Despite best efforts shearers fall short of record

A King Country shearing gang’s attempt on a World record has been called off half-way through as the three shearers fell behind the pace required to get their names into the books. 

Earlier this week King Country shearer Stacey Te Huia abandoned his shot at world shearing history after falling short of the required number of sheep per hour to make the record.

In the latest record attempt, contractor Mark Barrowcliffe's three shearers were targeting the world three-stand eight-hours lamb shearing record of 1784, which was set in another King Country Woolshed 17 years ago. 

The attempt was made by Gore-based Ringakaha Paewai, Peter-lee Ratima, from Pio Pio, and last-minute replacement Craig Fagan, of Te Kuiti. 

After consultation with the judges, the trio called it quits at the lunch break with just 856 shorn in the first four hours, and 929 still needed to crack the record. 

Paewai maintained an individual pace up to the mark, with 298 from two two-hour runs of 149 each. Fagan, nephew of shearing great Sir David Fagan, shore 286, and Ratima shore 272.

The shearers would have needed to up the average to 155 per run per man to break the record held by Digger Balme, Roger Neil and Dean Ball.

However, observers at the remote woolshed said the lambs were unusually large for a record attempt and conditions on the day were cooler than had been hoped for.