Kiwi Shearer smashes World Record in herculean effort

Kiwi Shearer smashes World Record in herculean effort

In a triumph of tenacity and skill, 37-year-old farmer-turned-shearer Amy Silcock shattered the women's solo eight-hour strongwool ewe-shearing record near Pahīatua today, achieving a remarkable tally of 386 at Ross Na Clonagh Farm. The event unfolded under the scrutiny of four World Sheep Shearing Record Society judges, and Silcock's performance was nothing short of exceptional.

Despite the scorching 32-degree temperature in the four-stand woolshed, Silcock's determination was unwavering. The record attempt commenced at 7 am, with brief breaks for morning and afternoon tea and lunch. Surpassing the previous record of 370 sheep, Silcock accomplished the feat just half-an-hour before concluding the last shearing session at 5 pm.

Silcock maintained an impressive pace from the start, handling close to 25 tonnes of sheep and adding approximately 1.35 tonnes of wool to the national fleece. The first three runs were flawless, with run tallies of 95 and 97 before a staggering 101 in the first two hours after a brief break. Despite fatigue setting in during the last two hours, she still managed 93, bringing her total to 386.

However, the elation of breaking the record was tempered by the judges rejecting two sheep shorn in the final run. Silcock expressed her disappointment with the minor error.

"I'm glad I got that third run (the 101), but it buggered me," she said.

"I've got nothing left."

Silcock's achievement surpassed the previous record set by Kent farmer Marie Prebble in August 2022, who had runs of 94, 93, 93, and 90. Silcock, now a holder of two records, hinted at future aspirations.

"I'd like to do a two-stand … Just got to find the right person and the right sheep."

The day wasn't without challenges, as a scare with rain and a temperature drop on Saturday tested the flock. Nevertheless, a shear of 10 sheep produced an average of 3.478kg per ewe, safely exceeding the minimum requirement of 3kg.

Looking ahead, Silcock's record faces its first challenge on Wednesday, as accomplished competition shearer Catherine Mullooly will attempt the feat at Nukuhakari Station on the North Taranaki coast.

Judging panel convener Mike Henderson praised Silcock's achievement as "a gutsy effort" and acknowledged the support crew, including farmers Matt and Sarah Walker. The summer now promises a reshaping of all four women's solo strongwool records, with the attack on the nine-hour ewes record scheduled for February. Silcock's groundbreaking achievement sets the stage for an exciting period of record-breaking