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Kiwi in England breaks world shearing mark

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/07/2016

New Zealand shearer Matt Smith has smashed a nine-year-old world record with ease, clipping 731 ewes in an English woolshed in the first attempt at such a record in the Northern Hemisphere.

The nine-hour solo ewe shearing record had stood at 721 since Rodney Sutton set it in the King Country in 2007.

Shearing at Trefank Farm in Cornwall this week, Smith, 32, beat the mark with seven-and-a-half minutes to spare.

The hard work was done in the first two hours, when his total of 164 put him ahead of the required pace - and he needed to shear just 133 in the final 105 minutes.

Smith grew up in Northland before moving to England.

The bid was a year in the planning and Smith chose a flock of Romney and crossbreds which would meet the requirements of the World Sheep Shearing Records Society.

Conditions in the area were ideal, cloudy with temperatures up to about 19C.

Smith wasn't immediately commenting on his victory, according to Shearing Sports New Zealand, however in a statement Pippa Smith said her husband had been on a strict diet since mid-January.

"No coffee, no beer," she said. "He had a low carb diet just because his body functions better. Heaps of fish, chicken and venison, and veges.

"He had plenty of fluids on board too."

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