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Shearing live updates: Catherine Mullooly on track to break world record

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Catherine Mullooly in action today. Photo / Shearing Sports New Zealand

A shearing record set only three days ago looks to be under threat today in a remote North Island west coast woolshed.

2pm update:

Sheep shearer Catherine Mullooly is continuing her relentless run towards smashing a world eight-hours ewe-shearing record with the possibility she may even do more than the current record for nine hours.

In the first hour after lunch in the record attempt at Nukuhakari Station in coastal King Country she sheared 58, taking her to 291, leaving just 96 in the remaining three hours to break the record of 386 which was set just last Sunday.

She had earlier shorn 116 in the opening run and 117 in the second for a lunchtime tally of 233, both runs being more than any female had shorn in a two-hour run in any adult sheep record attempt.

It is currently forecast she will even shear more than the current nine-hour record of 452, which has stood for six years and is being challenged by King Country shearer Sacha Bond in Southland on February 9.

The tally-days are consistent with the regular working days in New Zealand woolsheds, the eight-hour day comprising four two-hour runs and the nine-hour day starting with one of two hours followed by four of 1 hour 45 minutes each.

The sheep in today’s record weigh about 60kg each, 4kg to 5kg less than those in last Sunday’s record, but carry slightly more wool at an average just over 3.5kg per sheep.

The third run ends at 2.30pm, with 30 minutes for afternoon tea and then the final blast from 3pm to 5pm.

12pm update:

Catherine Mullooly has reached the lunchtime halfway stage with a tally of 233 in quest for the world women’s solo eight-hour eweshearing record at Nukuhakaro Station west of Te Kuiti.

She shearered 116 in the first two hours from 7am to 9am and 117 from 9.30am to 11.30am, both more than any woman has ever shorn in a two-hour run in a ewe shearing record bid.

At her current pace she would break the record of 386 with about an hour to spare, but would shear on as scheduled to 5pm.

Referees panel member Neil Fagan says the sheep averagedabout 60kg in weight – 4kg to 5kg lighter than those shorn by Amy Silcock when she broke the record on Sunday. The sheep are however carrying slightly more wool, and have been described by onlookers as “stroppy”.

Catherine Mullooly winning her first senior shearing final at her home Poverty Bay A and P Show in 2015.
Catherine Mullooly winning her first senior shearing final at her home Poverty Bay A and P Show in 2015.

9.30am update:

World shearing record challenger Catherine Mullooly is well ahead of the required pace in her bid for a new solo women’s eight-hour ewes record at coastal sheep and beef station Nukuhakari, west of Te Kuiti.

Ending the first two hours and heading for morning tea at 9am, she had shorn 116 and maintained a good quality rating of 10.25, comfortably under the threshold of 12, according to a judge at the woolshed after the first official end-of-run count-out.

Tom Wilson (left) and Alan MacDonald -  both former world champions and record holders - at today's shearing attempt. Tom is also director of Elite Wool Industry Training. Photo / Shearing Sports New Zealand
Tom Wilson (left) and Alan MacDonald – both former world champions and record holders – at today’s shearing attempt. Tom is also director of Elite Wool Industry Training. Photo / Shearing Sports New Zealand

The tally was 21 more than shorn by Amy Silcock in the 7am-9am run in setting a new record of 386 near Pahiatua on Sunday, and at the current pace, despite the struggle against some sheep described by onlookers as “stroppy”, the 34-year-old Mullooly is heading for a tally close to 460, possibly more than the current nine-hour record of 452.

The second run is from 9.30am to 11.30am, and the afternoon runs 12.30pm to 2.30pm and 3pm to 5pm.

9am update:

Starting at 7am at Nukuhakari Station west of Te Kūiti, and chasing the world women’s solo eight-hour strongwool ewes record of 386 shorn on Sunday by Wairarapa shearer Amy Silcock near Pahīatua, the 34-year-old Mullooly was averaging comfortably over 13 every 15 minutes in the first two-hour run to morning tea, to be taken at 9am.

The first official tally won’t be available until after the morning-tea count-out.

Catherine Mullooly during the first run. Photo / Shearing Sports New Zealand
Catherine Mullooly during the first run. Photo / Shearing Sports New Zealand

Despite the struggle put up by some of the full-wooled sheep, the pace if maintained would have her shearing over 400 by the time the clock stops at 5pm.

Sheep were taking as little as 53 seconds each on the flyers, mainly over a minute, 70-80 seconds on those described by onlookers as the most “stroppy”, but almost all under the rate of about 74 seconds a sheep needed to break the record set by Silcock, who, having two rejected late in the day, had official run tallies of 95, 97, 101, and 93.

A panel of four World Sheep Shearing Records Society judges, headed by Scotsman Andy Rankin, is overseeing the bid.

In 2014, with seven wins in 17 finals — including fourth at the Golden Shears in Masterton and fifth at the New Zealand Shears in Te Kūiti — Mullooly became the first woman to attain the top spot in any grade in more than 20 years of Shearing Sports New Zealand annual rankings.

Mullooly first featured in New Zealand shearing competition results in 2011, winning junior finals at the early-season Poverty Bay and Hawke’s Bay show, among a season’s record of nine finals, three wins, two second placings, and a third placing at the New Zealand Shears in Te Kūiti.



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