We all know how difficult it is to simply stay awake for 24 hours straight. Now, take that same 24-hour period and add sheep. Imagine how demanding it would be to shear sheep for this length of time. That is what two American shearers intend to do.
On July 11 and 12, Doug Rathke of Minnesota and Gavin McKerrow of Wisconsin will attempt to set a U.S. shearing endurance record, similar to the one that exists in New Zealand.
The challenge goes well beyond a fine-tuned skill and physical conditioning. The tougher demands will be sustained stamina and highly developed mental preparedness. As the shearers physically tire and wear down mentally, each additional sheep will be as fresh, as lively and as spry as the first one sheared.
The two shearers are participating in this endeavor to bring positive attention to shearing and to build an interest in sheep shearing as a means of employment.
The event will be held at Don Beerwinkle's feedlot south of Dimmitt, Texas.