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Marie Prebble: 'A showcase of the very best of the shearing industry'

I have always enjoyed watching sport and occasionally participating in it, but I have never been a super fan of any particular team.

However, after a phenomenal week for English shearing I can say without hesitation, that is a team worth getting behind.

 

Huge congratulations go to Stuart Connor, Martin Howlett and Jon Roberts who have between them broken four shearing records in as many days on home soil.

 

We now have a new British nine-hour lamb record of 785, and British and World eight-hour ewe records of 1,075 – a mammoth achievement for those shearers and testament to the years of training they have invested in shearing.

 

World record judges present on the day ensure the quality of the job is strictly monitored.

 

I was fortunate enough to be asked to help the team with woolhandling for both records and had a brilliant and inspiring week doing so.

 

It is humbling to watch such events come together so successfully, built on shared positivity and possibility – it is a showcase of the very best of the shearing industry.

 

I am very much looking forward to my upcoming trips to Norway and Iceland to experience shearing and learn about the wool supply chain there.


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I will have to quickly get used to the limited daylight and cost of living and begin research for my National Sheep Association Samuel Wharry memorial award, looking at best practice at shearing.

 

I plan to see as many sheds and set-ups on farms as I can to explore what the UK can learn about sheep handling, wool production, and biosecurity.

 

While I am away I am very fortunate to have a local shepherd looking after my flock, but there will be work to do in the final weeks before mating.

 

Romney day at Ashford Market was interesting, I only wish I had needed to buy some stock as unfortunately for the vendors there were a lot of smart sheep meeting a pretty variable trade.

 

Top prices across all grades of sheep only just touched what would have been achieved in previous years.

 

I read reports of strong trade elsewhere in the UK even for cull ewes and wonder why the disparity. I have a lot of lambs at home running into the winter so let us see what Brexit brings.

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