Shearing record still absolute

Shearing record still absolute


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Josh Clayton came within a few blows of claiming the eight hour Merino ewe shearing record

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Over 250 friends and supporters of Josh 'Wah' Clayton gathered in the wool shed at Oxton Farm, between Wombat and Harden on Saturday to urge him on during his valiant attempt at breaking the solo world record for shearing Merino ewes in an eight hour day.

Roustabout Angela Wakeley rolls up another Merino fleece during Josh 'Wah' Clayton's attempt on the world shearing record with his second Rocky Wagner giving encouragement.

Roustabout Angela Wakeley rolls up another Merino fleece during Josh 'Wah' Clayton's attempt on the world shearing record with his second Rocky Wagner giving encouragement.

At the end of the first run, Mr Clayton was level pegging with the record, but he fell behind during the second run and never caught up despite his best efforts.

The disappointment was palpable among the crowd when the final count was delivered by the referees and Mr Clayton had fallen short by a few blows to break the record.

Clearly physically and mentally exhausted after shearing 452 Merino ewes carrying ten months wool, Mr Clayton thanked his great team of supporters and sponsors and paid tribute to his late partner Hayley who died from Motor Neurone Disease 17 months ago and for whom he was making the attempt on the world record.

"It is probably the cruelest disease," he said.

"I'm trying to help the other families ... we received a lot of help so I wanted to give as much back as I can." 

Among the first to congratulate him was current world record holder, New Zealand-born Cartwright Terry who shore 466 in Western Australia in 2003.

"You are a great bloke, a good mate and a great shearer," Mr Terry said as he toasted Mr Clayton with a stubbie to the raised cheers from the crowd.

"It is something to be proud off."

Mr Clayton said he was happy with shearing 452 Merino ewes in what proved to be a cold day which made shearing just that much more difficult.

"I'm certainly not disappointed," he said.

The attempt by Mr Clayton was more than 12 months in planning, and he further paid tribute to the support of Paul and John O'Connor at Oxton Farm for making their maiden ewes available.

The attempt on the record was administered by Ian Buchanan, international referee from New Zealand and Australian referees Dave Brooker, Peter Artridge and Ralph Blue under the regulations laid down by the World Sheep Shearing Records Society Inc. 

That scrutiny ensures all record attempts are scrupulously fair to past and present shearers, and the sheep they shear. 

I'm certainly not disappointed - Josh 'Wah' Clayton

Paul O'Connor made a donation on behalf of his family of one bale to the MND appeal.

"He certainly earned a hell of a lot of respect here today," he said.

The story Shearing record still absolute first appeared on The Land.

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