Tuesday, 11 October 2022 13:55

Shear grit at record attempt

Written by  Leo Argent

Woodville shearer Sacha Bond is training hard for an attempt to break the women’s strong wool lamb shearing world record in Southland next year.

Coming from a shearing family, Bond has been a dedicated shearer since her teenage years.

She taught herself how to shear when many others in the industry would not lend a hand to teach her.

However, as her shearing skills became more and more apparent, people came around to her talents. She eventually made her way into the first all-women’s shearing course in New South Wales in 2015.

“I can say that even when she was learning she had the determination to be the best that she could be,” says Jim Murray, course instructor and one of the first work referrals Bond received.

Despite her prowess on the course, many still did not want to take a chance on a female shearer.

"I recall ringing about 12 contractors around New South Wales asking for a stand,” she recalls. “But it was clearly obvious to me no one was interested in hiring a female shearer as many other learners secured a stand.”

Nevertheless, or perhaps in spite of this, Bond has proven herself a phenomenal shearer, often outpacing the men and maintaining a professional level of quality.

It won’t be the first time she has had experience with shearing world record attempts. Bond has been a support for four previous attempts, with her work on Bob White’s 2014 Australian record playing a significant part in inspiring her to attempting a world record.

“I had the opportunity to train with him (White) when he did his first world record. He got me into the whole scene of fitness training, and it helped massively toward my shearing career.”

With the aid of Matt Luxton, a personal trainer well renowned in the athletics and shearing industry for his involvement in past world record attempts, Bond has been training seven-days-aweek – strength, conditioning, cardio and mobility – on top of her eight hours of shearing every day.

“Seeing how much work Sacha puts in every single day, she always somehow manages to find or make time to help others, running fundraisers, sharing health advice, teaching learner shearers tips on how to do it an easier way,” he says.

“She is determined and 100% committed. I know she’ll give her everything on the day and I can’t wait to see her do it.”

At Fairlight station on February 4 next year, Bond will have to shear at least 511 lambs in 8 hours – a daunting feat requiring finesse, speed and stamina.

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