Counting sheep didn’t send one shearer to sleep over the weekend – instead, it catapulted her to breaking a world record by shearing 386 ewes in eight hours in the northern reaches of Wairarapa.
Farmer-turned-shearer Amy Silcock seized the women’s solo eight-hour strongwool ewe-shearing record at Pahiatua’s Ross Na Clonagh Farm late in the afternoon on Sunday.
The temperature in the four-stand woolshed was a searing 32 degrees.
Keeping just ahead of the required pace from the start, Silcock had 95 and 97 in the two runs before lunch and churned through 192 before the eight hours was up.
However, she had two sheep shorn rejected by judges in the last run of the day.
After the monumental effort, Silcock was strung out on the grass outside with a towel across her shoulders and a stubbie in hand, and said she was stuffed.
“I’m disappointed I lost two in the last run,” Silcock said.
I’m glad I got that third run [the 101], but it buggered me; I’ve got nothing left.”
A total of 25 tonnes of sheep were shorn, with 1.35 tonnes of wool added to the national fleece.
The previous record of 370 was held by Kent farmer Marie Prebble, who set it in the UK in August 2022.
Now the holder of two records – having first appeared on the records scene in a women’s four-stand lamb shearing tally – Silcock said she’s got more to come.
“I’d like to do a two-stand,” Silcock said.
“Just got to find the right person and the right sheep.”
Judging panel convener Mike Henderson – a New Zealander based in West Australia for many years – described Silcock’s achievement as “a gutsy effort” with a good support crew.
Silcock’s record will be challenged by competition shearer Catherine Mullooly tomorrow at Nukuhakari Station on the North Taranaki coast.