Ewe shearing record falls at Kojonup

Ewe shearing record falls at Kojonup


Sheep
Lou Brown acknowledges his supporters at the successful shearing world-record event last Saturday.

Lou Brown acknowledges his supporters at the successful shearing world-record event last Saturday.

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A new world eight-hour solo Merino ewe shearing record was set in WA last weekend.

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A SIDEWAYS tap on the upper arm with a clenched fist - a sign of respect that said 'thanks bro, it's my record now' - marked a new holder of the world eight-hour solo Merino ewe shearing record on Saturday.

It happened at 4.58pm with 32 minutes of Lou Brown's final run still to shear, was unofficial and subject to final tally determined by the four world sheep shearing records referees watching blow by blow.

But Cartwright Terry, the shearer who had held the world record since February, 2003, and the shearer stretching his back in front of him and who he was coaching ewe by ewe through the record attempt, both knew the record was about to change hands.

So did most of a crowd of about 400 people packed into James and Nina Hope's Rockcliffe shearing shed near Kojonup - if you wanted a WA shearer or shearing contractor on Saturday, their shed was the place to look.

They had been counting sheep - many recording numbers on hand-held clickers so as not to lose count - since the final run started at 3.30pm.

They could see the tally board and add the figures from three earlier two-hour runs - 120, 126 and 126 - plus a stunning 63 again in the first hour of the final run.

The crowd knew Cartwright's record, which had withstood four challenges by gun shearers in the past five years and one of them just at the end of March, had been matched even before shearing legend Steve Potaka-Osborne on the microphone, announced it.

The last ewe down the chute was number 466, record equalled and the applause, cheers and whistles nearly took the iron roof off.

As Mr Brown momentarily stretched then stepped forward into the pen to get his next sheep, past Mr Terry who was holding the gate open, he tapped him on the arm, acknowledging his support and help in breaking the record.

Then it was head down, back to work.

  • Check out the full feature story and photo spread from the record-breaking day - in this Thursday's Farm Weekly.
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