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Taihape teen becomes youngest to claim shearing world record

Reuben Alabaster, 19, points to a board showing his world-record tally of 746 lambs shorn in eight hours.

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Reuben Alabaster, 19, points to his world-record tally of 746 lambs shorn in eight hours.
Photo: Supplied

A 19-year-old Taihape man has beaten the world record for the highest number of strong wool lambs shorn over eight hours.

Reuben Alabaster shore 746 lambs at Te Pa Station near Ohakune on Tuesday breaking the previous record set by Irish shearer Ivan Scott back in 2012 by two.

After the first of four two-hour blocks he had shorn 188 lambs, one up on Scott’s attempt, but after the second round he fell behind, with 183 lambs shorn compared to Scott’s 189.

He clawed back by one in the third slot, shearing 187 to make a total of 558 after six hours.

A massive effort in the final two hours saw Alabaster shear 188 lambs, to beat Scott’s record by two lambs.

“I actually thought the last one was for 745, I was relieved,” Alabaster said.

Of his last 50 lambs, more than 30 were through the porthole in under the 38.7 seconds-a-sheep threshold, and a dozen at least three seconds quicker.

Not 20 intil next April, Alabaster is the youngest to shear a world record.

He learned to shear before he was 10, and has since been a successful competition shearer, including in 2018, when he was runner-up in the Golden Shears Junior final in Masterton and winner of the New Zealand Shears Junior title in Te Kuiti at the age of 14.

But he could be the record holder for just 48 hours, with Te Kuiti shearer Jack Fagan in line to tackle the same record in a woolshed near Pio Pio on Thursday.

Story Credit: rnz.co.nz

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