Shearing Record Attempt In Australia


Young Australian shearer Ethan Harder’s childhood dream of becoming a World record holder is on the verge of reality with an attempt on the solo merino ewes record for eight hours southest of Perth on Saturday (February 15).

The attempt will take place at A D South & Co, 4639 Gibbs Road, Cordering, about 115km east of Bunbury. It starts at 7.30am with four shearing runs of two hours each, separated by 30-minute for morning and afternoon tea breaks and an hour for lunch.

It won’t be easy for the 20-year-old Harder from Bruce Rock, who, despite his tender years is already well-attuned to setting goals and beating them.

He now faces one of the toughest of them all in the record of 497 set by New Zealand-born Lou Brown near Kojonup, W.A., on April 27 last year.

Shearing two-hour runs of 114, 119, 118 and 115, the 31-year-old Brown comfortably beat the previous record of 466 set in 2003 by Cartwright Terry, another New Zealander who had moved to Australia to work in the shearing industry.

As in that record, Harder’s big day out will be monitored by four judges appointed by the World Sheep Shearing Records Society, with Saturday’s panel convened by the required non-Australian official, New Zealand records and competition judge Ian Buchanan.

The others are Mike Henderson, of Dongara, W.A., Peter Artridge, of Mulengandra, NSW, and Ralph Blue, of Yeoval, NSW.

Harder has been challenging the milestones in the woolshed since the day he first shore a sheep, and put-away his first 100 in a day at the age of just seven years. He shore hisfirst 200 at the age of 12, 300 at 14, years old, 500 when aged just 17, and onwards to a tally of 602 merino lambs in eight hours at the age of 18.

A big support team is expected in the woolshed where temperatures are likely to soar well past 30deg, with a maximum of 33deg forecast for Collie, less than an hour away.

Among them will be partner Regina, mother of the couple’s daughter born less than three weeks ago.

Preparations have been under way at the Cordering property for several days, and will step up with a Friday afternoon sample shear in front of the judges, at which the wool must average at least 3.4kg per ewe for the record to be given the go-ahead.

It’s been a busy summer of shearing records with a solo women’s lambshearing record, a multi-stand record by three male shears, and an historic four-stand women’s record set since the first week of December.

Records society secretary Hugh McCarroll, of Tauranga, has also received an application for another women’s record attempt, to be made in England by Marie Prebble, of Canterbury, in Kent.

Her bid is scheduked to take place on August 4 at Trefranck Farm, Cornwall, where brothers and New Zealand shearers Mtthew Smith and Rowland set separate solo records for strongwool ewes in 2016 and 2017.

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