Historic world shearing record challenge underway in Waikato

Pauline Bolay, from Manitoba, shearing in the New Zealand Shears women's final in April.
Pauline Bolay, from Manitoba, shearing in the New Zealand Shears women's final in April. Photo credit: Supplied

A Waikato-based Canadian shearer is attempting to break a world shearing record, by shearing more than 507 lambs in eight hours.

Pauline Bolay is the first North American to make a bid for a shearing world record and is challenging the women's solo eight eight-hours strongwool lambs of 507, set by New Zealand shearer Kerri-Jo Te Huia in January 2012.

The attempt is taking place at Whitford Farms, Waikaretu (between Raglan and Pukekohe), where Bolay works for shearing contractors Sam and Emily Welch, who are also both world shearing record-holders. 

Sam Welch said Bolay had previously shorn at least two tallies over 400 and the attempt was a great opportunity, whatever the outcome.

"It's not the end of the world if you don't get it. Sometimes it's a blessing in disguise, to get that experience."

To break the record, the 33-year-old will need to average less than 56.8sec per lab, caught, shorn and dispatched.

The challenge will be split into four two two-hour runs separated by breaks of 30 minutes for morning and afternoon tea and an hour for lunch.

About 600 mainly coopworth lambs have been prepared for the day, from three properties and a sample shear took place on Friday to ensure the average wool-weight was over 0.9kg per lamb. 

The world record attempt started at 7am on Saturday and will finish at 5pm.

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