King Country-based shearer and mum Sacha Bond has smashed the solo women’s eight-hour strong wool lambs World Record in Southland.
The 29-year-old, who has spent much of her shearing career in Australia but hails from the Wairarapa, where she attended Pahiatua’s Tararua College, shore 601 at Fairlight Station, south of Lake Wakatipu, on Saturday.
It was 91 more than the previous record of 510 – set by Canadian shearer Pauline Bolay in December 2019 at Waikaretu, in the Waikato District.
This is one of the biggest margins ever recorded for a shearing World Record.
Needing an average over 127.5 for each of the four runs, Bond was well ahead from the outset, shearing a consistent day of 150, 150 and 150 in the first three runs, and 151 in the last.
Bond passed the previous record with more than an hour to spare.
In her record three years ago, Bolay shore successive two-hour tallies of 127, 125, 131 and 127 to beat by three the previous record of 507 shorn by King Country shearer Kerri-Jo Te Huia at Te Hape, near Bennydale, on January 10, 2012.
Judging convenor Peter Artridge and New Zealand panellists Robert McLaren, Alistair Emslie and North Island official Bart Hadfield gave the green light for the weekend’s record to go ahead after a Friday afternoon wool-weight.
The clip from 20 of the target-flock lambs averaged 1.034kg of wool each, comfortably exceeding the minimum requirement of 0.9kg.
The four runs, from 7 am to 9 am, 9:30 am to 11.30 am, 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm and 3 pm to 5 pm represent the standard eight-hour working day in New Zealand woolsheds, allowing breaks for morning and afternoon tea and lunch.
Maximum temperatures of 28-32deg had been forecast in the district, for what was the 11th World Record attempt of the records society’s 2022-2023 year.
All but one have been successful, including two just two days apart in December, for the men’s eight-hour solo strong wool lambs record, which now stands at 754.
Among Bond’s team on Saturday was her partner Coel L’Huillier, who shore 677 in a three-stand men’s record in December 2019.
World Sheep Shearing Records Society chairman Paul Harris could not attend because of judging commitments at one of the three shearing sports competitions also taking place nationwide on Saturday.
Harris said the spate of record attempts in the last year was not unexpected and included some shearers whose dreams had been delayed by the global pandemic.
He explained that it took a year or more to plan and prepare for most record attempts, and gather the resources and support teams to make sure it all happened on the day.
Harris said in some cases shearers had been targeting the more achievable records.
The record broken by Bond at the weekend is regarded as one of the premier-level goals.
A 600-lamb tally for women, for a long time unheard of, has been seen in recent years as a distinct possibility if everything lined up on the day.