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Woman sheers 370 sheep in 8 hours to set new world record

"It's just the sort of skill that you just want to get better and better at because you're constantly learning.""

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By Rhys Griffiths and Alice Clifford via SWNS

A British woman has set the new world record for sheep shearing after buzzing her way through 370 sheep in eight hours.

Farmer Marie Prebble, 34, managed to shear a sheep every one and a half minutes or just over 46 an hour.

And like any other athlete, she has had to undergo gym sessions, a training plan and the right diet.

As part of a family who has farmed in the Kent countryside for centuries, skillful and efficient removal of heavy coats has always been part of Prebble's daily life.

But in recent years, she has found a calling in the close-knit world of shearing, which sees expert cutters travel the globe to ply their trade wherever there is wool.

Prebble said: "It becomes quite addictive."

"It's just the sort of skill that you just want to get better and better at because you're constantly learning.""

As well as getting records, sheep shearing has become a full-time job.

(GIF via SWNS)

She said: "I've always called myself a sheep farmer who does a bit of shearing but actually I've tried to become more of a sheep shearer now, and sort of qualify myself as that by working for different contractors.

"You can travel the world with it, you can take it as far as you want to once you've got that skill.

"I think the best part about the job actually is the people because it is such a globally-connected community.

"You've got that skill you can pretty much travel anywhere and everyone really supports each other.

"I feel like this is almost the beginning for me in terms of how far I could take it, because it's something you can always improve on, you can always learn more and always get better at, so it's like any sport I suppose."

Despite years of experience, Prebble had to undertake some serious preparation to get ready for the big event.

She said: "I've been shearing for ten years but I've not done very much in that time.

"So this last couple of years I've really made it my mission to get as good as I can in that time available, which means being around the right people and going to work for certain contractors and traveling off the farm quite a bit more.

"Since the start of the season, which was the end of April here, I've pretty much sheared every day.

"But also to train for something like a world record I was in the gym pretty much every day doing a lot of mobility, some strength training, following a training plan and eating right, just keeping my mental focus on the task at hand."

With an eight-hour window in which she had to shear as many sheep as possible, her goal was to reach 400.

Prebble said: "It was a big thing to organize and obviously involved quite a lot of preparation and planning and training.

"It's all adjudicated by the World Sheep Shearing Records Society, so I had judges there from Australia and South Africa and Wales.

"There's a lot of rules you have to abide by in order for it to qualify as a world record attempt.

"It's not just like any other shearing day, the sheep had to have an average fleece weight of three kilos, the quality of the shearing is assessed, and from an animal welfare perspective you have to make the whole job as good as you can possibly get on the day."

No existing women's record stood prior to Prebble's attempt in Cornwall. So even though she narrowly missed the target, she still took the world title.

But despite getting the record, Prebble isn't without competition.

A competitor from New Zealand is already scheduled to challenge her for the crown. Fellow sheep shearer Sacha Bond plans to try to take the title on February 4, 2023.

The men's current record holder is Ivan Scott, from Donegal, who managed to shear 744 sheep in the allotted eight hours back in 2012.

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