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.
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.