A glamour shearing record once the domain of New Zealand’s best has been broken in the UK for the second time in five
years by a shearer averaging one lamb every 37.16 seconds over 9 hours.
Oxfordshire shearer Stu Connor completed the record attempt early today NZST with a new record of 872, five more than
the previous record of 867 set by Irish shearer Ivan Scott in July 2016.
Both records were set at Trefrank Farm, St Clether, Cornwall, managed by Trefrank farmer, ewe-shearing record holder and
former Northland and Hawke’s Bay shearer Matt Smith.
It was the fourth World record attempted and set on a Romney flock established on the property by Smith and wife Pippa
for shearing record purposes on the recommendation of Smith’s brother, former World champion Hawke’s Bay shearer Rowland
Smith, who set an 8hrs ewe-shearing record on the property in 2017.
Starting at 5am in the UK (Wednesday 4pm NZST), got the start he wanted when he matched Scott’s opening run to breakfast
with 193 in 2 hours. He then shore successive 1hr 45min runs of 168, 171, and 172, twice breaking a record for the most
lambs in the standard 105-minutes run, and with the target well in sight came home with 168 in the last run to 5pm.
He thus averaged the lambs at 37.156 seconds each caught, shorn and dispatched, or almost 97 and hour, in a big-step-up
from an attempt in 2019 in which Connor fell more than 80 short, but settled for an England record of 785.
It was an emotional end, with Connor dedicated to breaking the record in memory of daughter Grace who died from
mitochondrial disease at the age of 3, he and wife Kira also committing themselves to fundraising for research and the
support of families impacted by the disorder.
At a pre-record wool-weigh on Tuesday, a shear of 20 lambs from the flock averaged 1.037kg of wool each, comfortably
above the World Sheep Shearing Records Society’s minimum requirement of 0.9kg for the record to be allowed to go ahead.
The record was overseen by three judges at the venue, and chief referee Paul Harris linked in via Zoom technology from
his home near Amberley in North Canterbury.
The record was last set by in New Zealand by Dion King who shore 866 in 2007, in what was then the third new record in
the new millennium.
Rodney Sutton shore 839 in 2000, and Justin Bell shore 851 in 2004.