30-year-old Kiwi shears 644 Cornish sheep for new world record

Rowland Smith, from New Zealand, set a new shearing world record in the UK
Rowland Smith, from New Zealand, set a new shearing world record in the UK

The brother of a Cornish farmer, a New Zealander, has beaten the world record for the number of sheep sheared in an 8 hour period.

30-year-old New Zealander Rowland Smith took on the ‘Eight Hour Ewe World Shearing Record’ yesterday (24 July).

He sheared 644 sheep from four farms in Devon and Cornwall in two-hour periods between 7am and 5pm.

The record attempt took place at Trefranck Farm, St Clether in Cornwall. The whole event was streamed online.

The previous world record for the ‘Eight Hour Ewe World Shearing Record’ was held by Leon Samuels from South Island New Zealand, when he sheared 605 ewes in eight hours.

Highlighting just how difficult this task is, prior to Leon’s attempt, this record had not been beaten since 2010.

Sheep-shearing fans at the event said the equivalent of shearing 644 sheep is that of running three marathons.

'Vital to sheep industry'

Rowland's attempt even got the backing from British Wool.

Speaking in advance, Alan Marshall, British Wool’s south west board member, commented: “Shearing is vital to the sheep industry and events like this really help to promote shearing as a sport, and showcase British wool to a wider audience.”

As the agricultural industry faces uncertain times ahead, the camaraderie between British producers in events such as this is seen as uplifting.

They are seen as an excellent platform to raise the profile of shearing as a vital industry skill, but also the high quality of British wool to a global audience.