Surprisingly.....or maybe not so surprisingly if you are a follower of this blog...we still needed the assistance of my new GPS to find our way, even though we have been going to this show for many years.
When we arrived at the fairgrounds on Friday, it was so great to be greeted by all of our sheepy friends, and it was wonderful to be surrounded by so many beautiful Shetlands. What a great weekend! This year we had two amazing judges from the UK - Kate Sharp and Alan Hill, they have both raised, and judged, Shetlands for many years in the UK. These two judges know more about Shetland sheep than I could ever hope learn in three lifetimes.
And they are just plain fun!
My only regret about the weekend is that we didn't get to the fairgrounds in time to take part in the Judges seminar that was conducted Friday morning. I was able to join in on the ram/ewe inspections later that day and learned so much more about our breed and why preservation of certain conformation traits is so important. For more detailed information, check out my friend Theresa's blog. There will also be a DVD available soon of the judges seminar ( I can't wait to get one since I missed the seminar), it will be full of great information for anyone with Shetland Sheep ( Email Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a copy).
I brought 6 sheep with me with the intention of showing two ewe lambs, two ram lambs, and one senior ram. I also brought one ram lamb to sell.
I ended up showing only one of the ewe lambs, two ram lambs and my senior ram.
I was on the fence about whether or not I should show my ewe lamb, Athena; she had just turned 4 months old ( she was the last lamb born this past spring on May 5th) and I thought she may be a bit young to compete - but I ended up showing her, and she did great, taking third place out of a class of 36 really nice ewes!
I also showed Sommarang Gilroy, placing 4th in the senior ram class. Gilroy has sired some awesome lambs for me. He was bred by my dear friend Lori Stephenson. Lori has some of the nicest Shetland Sheep ever and she has been a mentor to me and she has been a huge part in helping me get my flock where I need it to be with fleece and conformation. Thanks, Lori!
All the show results will soon be posted on the Midwest Shetland Sheep Breeders website. There were some really exciting wins for some of my friends, so it was nice to see them get recognition for all their hard work and dedication to the breed.
Here are more pictures from the show.
Here are more pictures from the show.
My buddy Juliann Budde from Little Country Acres with one of her lovely polled rams.
The Fulks family with their small flock.
My favorite part of going to this show is catching up with old friends, and making new ones. Most of us are scattered across the US, and this is the one weekend during the year that we really get to spend time together.
Here are just a few of the usual suspects....I miss them already.
Left to right are Mike and Kelly from OK Acres, Briony is in the middle....she doesn't own sheep, but often gets dragged into the show ring when people need an extra pair of hands showing their sheep. She also cooks a mean pot of vegetarian chili! Lastly, but not least(ly), Garrett from Ramsay Farms, Garrett is like the little brother I never wanted....errr..ALWAYS wanted, I meant always, Garrett..
After the show was over, there was some sheep rearranging to be done.....some 'Sheep Math', if you will...Sheep Math is a lot like Chicken Math, so try to follow along.
I brought Pegasus and Apollo to show, with the intention of keeping them. I brought Helios to sell. I brought my two ewe lambs only to show, I had/have no intention of selling them, and I brought Gilroy to show and deliver him to my friend Laura, from Psalm23 farm, so she could lease him for breeding this fall. So, the plan was: Sell Helios, drop off Gilroy, bring home Pegasus, Apollo and the two ewe lambs. That was the original plan. Leave with 6, come home with 4.....until I decided to lease Avyt for breeding again this fall, so it no longer made sense to keep his two ram lambs, Pegasus and Apollo, so Pegasus was sold and will be making the girls at Under The Son Farm in Indiana happy, while Apollo will be residing in Minnesota at Ramsay Farms. Helios, the ram I was planning on selling, ended up coming home with me, along with a nice katmoget ram lamb from Ramsay Farms, plus Avyt and the two ewe lambs....so, I came home with 5, but if you followed any of that you can now proudly say that you are a scholar in the fine art of Sheep Math.
New katmoget ram.WhitePine Nessie's Monster Mash (M&M). He was 4th in a very large class of ram lambs and helped secure a 3rd place in pair of ram lambs!
Since Helios is an Avyt son too, he still needs a home. He is a nice moorit ram lamb and he carries spots. He has a super-sweet temperament.
His fleece is fine, very crimpy with a lot of ((SpRiNgY)) to it.
I am already looking forward to the show next year!
Wow, there are a lot of links in this post!