This last weekend was the WI Sheep and Wool Festival! Joel and I had such a great time!
On Friday we had the inspection workshop with Maurice Wakeling, a UK judge and inspector. Maurice went over the inspection form for rams and ewes and then we broke into groups to go over sheep with the forms. Later the groups presented their sheep to Maurice and they went over them to see if he agreed with their findings. I missed the last part because I had to leave early to go to my friend Amanda’s wedding.
It was such a beautiful wedding and Amanda was a beautiful bride. I cried just about a zillion times and we both Joel and I had a really lovely time. I love a good photo booth!
We didn’t get home till twelve and I was up the next morning at 5am. UGH! Gilly Wakeling, UK wool judge, judged the fleece show and I am very sorry to have missed that.
The judge for the Shetland show was UK judge and ram inspector, Maurice Wakeling. I showed a senior ewe and a ram lamb. The senior ewe didn’t place but the ram lamb got 3rd out of 18. We bought him from Rich and Jennifer in New York and I am so excited to use him on a few select ewes this breeding season. Yay, Jean-Luc!
Here is a picture of Maurice inspecting Jean-Luc. He is checking for softness of fleece, consistency in the fleece, density, crimp, good teeth(on pad), good legs, correct sized head and ears and many other things.
Here are some of the other rams being judged in the ram class. I was so nervous since it was my first time showing. I really had not worked with Jean-Luc as much as I should have, but he stood very still in the ring and acted great when Maurice was looking at him. I was next to Garrett in the show ring, which was great cause he got me smiling and acting less nervous.
Here is a picture of Maurice looking over Temperance and the other senior ewes. It looks like Temperance is getting ready to poop. She walked great on the halter at home but was a spit fire in the ring. She kept leaping into the air like a bucking bronco.
After the show we had to run home and let out the dogs, and give fresh water to everyone. We came back for the Shetland sheep breeders potluck and both Joel and I had a really great time talking with everyone about the little sheep we love so much. It was really fun to meet people face to face I’ve chatted with some much on fb and yahoo forums.
We brought five ewe lambs to sell to the fairgrounds and they all sold! They are going to live in Indiana with a lovely family. I will be transporting them in a few weeks.
Sunday I came back to the fair to clean out our sale pen and pick up Gilly and Maurice. Joel and I were lucky enough to have the Wakelings stay at our house till Tuesday when I took them back to the airport. We talked for hours about Shetlands and I learned a lot from them. Both Gilly and Maurice are two of the nicest, most helpful people I’ve ever met. I feel so grateful to have been able to spend so much time with people so involved in the breed as we start out in our Shetland breeding journey. We talked a lot about the differences between UK sheep and US sheep, correct Shetland fleece (single coated, fine, and soft) and Gilly and Maurice were nice enough to look over my keeper ewe lambs from this year, and the two yearlings we kept from last year. Overall they seemed to like them, and gave us some great feedback on the animals we presented which will help us immensely as we move forward. Gilly said she would happily add Inara (Ok Acres Camden x Sommarang Snowflake) to her flock which made me grin from ear to ear! What a great complement.
What a truly amazing weekend!!!!! Thanks so much to Maurice and Gilly Wakeling for coming all the way from the UK to judge our show and for teaching us all so much about proper Shetland sheep. Thank you to Kelly Bartels for working so hard to make the show a success, your hard work paid off we all had such a great time! And thanks to all the new friends I made! It was so fun to spend time with you all:)