Rowland Smith, New Zealand shearer competing at the 2017 Great Yorkshire Show

Sheep at Trefrank Farm, St Clether in Cornwall

Rowland Reaches For World Record

With less than a week until New Zealand shearer, Rowland Smith, challenges the ‘Eight Hour Ewe World Shearing Record’ at Trefranck Farm, St Clether in Cornwall, he is now all set to take to the stage both in terms of skill and physical fitness.

Currently, the world record for the ‘Eight Hour Ewe World Shearing Record’ stands at 605 ewes and is held by Leon Samuels from South Island New Zealand.  To take the title, on Monday 24th July, Rowland will have to shear each sheep in less than 47 seconds.

A world shearing record attempt such as this is a real test of not only skill, but also endurance and stamina.  On the day, Rowland is being supported by British Wool and will have a team of 57 volunteers from New Zealand, England, Wales and Ireland to help and encourage him throughout the event, driving sheep forward into the pens and removing and wrapping wool.  Overseeing the record attempt will be a team of four world record judges from South Africa, New Zealand and Wales.

Rowland is fully aware this is an incredible challenge and since his arrival in the UK last month he has competed in a number of shearing competitions in order to get into the competitive mind set.  Just two days after touching down on British soil he finished second in the open competition at the Lochearnhead Shears and in the Joe Te Kapa Memorial test, the New Zealand team came second to Scotland.  A week later Rowland won the open competition at the Lakeland Shears, and New Zealand beat England in the machine shearing test.  Final preparations took place at the Great Yorkshire Show last week when Rowland finished second, to his brother Matt, in the open shear and New Zealand beat England in the test match.

With the sheep selected and crutched, and training almost complete, all Rowland has to do now is to focus on his world shearing record attempt.  Giving background to the attempt, Rowland said:  “I was inspired to challenge myself after witnessing my brother’s success last year.  When I was offered the use of the same sheep and facilities it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

“I must say a huge thank you to my brother, Matt, and his wife Pippa for allowing the record attempt to take place at their farm.  I also cannot thank the British farmers, as well as organisations such as British Wool, for their support and encouragement which will be so important throughout the eight hour duration.”

World record attempts such as Rowland’s, taking place in the UK, are a tremendous boost for shearing, both as a vital industry skill and as an increasingly competitive sport in the Northern Hemisphere.

Explaining this further, British Wool’s Board member for South West England representative, Alan Marshall said:  “Competitive shearing is a worldwide phenomenon and the standard is continually improving, leading to more world record attempts, and in turn raising the profile of shearing on a global stage. This, without a doubt, can only be good for both the industry and our future generation of shearers.

On behalf of British Wool I would like to wish Rowland the very best of luck for what will undoubtedly be an extremely difficult challenge on Monday.”

For months Rowland has been working with his Cornish fitness trainers, Matt Luxton and Mike Goodman, Mike visited him in New Zealand, filling this up with live online sessions.  Throughout the day, Rowland’s world shearing record attempt will be live streamed via https://agricamera.co.uk/sheep-sheering-live-stream/  in addition to there being regular updates on social media.

It is always exciting to host a world shearing record attempt here in the UK as this not only sets a benchmark, but it is also extremely important for the development of British shearers.


Notes to editors:


Rowland Smith, New Zealand shearer ahead of world record attempt

Sheep at Trefrank Farm, St Clether in Cornwall

Rowland Smith, New Zealand shearer competing at the 2017 Great Yorkshire Show


For further information or to arrange an interview

 Please contact either

 Lauren Boulton, British Wool’s Acting Producer Communications Manager

07970 476300 or  laurenboulton@britishwool.org.uk


Diane Keating on

01274 688666 or dianekeating@britishwool.org.uk

Issued by agpo@britishwool.org.uk


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