Peter Heraty, a shearer and farmer from Owenwee, Westport, set a new Irish nine-hour ewe blade shearing record on Friday 20 July. Peter recorded a majorly impressive shearing tally of 326 ewes, split over five intense periods.
Describing the scale of the achievement, Tom Dunne, chair of the Irish Sheep Shearers' Association, said: “This is a great day for Irish sheep shearers. Not only did Peter set a new Irish record, he will now become a household name in shearing circles across the world as news starts to spread. His ewe blade shearing record of 326 ewes is the greatest tally ever to be judged in the world.”
Tom said it is hard to put into words the huge physical exertion required to set such a record.
“What Peter did today is the equivalent of running three marathons. Other shearers were watching him closely and he was shearing a sheep with just 123 blows. That’s highly impressive speed and skill but when you multiply it up over 326 ewes, he has shorn over 40,000 blows today. It’s remarkable.”
High intensity performance
Starting at 6am, he shore 72 sheep in the first two-hour period. After an hour break, he maintained the same intensity in the next run, shearing 65 sheep in a shorter duration from 9am to 10.45am. This was followed by a half-hour break with the next time slot from 11.15am to 1pm witnessing 62 sheep being shorn.
There was a break from 1pm to 2pm for lunch before shearing 64 sheep from 2pm to 3.45pm. Peter never let the high intensity level drop and concluded the nine-hour shearing record by shearing 63 sheep in the final slot from 4.15pm to 6pm.
Highest ranked shearer
Tom says the latest accolade places Peter as the highest ranked blade shearer in the northern hemisphere. Peter is no stranger to setting records and alongside his Irish team-mate and fellow county man Noel Joyce, he represented Ireland in the Golden Shears World Sheep Shearing Championships, finishing fourth in the world blade shearing final and recording the highest finish for an Irish team in the championships. He has also been selected alongside Martin Hopkins to represent Ireland in the blade shearing world championships taking place next July in France.