A chat with Ivan Scott - Ireland

Ireland's Ivan Scott has had a massive last 12 months, spending much of it building up and eventually breaking the single stand nine-hour strong wool lamb shearing record in July, setting a new record tally of 867. With that behind him, his focus has returned to show shearing as he looks to add another accolade to an already crowded shearing resume.

Ivan, you are looking pretty sharp. How are you feeling a week out?

Not too bad. Getting there. I'm trimming up a few things.

You've taken the chance to come out to the International Training Days. What have you got out of these last two days?

It's been really good actually because before now I've been concentrating on records, so it's now a matter of thinking about all the points you have to fine-tune for show shearing. There's been a lot of good guys here to tell you what you should be doing.

Talk us through the differences between record shearing and competition shearing.

When you're shearing in the records you've got a pretty wide comb on, well I do … and you're looking to get as much wool through that comb as you can and cut out as many blows as you can basically. So, when you try and get back to show shearing, you've got to put in a few more little blows and just shorten the blows up a bit and just really concentrate on that bottom tooth.

What are your tactics, balancing speed against quality? How do you juggle that balance?

I've had a bit of experience in the shows before so it's just a matter of switching back and I think the main thing is the quality, that's the big thing these days. I know I've got the speed but I've got to concentrate on the quality at the moment.

And has it been quite a change to get used to the sheep you are going to be shearing next week?

Yeah, it's really good to get a feel for the sheep and try and get a few combs running.

It's been great seeing all the nationalities together these last few days (at Mount Linton) which makes it feel like a World Championships doesn't it?

Yeah, it's getting hyped up alright! But at the end of the day, yes it's the World Champs, but it's just another show. It's another competition so I try and not get too carried away with it.

Between now and then what are your plans over the next week?

I'm just going to do a few days' work. I'll head to Balclutha on Saturday (for the Otago Shears) and then I'll just keep working hopefully, right up to the World Champs start. That's what I'm happiest doing, so I'll keep at it.

You've had a massive 12 months, headlined by your nine-hour individual lamb record. Tell us how much preparation you put in and how far out did you decide to have a go?

Yeah it had been going on quite a while. I did the eight-hour back in 2012 for the second time and since then we had been looking for lambs, trying to get the right sheep, so it's always been in the back of my mind since then.

Once we were pretty sure we had found the sheep that were good enough we knuckled into a bit of training and final preparations about 8 months out. It's quite stressful. You need a bit of a break mentally afterwards. It's draining, but it's good to have it behind me and I can concentrate on a few shows again.

Those single stand records especially must be such a mental game. Is that what you had to work on?

Yeah, it's all on your shoulders. I've never actually done a multiple stand one but I think it would ease the pressure a bit instead of having all eyes on you.

But you get all the glory I guess, that's the flipside.

Well yeah, that's the thing, but your helpers and your team means a lot on the day as well.

Nice mate. Good luck for next week.

Cheers Nick, thanks.


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