Shearing record falls in Kojonup

By: Chris McCullough

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A Kiwi shearer has broken the world record for merino ewes shorn in an eight hour period in the town of Kojonup, Western Australia

Shearing record falls in Kojonup
Lou Brown makes his way towards the world record


A NEW Zealand shearer has set a new world record for the highest number of Merino sheep shorn in an eight hour period.

Breaking the record in Western Australia, 31 year old Lou Brown shore 497 sheep in eight hours, which is an average of one ewe every 58 seconds.

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Hundreds of fans came to Rockliffe farm near Kojonup, 250 kilometres south of Perth, to cheer on Lou and be part of the record attempt.

The previous world record of 466 ewes was set in 2003 by fellow Kiwi Cartwright Terry who acted as mentor for Lou on this occasion.

Lou’s magnificent feat has been described as the same as running two marathons in one day.

Breaking this record is an achievement Lou has always wished for since he was a child and at the age of 12 he shore his first sheep ever on Cartwright's stand.

Lou said: "I had my birthday in his shed and I took a photo of him shearing and he signed it, and I slept with it next to my bed for years.

"He's been a huge part of my shearing career; he was in my support team talking to me all day. He helped me through it all, he gave me confidence. Ever since I started shearing he's filled me with knowledge so I could pull something like this off.

"I’ve been shearing for 17 years. That’s how long I’ve been dreaming of it for. It’s been a long time. Just to give it your everything and come away with a win, it’s just an unreal feeling.

"We’ve always talked about it. We’ve always wanted to give it a crack. Dad’s always drummed it into me since I was a little kid so to fulfil that is emotional," he added.

In order to stick to the rules for the record attempt each ewe must carry a fleece with an average weight of 3.4 kilograms and must be shorn with no more than 18 strokes of the hand piece.

Lou managed the record in four time periods of two hours each, with two breaks of half an hour and one of an hour.

After the two hour periods Lou was well ahead of targets with runs of 120, 126, 126 and 125, which compared with runs of 114, 119, 118 and 115 shorn by Cartwright Terry.

Although Lou lives in Australia now he regularly travels back to New Zealand to shear as the money is better over there.

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