Four young farmers from the Brecknock Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs will be attempting a British four-stand, nine-hour lamb shearing record on August 9th 2019 to raise money for charities.
The record, which will be held by kind permission of Mr Rob Powell and family at Blaenbwch farm, near Builth Wells, will begin at 6am, with 9 hours of shearing and breaks in between, finishing 12 hours later at 6pm.
The event will be live-streamed on Facebook as well as being open to the general public, who are then invited to stay on to celebrate with a bar, dance, raffle and promise auction in the evening.
Lloyd Rees, Aled William Jones, Hugh Prothero and George Gilbert, are all shearers and sheep & beef farmers by trade. They have been training hard alongside their day jobs in readiness for the big day.
They are all British Wool Board trained and have worked numerous shearing seasons in New Zealand.
Lloyd Rees (25) shears for ten months of the year and he shore over 40,000 sheep in 2017. On his most recent trip to New Zealand, he shore an incredible 907 sheep over a nine-hour period.
Aled William Jones (26) has represented Wales on the Welsh Development Team and will be travelling to France with the Welsh team for the World Championships to compete in the wool-handling.
Hugh Prothero (23) has completed four seasons in New Zealand and shore over 32,000 sheep last year alone. This year he shore over 500 ewes in nine hours in Wales.
George Gilbert (25) has also travelled many times to New Zealand, shearing over 500 lambs in nine hours in 2015. He was also the senior winner of the Welsh International Speed Shear in 2017.
They said: “It is great to be involved with this event, especially as it is all in aid of some well-deserving charities. It has been hard work to train and try to maintain a healthy diet whilst still shearing every day as our job, but we hope we will be reasonably fit for the day and we will give it our best shot!”
The chosen charities are the MS Society, Prostate Cancer UK, Wales Air Ambulance, the DPJ Foundation and Brecknock YFC. Brecknock YFC is extremely grateful for the many sponsors of the event, particularly their main sponsors Hay & Brecon Farmers, Lister Shearing and W.W. Bowen Ltd (a full list of the event sponsors can be found on Brecknock YFC website).
The shearing event is the brainchild of Brecknock YFC County Chairman, John Price.
He said: “Since joining Brecknock YFC’s officer team, I have wanted to organise a fundraising event to support our county and charities close to my heart. We have chosen the MS Society, Wales Air Ambulance, DPJ Foundation and Prostate Cancer UK as they have provided valuable services and support to people in our community.
“The idea of a shearing record began a few years back after a conversation with members and the people I have met whilst shearing on local farms.
"Brecknock YFC has a rich history of shearing and I’ve listened to many stories about the legends who have achieved records in the past. Whilst being too old to set a YFC record myself, I was still determined to be involved in a new shearing feat. Aled, George, Hugh and Lloyd have dedicated months to physically prepare for this challenge.
“I have been overwhelmed with the support received from sponsors, hosts and everyone involved. Now that the record is nearly upon us, I am definitely feeling the pressure and I cross my fingers and toes for good weather! I hope the event will be well supported and that everyone enjoys. I have great confidence that the boys will shear their socks off!”
County organiser, Gwen Samuel, has been working hard behind the scenes to bring the event together.
She said: “The build up to the event has been very challenging, but it has been great to give YFC members the opportunity to achieve a personal record in a skill they have been taught from a young age and developed over time. The event will promote the agricultural industry and raise much needed funds for our chosen charities.”
The event will be overseen by BISCA (British Isles Shearing Competition Association).
As well as raising money for these causes, all involved are keen to raise awareness of the animal welfare reasons for shearing sheep, such as to protect them from heat stress and parasites, and show support for the British wool industry.