Gore shearer part of record-setting tea

SHARE

Ryan Miller, of Gore, joined two Welshmen to break a world shearing record at Moketenui Station on Wednesday.
Miller was a late call-up for the record attempt, after being named as a reserve.
“I was called in for the record [attempt] eight weeks ago, but I was already training at the time, though it was not specifically for the record,” Miller said.
It was Miller’s first attempt at the three-stand eight-hour strongwool record as he had not had the opportunity before.
However, he remembered when the record was set back in 1999.
“When it first got set, I heard it on the radio and thought I wouldn’t mind going for that. At the time I had not even shorn my first sheep,” he said.
Miller and team-mates Te Kuiti-based Delwyn Jones and Australia-based Matthew Evans, both of Wales, broke the record, adding 41 to the record to reach 1825.
The previous record was set at 1784 by King Country shearers Digger Balmer, Roger Neil and Dean Ball. The achievement did not come easily for the team, with Miller receiving an official warning early on.
Shearers received penalty strokes for errors such as cuts and missed wool and needed to keep penalty strokes under 12.
Miller received the official warning after recording 12.25 penalties.
“For me, if I got another official warning, the record would have been called off. It was like shearing sheep and dodging bullets at the same time.”
The effort required was a lot more mental than physical, Miller said.
The record bid of four two-hour runs began at 7am and ended at 5pm, with all three achieving the milestone of 600 lambs, despite five lambs being rejected by the World Sheep Shearing Records Society judges during the day.
Evans topped the tallies with runs of 156, 154, 151 and 153 for a total of 614. Miller had runs of 157, 152, 149 and 151 for a total of 609 and Jones totalled 602 with runs of 150, 151, 150 and 151.
Needing an average of just over 446 a run, the trio had the record bid under control from an early stage and needed just 415 in the final run, which started at 3pm.
There were a lot of people on hand to see the record being broken.
“We had a lot of helpers on hand to help celebrate,” Miller said.
He is returning to the Gore district soon, after spending the past four years in Australia.