BREAKING the world record for shearing first-cross lambs required a feat of endurance and skill for Kiwi shearer Aidan Copp who chose the eastern Riverina as his backdrop.
The world record was officially set on Saturday at Gnadbro near Collingullie after 524 first-cross lambs were shorn.
The cold and foggy start to Saturday morning initially slowed the attempt down but as conditions warmed the pace increased accordingly.
To put the record into perspective Mr Copp's time to shear each sheep ranged from 34 to 57 seconds and had to be seen to be believed.
Despite being fatigued from the efforts Mr Copp now has another record in his sights. He wants to break the world record for shearing Merinos.
In a demonstration of how grueling the task was there were times when Mr Copp was vomiting because he couldn't hold down the hydration mix.
And at one stage he cut his hand quite badly. "My hand kept bleeding, I sliced the meaty bit near my thumb, it probably needed stitches," he said.
The severity of the injury meant that a 4.5 minute time-out was given so his thumb could be taped up.
Spectators witnessing the world record shearing were treated to some of the best shed work in the industry.
Roustabout Natalie Te Huia of New Zealand is considered one of the best in the world and Mr Copp said she was excellent to work with. The previous world record for shearing first-cross lambs was set 14 years ago by Dwayne Black of Esperance in Western Australia. A total of 519 first-cross lambs were shorn in Bendigo, Victoria.
"It takes a brave, courageous man to step up to the plate and do something like this. A lot of people talk about a record, but not a lot of people put it on the line," Mr Black said. "It is time to move it on."
"The general public think this is the amount a shearer does each day ... this is like Tour de France or the Olympics. He has been training for months, preparing the best he can," he said.