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New Zealand woman sets sheep shearing world record

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A woman from New Zealand set a new record during a sheep shearing competition, where she had achieved an average of 58 sheep sheared an hour for eight hours.

Catherine Mullooly, an experienced competition shearer from the city of Gisborne, had set a new world record of 465 ewes (female sheep) sheared in total in a competition held in the region of King Country on January 10.

This achievement breaks yet another record set just three days prior, where Amy Silcock, another experienced competition shearer, had accomplished a record of 386 sheep sheared.

The record was set in the solo women’s eight-hour strongwool ewes category, where Mullooly began at 7 a.m. and finished at 5 p.m., performing two-hour shearing runs four times. She also surpassed the women’s nine-hour shearing record of 452 during the last hour.

Sheep shearing is a process where sheep wool is removed to become material in clothing, furniture, bedding, and even mulch. It has garnered popularity as a sport in various parts of the world, including Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and South Africa, where sheep shearing competitions happen regularly.

Being the most common form of livestock in New Zealand, there are about 25.3 million sheep in the country as of 2022, a surprising statistic where the sheep population completely outnumbers the country’s human population, which sits at 5.2 million. New Zealand is the world’s second-largest wool exporter, sitting behind Australia.

Besides sheep, the other significant livestock within New Zealand is cattle, also outnumbering the human population with 6.1 million cows as of 2022.


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