Where will you be at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9? Wade Kopren and Matt Smith will be attempting to set an eight-hour lamb shearing record. This will be an attempt at an official U.S. shearing record.
Kopren hails from a sheep ranch in Perkins County, S.D., and operates a shearing business that serves sheep ranches across the northern plains.
Smith, who is from New Zealand, shears on Kopren's crew from March through May. After Smith set a world record in New Zealand in January, the two shearers started talking about working together to set another world record. Since no eight-hour U.S.-lamb shearing world record currently exists, this became their goal.
Both shearers have set an arduous target to shear 500 lambs in the eight hours.
"We hope to put up a large enough number that it will be difficult for another shearer to come in behind us and break our record," said Kopren.
The organization of the event will follow the rules and facility specifications set by the World Sheep Shearing Records Committee. Shearing will begin at 7:30 a.m. Kopren and Smith will shear in two-hour increments with two half-hour breaks and one full-hour lunch break between blocks.
Anyone interested in witnessing the challenge is invited out to Veal Custom Feeding, 18738 Chance Road, Meadow, S.D., on Saturday, Oct. 9. The local Shriners club will be serving a noon meal. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Shriners Children's Hospital.
"We wanted to set a new U.S. record, but we also wanted it to mean something," commented Kopren. "That is why we connected with Shriners Children's Hospital. We get to attempt a shearing record while, at the same time, benefit a worthy cause."
Donations can be sent to Shriners Children's Hospital, c/o Wade Kopren, Box 339, Bison, S.D. 57620.
In January, Smith set a new world eight-hour ewe-shearing record where he exceeded the previous record of 560 ewes shorn by shearing 578.