Rod Sutton's World Lamb Record  Day

Waiting on the "Go" at 5.00am

First lamb for the tally

Reporoa's Rodney Sutton set a new world record by shearing 839 lambs in nine hours at Waihi-Pukawa Station near Turangi yesterday (Sat 23 Dec). The 33-year-old eclipsed the previous mark of 831 set by Alan MacDonald of Piopio in 1993.

Sutton started his attempt at 5.00 am and worked a two-hour run through to breakfast, by which time he'd shorn 191 lambs - six more than MacDonald had achieved at the same time.

Sutton then worked four runs each of one hour 45 minutes, producing successive tallies of 168, 168, 161 and 151, with the new record coming with just five minutes left on the clock. The tired shearer saluted more than 200 spectators and supporters as lamb number 832 disappeared out the porthole and then gathered himself together, extending the new mark to 839 before the judges called time at 5.00pm.

Although Sutton had appeared headed for a tally in excess of 850 at lunch time, the afternoon sessions developed into a desperate struggle for survival as the mammoth effort took its toll.