Wales YFC recently hosted its first dedicated event to sheep shearing aptly named ‘Shear Success’ where members from across Wales gathered to meet their shearing hero Matt Smith and Heiniger’s Selwyn Williams.

Champion shearer, 32 year old Matt Smith who last season conquered the Nine Hour Ewe World Shearing Record kicked off the first session by telling the audience of his record breaking achievement. Matt set this new world record tally by shearing 731 ewes in nine hours, taking an average of 44 seconds to shear each sheep.

He explained the importance of shearers taking care of their bodies, eating the right foods and warming up and down prior to and post shearing. It is believed that shearing a tally of 300 ewes in a day is the equivalent of running a marathon on your body therefore shearers must start treating their bodies in the same way as an athlete would.

Matt payed homage to his fellow shearers that he has treaded the shearing boards with; “One of the best things about shearing is the people you meet, wherever you shear in the world you will meet some really good people who are hardworking, honest and dependable to the end.”

Selwyn Williams who works for Heiniger gave a highly entertaining and informative presentation on gear maintenance. Selwyn provided a practical demonstration of how to get the best out of your hand piece and the correct way to sharpen combs and cutters. A question and answer session followed.

Arwel Jones, Wales YFC Chairman said; “Shearing is incredibly popular in YFC and will be a big crowd puller in the forthcoming county rallies. In the winter months our clubs see a mass exodus of members who travel to the other side of the world to learn off the best and pit themselves against the elite in competitions held in Australia and New Zealand. Many of course also head to Norway, Switzerland and France so it is vital that we are able to work with Heiniger to teach these vital skills”. Wales YFC is incredibly grateful to Allflex who helped co-ordinate and sponsor the event. A top-tips document issued by Allflex and Heiniger is available to those wishing to sharpen their skills by contacting the Wales YFC Centre on 01982 553502 or information@yfc-wales.org.uk

Longstanding supporters of Wales YFC, Dunbia once again kindly sponsored the Welsh Beef & Welsh Lamb for the evening’s Bar-b-que.

Alison Harvey, Agriculture Manager for Lamb Dunbia Ltd, said;
“Any events which encourage skill and knowledge within the agricultural industry are vital for the progression of individuals. New events like ‘Shear Success’ with high profile trainers are brilliant opportunities for Wales YFC members and Dunbia are proud to support such events.”