All eyes on Sacha Bond for world-record shearing attempt

Sacha Bond practises her shearing as she prepares to break the world record.


Sacha Bond practises her shearing as she prepares to break the world record.

It’ll be a day in the shed where every second will be scrutinised when Sacha Bond makes a world shearing attempt in February.

But her practice attempts have been promising and training intensive to build up both her physical and mental strength, says the Tuhoe shearer from Pio Pio.

“I’ve been doing six days a week at the gym, and then just shearing,” Bond said.

“Anything can happen on the day, the circumstances will be all different, there’s no judges in the shed yet.”

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Taking place at Fairlight Station, northern Southland, on February 4, Bond was hoping to break the solo Women’s World Record by shearing more than 510 strong wool lambs in eight hours.

The record is held by Canadian shearer Pauline Bolay who shore 510 lambs in 2019.

Bond will need to shear at least 64 sheep per hour or one every 56 seconds.

The attempt will start at 7am and have four, two-hour runs with 30 minute breaks for morning and afternoon tea and one hour for lunch.


Shearing expert Sarah Hewson discusses the basics of sheep shearing with Stuff.

Bond has worked extensively throughout New Zealand and Australia. Starting off as woolhandler at 15-year-old, by 18 she was teaching herself to shear.

Aboriginal shearer Glen Darcy helped her along the way and mentored her as did New South Wales shearing contractor Gary Wilkinson.

World record holders for Women’s Solo 8-hour Strong Wool Lambs.

  • (Current) Pauline Bolay 510 lambs. 2019 (Canada).
  • (Past) Kerri-Jo Te Huia 507 Lambs 2012 (NZ).
  • (Past) Ingrid Smith nee Baynes 470 Lambs 2009 (NZ).

She completed the first all-women’s shearing course in Dubbo and, with help, secured her first shearing stand.

Bond and her partner ran Three Rivers Shearing contracting 600,000 sheep a year in Riverina, New South Wales.

Sacha Bond, right, says the support from her partner Coel L'Huillier helps to mentally prepare her.


Sacha Bond, right, says the support from her partner Coel L’Huillier helps to mentally prepare her.

While this would be her first world record attempt herself, she had been in the support team for others attempting records in Australia, and helped Gore shearer Megan Whitehead who broke the solo women’s nine-hours strongwool lamb record with 661 lambs in 2021.

In 2020 Bond and her friend Natalya Rangiawha were in training to break the women’s two-stand world record. However, injuries stopped Rangiawha from training and that was when Bond decided to go for the solo-eight hour record.

Bond’s partner Coel L’Huillier was also a world record holder and would be part of her support team for the attempt.

“He’s been training me with the shearing technique, and helping me out with the mental preparation as well because he’s been there done that three times.

“So, he knows firsthand how to deal with those nerves.”

That meant taking any opportunity to shear in front of a crowd and asking top shearers to watch her, she said.

“And I’ve been working on mental strengthening stuff – it’s quite hard to focus for that long, the human mind is only equipped for 15 minutes at a time so you’ve got to build up your focus strength,” Bond said.

She hoped people would come along to watch the attempt in person, but they could also watch the livestream on the Sacha Bond Shearing World Record Attempt Facebook page.

Fairlight Station farm manager and shareholder Simon Wright said the station was pleased to host the world record attempt.

They were chosen as friends of Bond’s had shorn impressive tallies in the shed, and they felt the lambs would be suitable for a record attempt.

The support team would come down and select the lambs they wanted, and given the station carries 1000 replacement lambs there would be plenty to choose from, he said.

He predicted the lambs might come in between 33 to 34kg.

  • Additional reporting by Joanne Crawford, Women’s Shearing Advocate