Young gun's shear talent

Rueben HaleThe West Australian

A young WA shearer has set an unofficial record for his age, shearing 400 sheep in less than eight hours.

Corrigin shearer Ethan Harder, 16, set the record while working through 1000 Merino sheep with his team at a Bruce Rock farm last Friday.

The amazing effort was double the "normal" daily individual shearing rate set by the team and would have netted the young shearer about $900 for the day.

Former WA Competition Shearing Association president Mark Buscumb told _Countryman _ that 400 sheep shorn in a day by a young person would be a record.

"This is an unbelievable result for a young fella and should act as an example of the opportunity for a young person to make some good money working in the shearing industry at the moment," he said.

Ethan's father Paul Harder said his son came from a two-generation shearing family.

Ethan had been working in the shearing shed since he was six-years-old.

"He sheared 200 sheep in a day when he was 12-years-old, and then we he was 14 he did 300," he said

"He is now by far the fastest shearer in our 18-person team."

Mr Harder said his son started competition shearing in the 2011 novice division.

"Ethan began at that competition by shearing only one sheep, but later put himself into the under-21s shearing three sheep in heats and then four in finals that year," he said.

"In 2014, he won under-21s division at Dyson Jones Corrigin Shears and Perth Royal show and took third-place at Pingelly Shears and fourth out of 10 intermediate shearers at Wagin Woolorama, shearing six sheep in less than 10 minutes.

"Last year, he placed number 14 in the world for a time of 54 seconds at the Golden Shears World Shearing and Wool Handling Championships in Ireland.

"The Golden Shears is regarded as the Olympics of shearing where he was competing against the best guns on the planet.

"And this year, he competed in the intermediate division, where he was recognised for consistent and clean shearing, with four sheep in the heat and then six in the finals."

Speaking after he'd shorn all 400 sheep, Ethan said the only thing he wanted to do in his life was to be a shearer.

"I've been planning the attempt and training hard for about eight weeks beforehand," he said.

"Other than feeling totally exhausted, I just feel great getting it out of the way so I can focus on my next challenge."

Ethan will be putting his talents on display in coming months when he competes in the WA Competition Shearing Association's 11 agricultural show circuit, with the next one at Koorda in September

He will also have his eye on taking out the circuit's jewel in the crown when he competes at this year's Perth Royal Show

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