New Zealander shears 644 ewes in less than 45 seconds each

A New Zealander has smashed the world record for the number of ewes sheared in the space of eight hours at a farm in the UK.

Rowland Smith claimed the ‘Eight Hour Ewe World Shearing Record’ at Trefranck Farm, St Clether in Cornwall.

Smith began shearing at 7:00am in the morning and finished up at 5:00pm; he sheared for four 2-hour runs throughout the course of the day. The entire event was streamed live online.

In each of the four runs, Smith consistently sheared 161 romney and crossbred ewes. He surpassed the previous record of 605 ewes with relative ease.

Smith claimed the record just a couple of months after Leon Samuels, from New Zealand’s southern island, set it at 605 in February of this year. Prior to that the record hadn’t been broken since 2010.

The New Zealander is believed to have regularly sheared at under 38 seconds a sheep, and sometimes even reached under 34 seconds a sheep.

His consistent average of 161 ewes for each 2-hour run was five more per hour than the target to beat the record of 605 set by Samuels.

The 30-year-old, father of two is part of a record-breaking family. Smith’s older brother Matt, who lives in the UK, holds the record for the number of sheep sheared in nine hours.

Meanwhile, Smith’s wife and mother-in-law have also previously set world records in sheep shearing.

The record-breaking attempt was overseen by a team of four world record judges from South Africa, New Zealand and Wales.

During the day, Smith was supported by British Wool and had a team of close to 60 volunteers from New Zealand, England, Wales and Ireland to help and encourage him throughout the event, driving sheep forward into the pens, as well as removing and wrapping wool.