Europe

Donegal man breaks world sheep shearing record by one lamb

Ivan has worked on and off in New Zealand for the best part of 15 years Image copyright Ivan Scott
Image caption Ivan has worked on and off in New Zealand for the best part of 15 years

A new world record has been set by an Irish man who sheared 867 strong wool lambs in nine hours.

Ivan Scott, from Kilmacrennan in County Donegal, beat New Zealander Don King's 2007 record by just one lamb.

The 35-year-old is now the first shearer from the northern hemisphere to set such a world record for lamb shearing.

Mr Scott averaged 96.33 lambs every hour, or one every 37.37 seconds.

The feat has been described as the equivalent of running three marathons back to back.

"I felt great when it was all over but the body was feeling it," Ivan said.

"It's certainly very physically demanding and you have to train for months just to get through the day.

"When the adrenaline kicks in, that's what keeps you going."

Training

The strong wool lambs can be as tough as they sound but have an average wool weight of no less than 1.9 lbs.

The exercise was watched by three referees from the world shearing council.

Ivan said his experience of travelling to every sheep shearing season in New Zealand for the last 14 years stood him in good stead.

"It was very hard work and to train for something like this you have to actually do gym work as well training outside the normal working shearing.

"It's all about getting the right conditions, trying to get a real good mob of sheep, which is really really difficult, especially in the UK.

"There's a lot to it and everything has to come together on the day," Ivan said.

There are a number of different classes of sheep shearing.

Last week, Matt Smith, from New Zealand, broke the record for the number of adult female sheep fleeced.

He sheared 731 ewes in nine hours at a farm in Cornwall to beat the previous record of 721.

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