One of the greatest tallies ever shorn in a New Zealand woolshed will be challenged in a two-man World record bid in the King Country on Wednesday.
The challenge to the solo nine-hours record for strongwool ewes will be made by 33-year-old Te Kuiti shearer Stacey Te Huia.
It will be the first attempt at the record since Porangahau shearer Rodney Sutton shore 721 on June 31, 2007, catching the crucial record-breaking sheep with just four seconds to go on the clock.
The previous record of 720 had been shorn by Southland shearer Darin Forde 10 years earlier.
The bid will come during an attempt by Te Huia and Waikaretu and shearer and farmer Sam Welch, 33, on one of the World Shearing Records Society’s longest standing records, the two-stand mark of 1335 shorn by Forde and fellow Southland shearer Wayne Ingram on February 1, 1996.
It will take place at Te Hape, east of Benneydale, where Te Huia’s youngest sister, Kerry-Jo, set a women’s eight-hour lambs record of 507 last Tuesday.
She will take the role of woolhandler in Wednesday’s bid, while Welch will be helped in his bid by wife Emily, the women’s World nine-hour lambs record holder.
The solo ewes record is regarded as the Everest of shearing records, hence Te Hui’s bid being only the thirst attempt in 15 years.
But his father, Tectra instructor Dean Te Huia, said much depends on the day.
Stacey Te Huia’s biggest tally in day on ewes is 603, a World record tally for eight hours which he shore in December 2010, and asked about the chances of the nine-hour record, Dean Te Huia said: "It is his ultimate goal.."
The day starts at 5am with a two-hour run to breakfast. There are then four 1hr 45min runs, from 8-945am, 10.15am-midday, 1-2.45pm, and 3.13-5pm.
In 2007, Sutton started with 158 in the first run, followed by 140, 142,140 and 141, averaging under 45 seconds a sheep, and filling 14 bales of wool.
In the 1996 two-stand record Forde shore 688n and Ingram 647.