Sheep Show Sunday, 21st September 2014

The SHEEP SHOW has been running since 1978, attracting a variety of breeds to compete for the Supreme Hill Sheep Champion Trophy.

The Show will commence at 11.30 am.

(The previous year’s winners can be found under sheep show results 2013 and sheep show results 2012)

1 Derbyshire GritstoneA native breed from the High Peak District of Derbyshire, it has the softest wool and the closest fleece of all the types of Blackface breeds. It is a large sheep with a small head and long straight back. The face and leg colour is black with white marking, and the breed is hornless.

This characteristic is exploited by breeders of Blackface sheep (mainly in Scotland), using the Gritstone rams to breed the horns off the Blackface lambs. The breed tends to remain in its area of origin, though it is suggested that the transfer of Derbyshire Gritstones to Wales may have contributed to the formation of the Beulah Specklefaced.

2 The LonkA neat, compact sheep found in the hill and mountain regions of West and South West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and North West Derbyshire. It is a rather long-legged sheep, larger and longer-

bodied than the Scotch Blackface, with more white on the unwooled face. The tail is long, reaching almost to the ground, and the breed is horned, both male and female. The finer grades of Lonk wool can be used for hand-knitting wools and blankets, with the coarser grades suitable for carpets, rugs and tweeds. The meat is of excellent quality, but the breed is less hardy than either the Scotch Blackface or the Swaledale.

3 The MuleNot a pure breed, but a hybrid ewe produced for stratified breeding. An important crossing of the hardy, thrifty, modestly productive draft Swaledale ewe of the uplands with the more delicate pure bred Blueface Leicester ram, with a capacity for high productivity of offspring ewes known as Mule. The Mule crossed with pure bred Suffolk, will then produce a maximum yield of lambs of a very good meat and conformation.

A happy combination of genetics combining the best qualities of both breeds.

4 The SwaledaleThe Swaledale can be found nowadays in the fells, moorlands and high ground of the six counties of Northern England – a fine record for a sheep which, for many years, had been confined to the moors around Swaledale itself. It is bold and hardy, and lives with ease in the exposed climate of the Pennines and Lake District.

It is a medium-sized sheep, horned in both sexes, with the horns of the rams curving in an impressive double spiral. The upper face is dark, with a grey muzzle and tuft of wool on the forehead. Its fleece consists of an outer layer (coat) of long course fibres which shed the rain, and a dense inner layer (waistcoat) of finer wool which prevents the cold winds penetrating to the skin.

5 The Whiteface WoodlandThis sheep is a member of the group of horned mountain breeds, but is unusual in various respects. It is all white, but the nostrils are pink or part pink. The rams are much larger than the ewes, and the sheep have strong muscular tails. The fleece is fairly dense and both male and female are horned. It is a native Derbyshire breed but its origins are not clear. It is generally supposed to have been bred from the Linton, though some consider that there is some Merino in the strain. The Whitefaced Woodland is excellent for breed polled (hornless) lambs from Downland sheep.

6 Miscellaneous Breeds

A class introduced to provide the opportunity for rare or unusual sheep to be shown as a special category. The only restrictions are that the sheep must be pure-bred.

7 Butchers Lamb

Each pen of three lambs in the Class may be of any breed, though they must not have been shown in any other Sheep show classes. They are judged as to their quality for butchering.

8 Young Handlers

A class to provide the opportunity for children to show a lamb of any breed and to gain experience of the competition.

9 Supreme Champion

The Supreme Champion to be selected from the champions of the four hill breeds: Derbyshire Gritstone, Lonk, Swaledale and Whitefaced Woodland.

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