New world shearing record set in remote Waikato woolshed

Pauline Bolay was the first North American to make a bid for a shearing world record.
Pauline Bolay was the first North American to make a bid for a shearing world record. Photo credit: Supplied

A New Zealand-based Canadian shearer has set a new world shearing record, shearing 510 lambs in eight hours in a remote Waikato woolshed.

Pauline Bolay was challenging the women's solo eight-hours strongwool lambs of 507, set by New Zealand shearer Kerri-Jo Te Huia in January 2012.

She was the first North American to make a bid for a shearing world record.

The challenge was made at Whitford Farms, Waikaretu (between Raglan and Pukekohe), where Bolay works for shearing contractors Sam and Emily Welch.

After starting at 7am on Saturday and finishing at 5pm, Bolay managed to shear 510 lambs, beating the previous record by three.

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

Needing an average of 127 for each two-hour run, Bolay had shorn runs of 127 and 125 in the morning and surged ahead of the target with 131 in the first two hours after lunch.

About 600 mainly Coopworth lambs were prepared for the day from three properties in the area.

To break the record Bolay needed to average less than 56.8 seconds per lamb, caught, shorn and dispatched.

World Sheep Shearing Records Society secretary Hugh McCarroll said it was a "tough day" for Bolay, with humidity taking over from cooler early conditions.

He said the woolshed was packed with shearing fraternity and local supporters as the countdown came towards the end.

"She was pretty emotional at the finish," said McCarroll.

The event was managed by employers Sam and Emily Welch, both also world record holders, with Emily having set her nine-hours record in the same woolshed in 2007.

Bolay is from a farming family in Fairford, Manitoba, and represented Canada as a shearer at the world shearing and woolhandling championships in Masterton in 2012 and again this year in France.

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