World record in Aidan Copp's grasp

World record in Aidan Copp's grasp


Riverina property set the scene in world-record shearing attempt.


IF you ever think the eight-hour work day is a tough grind imagine shearing more than 519 first-cross lambs in that time.

This is the aim of Kiwi Aidan Copp who will take to the shearing stand at Gnadbro Station at 7.30am on Saturday morning.

His goal is to break the world record for shearing first-cross lambs. The current world record stands at 519 and was set by Western Australian Dwayne Esperance back in 2005.

On Saturday the Riverina property will become a hive of activity with everything from judges and adjudicators to people working in the yards and supporters.

There will be a team tasked with making sure Mr Copp receives adequate nutrition and hydration and the overall feat could be compared to any endurance sport.

Mr Copp, 34, was helping to put the finishing touches on the shearing stand when he caught up with The Rural on Thursday.

He explained that the set up was different to the traditional eight-stand configuration at Gnadbro Station.

To shear the sheep fast enough the door had been shortened and lightened. The holding pens were also lined with carpet.

It's a sight you wouldn't expect to see in a shearing shed. Mr Copp said the carpet helped to keep the sheep warm. And warmer wool resulted in better combing and a more efficient result.

To achieve the grueling criteria he will be assessed by time keepers as well as judges who inspect all of the lambs.

If the lambs have cuts, or too much wool is left on the skin he will be issued with a warning. Three warnings result in a termination of the world-record attempt.

As for confidence it's a feat Mr Copp believes he can achieve. Preparation has been impressive to say the least.

In addition to completing regular eight hour days as a shearer he runs up to 20 kilometres a day and is known to hit the cardio machines at the gym, including rowers and assault bikes, for up to two hours at a time.

"This world record is something I have been dreaming of ... and If I achieve it I will be proud because it is something I have really worked hard for," he said.

"Hopefully it all comes together," he said.

Mr Copp already holds the world record in a multi-stand set up for shearing 586 strong wool sheep in New Zealand. He claimed this record four years ago.

In talking about the profession Mr Copp has a positive message for young people who are considering taking up the physically demanding occupation.

"I would tell young shearers that this is a business or profession that you can make a lot of money in if you look after your body," he said.

"The saying goes if you look after your body it looks after you," he said.

There are also opportunities to travel. "I was in Nepal shearing last year and I was the first person to machine-shear a sheep in the Himalayas," he said.

The story World record in Aidan Copp's grasp first appeared on The Rural.


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