THIS summer three champion shearers will attempt to set two different types of shearing records in the UK. Cornwall’s Matt Smith will take on the World Strongwool ninehour ewe shearing record while Mid Walians Gareth Daniel and Ian Jones will challenge the twostand British lamb shearing record. Both record attempts are being actively supported by the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB). Matt’s world record attempt will take place on his homefarm in Launceston on July 26 while Gareth and Ian will attempt theirs at Llysfasi Agricultural College, Denbighshire, on Friday August 19. Shearing records, alongside shearing competitions, are the pinnacle of the industry and provide a fantastic platform for young British shearers to meet and learn from shearers across the world. BWMB field services committee chairman and former competitive shearer Bedwyr Jones said: “All three individuals are passionate about sheep and the wool industry, and in attempting both shearing records, are demonstrating the importance of this rural skill. “These will provide invaluable opportunities to showcase highly skilled individuals that are driving the industry forward and to help promote the quality of British wool to wider audiences.” Living on his family farm at Penegoes, near Machynlleth, 33- year-old Gareth holds many shearing honours, including champion shearer of Wales three times and representing Wales at four world shearing championships. His proudest moment was winning the open championship at Corwen Shears, becoming the first Welsh winner and only the second UK winner of this competition. “I have always wanted to attempt a shearing record and I believe I now have the determination, confidence and skill to achieve this,” he said. Ian, from Hundred House, near Builth Wells, who learned to shear from his uncle, took up shearing aged 17 and has also shorn in New Zealand many times. Honours include winning the Welsh Lamb Shearing Circuit four times and the French open shearing championship last August. During his shearing career, 36- year-old Ian has attended many of the BWMB shearing courses. He said: “These courses are important as they provide young and experienced shearers with the opportunity to learn and further develop their skills.” Training provided by the BWMB sees approximately 1,000 people attend accredited Seal award system shearing courses each year from May to the end of July.
BWMB shearing training course details can be found by visiting the BWMB website www.britishwool. org.uk