A New Zealand shearer has set a new world record for the highest number of merino sheep shorn in eight hours.
Lou Brown, 31, sheared 497 sheep in eight hours, an average of one ewe every 58 seconds.
Hundreds of fans came to Rockliffe farm near Kojonup, 250 kilometres south of Perth, Australia, to watch.
The previous world record of 466 ewes was set in 2003 by fellow Kiwi Cartwright Terry, who acted as mentor for Brown on this occasion.
The record is a long-term dream for Brown, who sheared his first sheep at the age of 12 on Terry’s stand.
“I had my birthday in his (Terry’s) shed and I took a photo of him shearing and he signed it, and I slept with it next to my bed for years.
“He’s been a huge part of my shearing career. He was in my support team talking to me all day. He helped me through it all, he gave me confidence. Ever since I started shearing, he’s filled me with knowledge.”
The rules for the record attempt require that each ewe carry a fleece with an average weight of 3.4 kilograms and must be shorn with no more than 18 strokes of the hand piece.
Brown managed the record in four time periods of two hours each, with two breaks of half an hour and one of an hour.