Welshman sets new British sheep-shearing record

A Welsh sheep shearer has set a new British record after shearing 902 animals in just nine hours.

Lloyd Rees, a 28-year-old shearer from Brecon, broke the record at a charity event on Blaenbwch Farm, Builth Wells, Powys. 

The event was held to support Parkinson’s UK and the Wales Air Ambulance. Donations have already topped the £5,000 mark.

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Carried out across five sessions beginning at 5am, Mr Rees sheared 203 animals in the first two hours followed by runs of 174, 171, 177 and 177. Shearing at a rate of 1.67 lambs a minute, or just over 100 an hour, he handled 902 sheep, beating the previous record of 881 set only a week ago.

In the run-up to the event on Friday 19 August, Mr Rees said he practised every day, with 900 sheep as the target. Prior to that, Mr Rees worked on farms across the UK this summer. And he recently completed his 10th season in New Zealand before returning to his parents’ farm in February.

After breaking the record, Mr Rees thanked everyone who had donated and his main sponsors British Wool and shearing equipment manufacturer Lister. He advised budding shearers to make use of training via British Wool courses to “start the right way and avoid picking up any bad habits”.

He also encouraged young shearers to take the opportunity to travel and work abroad. “If you are serious about shearing, it’s a must,” Mr Rees said.

Previous record

The previous British record of 881 stood for just seven days and was set by Midlands-based shearer Nick Greaves. He was working alongside fellow shearer Llyr Jones in an attempt to beat the British nine-hour, two-stand lamb record of 1,471.

The pair shattered the record with 1,717 lambs. Mr Greaves took the wool off 881, beating the previous single stand record in the process. Mr Jones added 836, with the total easily surpassing the old mark.

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