Mark McGeown proved himself to be the best in country as he set a new Irish sheep shearing record.
The Ravensdale man achieved his goal when he sheared a total of 514 sheep in eight hours on Sunday, which works out at an average 56.3 seconds per sheep.
Mark’s day began at 8pm and included just three breaks totaling two hours. As it drew nearer to 6pm, the cheers got louder and louder until the bell rang, calling time on this marathon event. By then, the special marquee erected at the Louth Agricultural show to hold the shearing stage erupted in thunderous applause and jubilation.
Mark also decided that a local charity should benefit from his marathon endeavour and the North East Branch of Cystic Fibrosis was his nominated charity.
Mark has previously claimed the Lamb Shearing title at the Ploughing Championships along with a number of All-Ireland titles. His also won the Intermediate World title at the Highland Show in Scotland and has also been a winner at the Balmoral Show.
This record attempt will help Mark prepare for another effort on July 29 when he has a shot at the 9-hour shearing record (over 12 hours) currently held by Wexford’s Roy Collier at 627 lambs.
The rules regarding the shearing are quite strict and Mark had to shear sheep to a standard specified by the ISSA, (Irish Sheep Shearers Association). The ISSA supplied three independent judges and the shorn wool had to conform to specified weights as do the sheep.