Shearers Attempt to Shave 2,500 Sheep in 24 Hours at French Competition

June 11, 2018 Last Updated: June 11, 2018

Sheep shearers participating on Friday in the “24 Heures de la Tonte” competition in France attempted to shear more than 2,000 sheep in 24 straight hours.

The competition started on Friday at 6 p.m. local time, with two teams of three shearers competing to see who can gather the most wool in one day, and the joint goal of setting a world record in team sheep shearing.

Competitors will attempt to shave a total of 2,500 sheep by the contest’s end, meaning they would have 50 seconds to shear each sheep.

“In these 24 hours, two teams will face each other, two teams of three shearers who will alternate every two hours obviously for 24 hours,” World Association for Sheep Shearing President, Christophe Riffaud, told Reuters.

“So, the shearing razor will never be turned off. They will have to stay strong for 24 hours. And we need people to cheer for us because it will be hard for us.”

The event, which is held at the western French city of Coulonges, ends on Saturday at 6 p.m. local time.

Aiming to popularise sheep shearing as a sport, organiser the World Association for Sheep Shearing, has staged similar events since 2015 and will hold the first world sheep shearing championship event in Le Dorat, France in July 2019.

“[Sheep shearing] requires an incredible amount of physical strength,” Riffaud said.

“We created last year a record of sheep shearing, in which two shearers shaved 1,328 lamb within 9 hours of work. It’s a feat that even we did not expect to be very pleasant.”