On 26thJuly 2016 Matt Smith, a champion shearer originally hailing from New Zealand, but now farming in partnership with wife Pippa in Cornwall, set out to break the Nine Hour Ewe Shearing World Record.
Matt’s pedigree was proven in 2010 when he broke the Eight Hour Ewe Shearing World Record, beating the existing record of fellow New Zealander Jimmy Clark by 18 ewes.
Cox & Ritchey are extremely proud to have been one of the key sponsors for this hugely challenging record attempt, and with the support of Heiniger in providing Shearing Equipment for Matt to use in his effort. This included; Heiniger Icon Handpiece, Heiniger Evo Shearing Machine, Heiniger Diamond Cutters and Heiniger Calibre & Condor Combs. While Heiniger and Highway Shearing kindly provided clothing for the event for Matt and his support team.
The attempt was fully supported by the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) and was held at Trefranck Farm, St Clether, Launceston, in Cornwall - Matt’s home farm where he and Pippa run a flock of 1385 breeding ewes.
The existing record of 721 ewes set by Rodney Sutton in 2007 had stood for nearly 10 years, so Matt knew the scale of the challenge that faced him.
Starting at 5am the record attempt comprised of 1 run for 2 hours, followed by four 1.45 hour runs. Matt’s first run set a blistering pace and after 2 hours he had sheared 164 ewes, averaging just 43 seconds per sheep.
Then through the preceding runs Matt showed no signs of slowing down storming on to a grand total of 731, beating the existing record by a staggering 10 ewes and maintaining an average speed of 44 seconds per sheep.
Afterwards Matt said that he was “chuffed to bits to have set a new world record” he added that it had not been easy, but thanks to his hard work and preparation he had achieved what he had set out to do and hoped that he would help to inspire the next generation of shearers.
Selwyn Williams (R&D Manager for Heiniger Australasia) who worked with Matt and Cox & Ritchey to ensure all the equipment was in place for the record attempt said afterwards “To increase the tally by 1 or 2 is a great achievement, but 10 is nothing less than massive”, he went on to say “Put great tools into the hands of great people and massive results can be achieved” after both Matt and the equipment proved to be more than up to the task.
Cox & Ritchey would also like to express our congratulations to Matt for his determination, skill and passion which were clearly displayed in a focussed and staggering performance to beat the existing record in such emphatic style.
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