English National Champion shearer Stuart Connor has decided to strive for a double record attempt in memory of his daughter Grace, and aim for both a World and British record.
Having initially had a British record in his sights for the number of lambs sheared in nine hours, he will now be aiming to do this and the World record on Saturday, September 21.
The event will raise money in memory of Stuart and wife Kira’s daughter, Grace who tragically died of Mitochondrial Disease, aged three.
The day will be hosted by Andy Wear at Fern Hill Farm, Compton Martin, Somerset, with all profits going to Team Grace and The Lily Foundation.
Stuart has wanted to undertake a record attempt for Grace for some time. As a toddler she loved everything to do with dad’s work and enjoyed going into nursery and telling them all about it.
“She was a copy cat. She had her own pair of shearing jeans and her own foam rollers…she loved everything I did, whether it be driving the tractor, shearing sheep or being with the dogs,” says Stuart, who’s married to Grace’s mum, Kira.
To beat the British record set by Gareth Daniel in 2016, Stuart will need to shear more than 781 lambs. He will then strive to beat Ivan Scott’s World record, set in the same year, which stands at 867.
Julie Edwards, Head of Agricultural Marketing and Communications for Mole Valley Farmers, who are donating wood for the shearing stage and providing refreshments on the day, says:
“It’s really exciting that Stuart is now attempting the World record. We wish him all the best to achieve the double. It’s a a phenomenal task he’s undertaking that requires plenty of stamina, but we’ll all be cheering him on.”
Stuart has already shorn 900 lambs in nine hours as part of a personal challenge during one of seven stints in New Zealand. However, this time he will be under the scrutiny of judges from The British Isles Shearing Association (BISCA) to ensure everything is done correctly.
Stuart has his own shearing round around Banbury in Oxfordshire, where he shears around 20,000 a year with the help of one other. He also has his own 200 ewe flock of New Zealand Romneys.
He’s a familiar face on the show circuit having competed for England in the World Shearing Championships in France this year.
Here he reached the semi-final of the individual competition and came fourth in the team competition with partner, Adam Berry.
At the Royal Welsh Show this summer he also came second in the Six Nations competition with team mates Adam Berry and Matt Smith.
On the day of the record attempt, there will be a collection for The Lily Foundation and Mitochondrial Disease at the gates. All of the profits from the event will then go straight to the charity.