'Doing it for Grace': Family tragedy behind shearer's world record attempt

Grace Connor died after falling ill with Mitochondrial Disease.
Grace Connor died after falling ill with Mitochondrial Disease. Photo credit: Supplied/ShearingSportsNZ

The loss of his young daughter will be front-of-mind for an English shearer with a Kiwi connection when he attempts to set a new world shearing record on Saturday. 

Stu Connor will try and break the record of shearing 867 lambs in nine hours.

The 36-year-old has worked in New Zealand for several seasons, however, he will make the world record attempt at Fern Hill Farm, Compton Martin, in Somerset.

The event has extra meaning for Connor as it will also raise funds for research into a disease that killed his three-year-old daughter, Grace.

She died in April 2018, one month after falling ill with Mitochondrial Disease.

Stu Connor will try and break the record of shearing 867 lambs in nine hours.
Stu Connor will try and break the record of shearing 867 lambs in nine hours. Photo credit: Supplied/ShearingSportsNZ

The Team Grace fundraiser for the Lily Foundation helps with funds to fight against the disease, including research to find a cure

The bid for the strong wool lambs record had been held exclusively by New Zealand shearers until Irish gun Ivan Scott set a new mark in England three years ago.

To break the record, Connor requires a pace quicker than 37.37 seconds a lamb and 96.33 lambs an hour throughout the day, caught, shorn and dispatched.

The record spans the 12 hours from 5am to 5pm, with hour-long breaks for breakfast and lunch and half-hour breaks for morning and afternoon tea.

An international panel of Australian officials Mike Henderson and Mark Baldwin and Welshmen Martyn David and Arwyn Jones will judge Saturday's event.

It will be preceded by a sample shear of 20 lambs which must average at least 0.9kg of wool per lamb for the record bid to be allowed to go ahead.

Newshub. 

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