New world record 'one of the great moments in shearing in New Zealand'

Megan Whitehead nears the end of her own personal contribution 608.
Megan Whitehead nears the end of her own personal contribution 608. Photo credit: Supplied

Shearing legend Sir David Fagan is among those heaping praise on a group of women shearers who have set a new world record in the sport.

The New Zealand shearing industry is on a high, after the successful record attempt in the "four-stand women's 9-hours strongwool lamb" category.

The event took place on Thursday in front of a crowd of around 200 in a woolshed at Waihi-Pukawa Station, near Turangi.

There had been no previous four-stand women's record under World Sheep Shearing Record Society rules formulated in the mid-1980s.

The women set a target of 2000 lambs, surpassing that by shearing 2066 in nine hours.

Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman and former multiple world, Golden Shears and New Zealand champion Sir David Fagan said the accomplishment was one of the great moments in shearing in New Zealand.

The crew after the record 2066 lambs shorn at Waihi-Pukawa Station on Thursday, from left shearers Amy Silcock and Sarah Higgins, Jill Angus Burney (organiser), and shearers Natalya Rangiawha and Megan Whitehead.
The crew after the record 2066 lambs shorn at Waihi-Pukawa Station on Thursday, from left shearers Amy Silcock and Sarah Higgins, Jill Angus Burney (organiser), and shearers Natalya Rangiawha and Megan Whitehead. Photo credit: Supplied

"There are some great things happening for shearing at the moment. This takes it to another level," said Sir David.

The effort of Gore shearer Megan Whitehead is being described as "particularly stunning" after heading the individual tallies with 608, at about 53.3 seconds a lamb, caught, shorn and dispatched.

Milestones were also passed by Marlborough contractor and university graduate Sarah Higgins, who shore 528, Piopio-based shearer Natalya Rangiawha, from Raglan, who shore 507, and Amy Silcock, from Wairarapa farming locality Tiraumea, who finished with 423.

All four shearers are regarded as relatively early in their careers, the most experienced being Silcock and Higgins, regular performers on the competition circuit.

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