Canterbury shearer aims for trans-Tasman world shearing records

A Canterbury shearer is to attempt to set world shearing records on both sides of the Tasman this weekend.

Aidan Copp, who now lives and works in Australia, will try to break a lamb shearing record set almost 14 years ago.

The eight-hour merino-cross lambs record of 519 is currently held by Dwayne Black, son of Australia-based New Zealand shearer and trainer Peter Black.

Copp, who entered the record books with 586 in a five-stand strongwool lambs record of 2910 in a remote King Country woolshed in January 2015, will make his new bid at a Gnadbro Pastoral property in the Riverina, a rural district in southwest New South Wales on Saturday.

Australia-based Canterbury shearer Aidan Copp during a five-stand shearing record in a King Country woolshed in 2015.
Australia-based Canterbury shearer Aidan Copp during a five-stand shearing record in a King Country woolshed in 2015. Photo credit: Supplied

He faces four two-hour runs under the watchful eye of a four-man trans-Tasman judging panel, needing an average of at least 65 an hour caught, shorn and dispatched to beat Black's record, set with successive run tallies of 131, 131, 128 and 129 at the Bendigo show in Victoria in October 2005.

It added a whopping 48 to the record, previously held by 1997 trans-Tasman test Australian representative Trevor Bacon, who shore 471 in October 2002.

New Zealand shearing judge Robert McLaren will head the panel appointed by the World Sheep Shearing Records Society, and will be joined by Australian judges Mark Baldwin, Ralph Blue and Peter Artridge.

Copp told Australian media it's been a dream to tackle a solo record.

He's supplemented the regimented training of eight hours a day at work in the woolshed with stints at the gym - on the rowing machines and assault bikes - and runs of up to 20 kilometres a day.

"This world record is something I have been dreaming of," he said. 

"If I achieve it, I will be proud because it is something I have really worked hard for. Hopefully it all comes together."

It will be the first of two record attempts within a week. The second will be in Wiltshire, England, on August 24, when English shearers Jonny Roberts and Martin Howlett will tackle the two-stand, eight-hour strongwool ewes record of 1068 set by New Zealand shearers Coel L'Huillier and Kelvin Walker near Benneydale in January 2017.


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