World champion sheep shearer thanks old classmates - The Leamington Observer

World champion sheep shearer thanks old classmates

Leamington Editorial 19th Aug, 2021   0

A WORLD champion sheep shearer has thanked old friends at Moreton Morrell College.

Stuart Connor has reflected on his college days after breaking the nine-hour lamb shearing world record – a feat 20 years in the making – by shearing 872 sheep and raising money for charity in the process.

Stuart thanked his team, friends and old classmates at Moreton Morrell for their support on his journey to breaking the record, which started after completing a Higher National Certificate in Agriculture.

Stuart, who lives in Oxfordshire, took on the challenge to raise funds for Team Grace, which is supporting the Lily Foundation in finding a cure for Mitochondrial disease, and dedicated the victory to his daughter Grace who lost her life to ‘mito’ in 2018 at just three-years-old.

The 38-year-old joined the south Warwickshire college in 2001 and left with a Blue Seal – an internationally recognised qualification that enables him to shear sheep at home and abroad – allowing him to perfect his craft on farms across the UK and New Zealand.

His early training, regular visits to New Zealand, and intense training gave him the skills to average one sheep every 37.16 seconds, before going on to break the previous record of 867 set by Ivan Scott five years ago.

Stuart also praised his 50-strong entourage that organised the sheep, kept track of each one shorn, captured the event via livestream, and ensured he remained in peak physical condition for the duration of the attempt.

Team Grace has raised more than £66,000 for the Lily Foundation, while donations were also made to the Air Ambulance Service and the Farming Community Network.

Stuart said: “I’m so proud to have broken the record and to have my name amongst some of my icons but I cannot emphasise enough how much of a team effort this was.

“It’s a huge operation that takes a lot of organisation and commitment to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day, from managing the sheep and maintaining the equipment to looking after my hydration and energy levels and ensuring the livestream does not fail.

“There is of course a huge amount of relief to know that all that work has paid off, but the main thing was that we were able to raise money for our three charities.

“My time at college provided an excellent stepping stone for me to pursue a career that I love, I met some amazing people there who I am still in touch with now, and have received some very kind messages from old classmates.

“It’s far more than just individual effort that has got me here and I’d like to thank everyone for their support along the way.”

Moreton Morrell College principal Peter Husband Congratualted Stuart on his world record.

“We could not be more delighted for Stuart for his incredible achievement and are thrilled to hear that his time at college played a small role in getting there.

“He has raised a commendable amount for three vital causes and we’d like to wish him the best of luck in his future fundraising.”

To donate to the Lily Foundation visit Team Grace’s JustGiving page.


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