The brother of a Cornish farmer is attempting to break the world record for the number sheep sheared in a eight hour period.

Rowland Smith is shearing sheep from four farms in Devon and Cornwall in two-hour stints between 7am and 5pm today and the whole event is being streamed live online.

To be successful Rowland must beat the current record of 605 ewes at Trefranck Farm, St Clether in Cornwall.

Leon Samuels from New Zealand holds the ‘Eight Hour Ewe World Shearing Record’ and to take the title, Rowland will have to shear each sheep in less than 47 seconds.

He is doing well so far, in his first run Rowland has sheared 161 sheep, compared to Leon's 149.

Credit: Rowland Smith

Rowland, 30, has decided not to go head to head with his older brother Matt who lives in Clether and holds the nine hour world sheep shearing record.

Rowland is being supported by British Wool and has a team of 57 volunteers from New Zealand, England, Wales and Ireland to help, guiding the sheep into the pens and removing and wrapping the wool. Overseeing the record attempt will be a team of four world record judges from South Africa, New Zealand and Wales.

According to those close to the action, shearing 250 sheep is the equivalent of running a marathon - so Rowland will be doing three.

Rowland limbering up before his next run. Credit:

The welfare of the sheep is of prime importance to us, and we have international judges on site to monitor the animals and shearers. Sheep must be sheared, so having them sheared quickly and safely means they can be back in the fields as soon as possible

Huw Condron, Organiser
Helpers remove the wool and direct the sheep into the enclosure. Credit: