Eight-hour sheep shearing record smashed in Cornwall

A New Zealand sheep farmer has broken the world record for the number sheep sheared in an eight- hour period on a farm in Cornwall.

Rowland Smith – who is the brother of Farmers Weekly Farmer Focus writer Matt Smith, who himself broke the nine-hour shearing record last year – sheared 644 sheep in two-hour stints between 7am and 5pm at Trefranck Farm, near St Clether, Cornwall. This meant he successfully sheared each sheep in less than 47 seconds.

See also: Matt Smith breaks shearing world record 

This topped the previous record set earlier this year by Leon Samuels from New Zealand of 605 sheep.

Rowland-Smith during the sheep shearing record attempt

Rowland-Smith during the sheep shearing record attempt. ©Emily Fleur

Mr Smith’s attempt was supported by British Wool and was streamed live online.

Overseeing the record attempt was a team of four world record judges from South Africa, New Zealand and Wales.

Sheep shearing facts 

  • Before a record shearing attempt, the sheep are housed on carpet. This keeps them warm and makes them sweat, making them easier to shear.
  • The person folding the wool is termed a “rousey” in New Zealand.
  • The eight- and nine-hour records are based on commercial standard working hours in New Zealand, Australia and the US.
  • Three judges preside over the world record attempt.
  • For every 100 sheep shorn, the shearer buys the crew a box of beer.
  • It is common for shearers to cut their hands and the tips of their fingers. 
  • If any teats are cut through, or if breeding is impaired in any way, those sheep will get deducted from the final total.
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