property he farms with English wife Pippa.
His work on the farm secured him a UK Farmer of the Year Award in 2018 and he is now also in demand in the UK as a speaker on farming, shearing and fitness goal-setting matters.
Smith has since played a roll in all four world records set in England, including Irish shearer Ivan Scott's nine hours' strongwool lambs record at Trefranck just five days after Smith's own record, and an eight hours' ewes record a year later by Rowland Smith.
Shearing the standard day of four two-hour run on Tuesday, with breaks of 30 minutes for morning and afternoon tea and one hour for lunch, Howlett shore 539, with runs of 137, 136, 134 and 132, while Roberts shore 536 with runs of 136, 131, 136 and 133.