There is a long tradition of stone carries in the history of strength. However, the most famous of which is undoubtedly the Hussafell stone. That particular stone weighs roughly 190 kg (418 lbs) and is located in Iceland.
There are several ways that stone is used to test an athlete's strength. The hardest of which is the lift-and-carry around the nearby animal pen. A distance of some 50m over uneven terrain.
The stone was also used in the 1992 World's Strongest Man competition hosted by Iceland. In that competition Gregg Ernst set a record of 70m
No discussion about the Freedom Stone should start without mentioning that it is special. It is possibly unique throughout the world and not for anything as trivial as its weight, size, dimensions or the strength required to lift-and-carry it.
The information below is what is publically available. Only those who lift the stone are allowed to know more. Very few men have been afforded that privilege.
The Origins Of the Freedom Stone
The Stone was made by a Blue Mountains identity who tragically lost his daughter in a car crash.
The stone was subsequently selected, then sized, to the young ladies birth date 1-91 (191kg).
It is intended to represent a very small fraction of the pain the family must have felt for the loss of their daughter.
The maker of the Freedom Stone lifted the stone before it was cut down from 250kg to 191kg. He is a true Stonelifter and seeks no validation online.
The Stone will always live in the Blue Mountains (NSW) but does not belong to anyone. International Heavy, Moe Westmoreland, is the current guardian of the stone.
"At first glance it is easy to assume this stone is just another strongman implement, dragged out now and then for the odd show and then tucked away again.
Closer inspection reveals much more. This is a stone carved by the hands of a father mourning the loss of a daughter. Every tooling mark is deliberate and lovingly guided to honour her.
The day of the contest was stirring indeed for the athletes so privileged to be invited to carry this stone. This day wasn't merely a contest honouring strength, though it did indeed do that. It was our chance to show the maker of this stone our appreciation for his efforts and empathy for his loss.
The athletes that day gave their all in front of the family to whom this stone represented so much. That is what this stone means and represents. That is what must be remembered each and every time a strongman engages this feat". - Luke Reynolds
Use In Competition
The Freedom stone arrived on the competitive scene at the Blue Mountains Stonelifting Championships 7/12/2012 , NSW , Australia.
The competition took place at the Katoomba Golf club and was the brain child of International Heavy Moe Westmoreland. The day included 20lbs sheaf toss, Atlas stones and the Freedom Stone Carry. The athletes invited to compete were: Jordan Steffens, Luke Reynolds, Aaron Monks, Steve Tye, Morgan Westmoreland and Liam Duffy. The event was refereed by Highland and strongman legend Mr David Huxley and emceed by Highland games and strongman athlete Dr Lance Holland Keen. The Blue Mountains Stone lifting championship overall went to Jordan Steffens.
Above- Left to right: Liam Duffy, Stephen Henry (behind), Morgan Westmoreland, Lance Holland Keen, Steve Tye, Aaron Monks, Jordan Steffens and Luke Reynolds.
Freedom Stone Vital Statistics
The freedom stone is a brute of a challenge and is not for the faint hearted. It is an extremely heavy stone and athletes may faint if the stone is not carried in the right position on their chest.
It is carried for maximum distance and positioned on the start line on a 2' plinth. The athlete must turn at the 25m mark. The stone being Sandstone can weigh from 180kg to 200kg depending on weather conditions running up to an event.
Weight 195.4kg /429lb( natural stone )
Side thickness 23cm
front across the bottom 35cm
front across the top 42cm
The winner of the Freedom Stone carry on the day was Blue Mountains local Luke Reynolds who set a distance of 24.8m up a slight hill, followed closely by Jordan Steffens of South Australia.
Recent Carry Of The Freedom Stone
During the fact gathering and checking process for this article it became apparent that there was an opportunity to raise awareness of this stone and the lady, in whose honour, it was created.
Therefore on 2/8/2015 the stone was again used in competition. Moe Westmoreland , Luke Reynolds and Liam McNeight set up the course and the stone was once again lifted-and-carried in the Blue Mountains of NSW. This event was a demonstration and official record attempt at the Wentworth Falls Country Club, ahead of future stonelifting contests returning to the mountains.
All athletes gave their best and the results were as follows.....
Luke Reynolds- 27.69m (new record)
Moe Westmoreland - 25.21m
Liam McNeight - 3.74m
Above: Luke Reynolds on the way to a breaking his record on the Freedom Stone Carry.
Above: Highlands Games Champion, Moe Westmoreland Starting his charge on the Freedom Stone.
Unfortunately some actual distances have been lost, however the relative order is correct.
It is a tragedy that such a stone has to exist. As far as we know it is unique within Australia, and possibly the world.
Should you ever be afforded the opportunity to carry the stone, please remember that you will then receive additional information about the origins of the stone and that this is not to be shared.