|A HARD DAY AT THE OFFICE
When Brett Cavanough shore 427 first cross Border Leicester/Merino lambs at "Widgiewa" station, NSW, in August 1997, New Zealand World Records Referee Don Morrison predicted that, although the total appeared modest, the record would not be easily broken.
Trevor Bacon, 37, from Branxholme, (SW of Hamilton) Victoria, found out the hard way just how accurate Don had been when he added 44 to Brett's tally on Monday, 7th October.
For eight hours, Trevor toiled to shear 471 very similar lambs, which did everything they could to frustrate him.
Older shearers used to say, when the sheep played up, that rain was on the way, and so it was on that day, with gales and driving rain and hail arriving late in the day which had been warm and sunny earlier.
"I had a fight with every one of them", an exhausted Trevor said after the attempt. "I couldn't relax for a second
- they just would not settle down", he said.
Well known as a very fast shearer with previous unofficial tallies of 620 merino lambs and 707 crossbred (non merino) lambs in 1996, Trevor and his back-up crew were disappointed with the final tally, but acknowledged that the lambs did not shear anywhere near as well as they had hoped.
Trevor's wife, Sian, one of Australia's top wool handlers who will represent Australia against New Zealand at the
Sports Shear National titles in Esperance, WA, on October 19, looked after the wool with sheep owner, Craig Jones.
Trevor's employer, Naracoorte shearing contractor, Glen Haynes, acted as his chief second with support from fellow shearers David Edgerton, Arti Hauraki and Chris Brooker, and many others. (Chris still shares the 3 stand 9 hour ewe record set in 1993 with Rick Pivac and Dion Morrell.)
Average wool weight was 1.07kg, well above the minimum allowed of .9kg, and the average quality rating of 13.6 was also within the maximum allowable of 15.
The new record was set at 'Wallabrook', the Frances, SA, property of the Jones family approximately 40km north east of Naracoorte.
Referees for the attempt, appointed by the World Records Committee, were Hugh McCarroll, from Tauranga NZ,
Bernie Walker, Euroa, Victoria, and Ben Moodie, from Burrumbeet, Victoria.
Major sponsors for the record were Heiniger and EldersVP.
Trevor's final comment was, "It was a tough day - I won't be doing that again".
Sian Bacon, Glen Haynes, Trevor Bacon Referees; Ben Moody, Hugh McCarroll, Bernie Walker