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World record shearing bid comes up a whisker short

Masterton shearers Paerata Abraham and Chris Dickson missed breaking the two-stand eight-hours strongwool lambshearing world record by a whisker at Whitespurs, near Gladstone, on Saturday.

The pair were chasing the record of 1410 that was set by Mangamahu’s Simon Goss and Rotorua’s Jamie Skiffington in January this year and actually succeeded in surpassing that tally, only to have a number deducted by five World Sheep Shearing Records Society referees due to the quality of clip suffering, as the challengers – who’d begun their bid at 7am – attempted to step up the pace in the afternoon.

Needing an average of just over 176 an hour, Abraham and Dickson were ahead of target with 359 at the two-hour mark and level pegging with the Goss-Skiffington record’s 702 at the halfway point, but had slipped back when the last run started at 3pm.

Their official total was 1391, with Abraham [originally from Dannevirke] credited with a tally of 699 and Dickson [Raetihi and Eketāhuna] with 692.

Members of the shearing fraternity had flocked to support the duo, who are both well known on the competition circuit, thanks to Abraham being the reigning New Zealand Shears Circuit champion, and Dickson having been a successful lower grades shearer before graduating to the open class.

Despite Saturday’s backbreaking record attempt, the shearers will be back in ‘the office’ at the woolsheds tomorrow.

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