Gun shearer all set for record attempt today

Gun shearer all set for record attempt

Sheep
Bruce Rock shearer Ethan Harder will tackle the world eight-hour Merino ewe shearing record on Saturday, but shearing bigger sheep than the ones pictured.

Bruce Rock shearer Ethan Harder will tackle the world eight-hour Merino ewe shearing record on Saturday, but shearing bigger sheep than the ones pictured.

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There is a world record shearing attempt at Darkan today.

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GUN Bruce Rock shearer Ethan Harder, 20, has co-opted former record holder Cartwright Terry onto his team for today's attempt on the world eight hour solo Merino ewe shearing record at Darkan.

Mr Terry held the world record at 466 ewes from February, 2003, until it was reset at 497 ewes last April by Bunbury shearer Louis Brown.

As his second Mr Cartwright talked his protégé Mr Brown through his record-setting, four two-hour runs ewe by ewe, urging him to concentrate on maintaining smoothness and blow length.

Mr Harder, who watched Mr Brown set the record, said he had asked Mr Terry to join his team because of his experience in what it takes to break the record.

"Cartwright has known me since I was a boy," Mr Harder said.

"He's played a big part in both our (his and Mr Brown's) careers."

Other members of his team include his older brother Gauge - also a shearer - and Narembeen and Bruce Rock shearer Charlie Baker who taught him to shear.

Mr Harder said everything was ready for the record attempt and he did not expect a knee injury, which had caused him to recently take a week off work, would have any impact on his movement or stamina.

He was at Adrian and Jacquie South's farm at Cordering, south east of Darkan, where the record attempt will take place, making some final adjustments to the shearing shed when Farm Weekly spoke to him on Tuesday.

He said the rest of his team would join him on Wednesday.

"I'm taking it pretty easy this week, I did a few sprints (rapid shearing) this morning,'' Mr Harder said.

"We've drafted 690 ewes out of (a mob of) 1250 and we'll do the final draft for what we want on Thursday and I'll do some more sprints using the ones we don't want."

Mr Harder said he was happy with the quality of the ewes and had no concerns about "sticky" belly wool.

As reported in Farm Weekly, New South Wales shearer Josh 'Wah' Clayton, 35, called off his second attempt at the world eight hour solo Merino ewe shearing record last month because of concerns about matted belly wool on some of the sheep slowing him down.

That attempt was to have taken place on Adrian South's brother's farm north east of Darkan.

"The sheep are good, around this area there's been some grass seeds in the belly wool, but these are clean," Mr Harder said.

"They're cutting about 3.7 (kilograms of wool per sheep) which is about want you want - not too much wool and not too close to the minimum."

World Sheep Shearing Records Society (WSSRS) rules require a minimum cut of 3.4kg per sheep for a Merino ewe record to be recognised.

To claim the record Mr Harder will have to average better than 57 seconds a sheep for eight hours, plus make time to regularly change handpiece cutters as they dull and to take a drink to stay hydrated and avoid muscle cramps.

He has shorn many more than the number needed previously, but not under WSSRS rules for a world record.

The rules require ewes to be at least 18-months-old and specify the shearer must catch their own sheep and change their own cutters.

While not daunted by the number of sheep he will have to shear to claim the record, Mr Harder said he recognised that "everything will have to go right" on Saturday to achieve it.

Referees for the attempt are Ian Buchanan from New Zealand as convener and Australians Mike Henderson, Peter Artridge and Ralph Blue.

They can rule a sheep not be included in Mr Harder's tally if they judge he has left too much wool on it or should have stopped shearing to sew up a flap of skin caused by a nick.

Mr Harder will start shearing at 7.30am and finish at 5.30pm with a 30-minute break between morning and afternoon runs and an hour lunchbreak.

The record attempt will be in the shearing shed at 4639 Gibbs Road, Cordering.

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