Interbreed Success in 2016
Congratulations to Andrew Fisher (Nidderdale Flock) for his Interbreed success in 2016.
Andrew took the Overall Interbreed Championship in strong company at the Nidderdale, Pateley Bridge Agricultural show on Monday 17th September with his aged ram and this was swiftly followed by success with his winning group of three at Masham Sheep Fair who went on to take the Overall Reserve Group of three Interbreed Championship on Saturday 24h September. Andrew also took the Overall Wensleydale Championship at Masham again with his aged ram to cap off a very successful year for the Nidderdale Flock.
Judge Alan Duffield had to call on all his years of experience to award his prizes in each class, with one of the best shows of top quality exhibits forward. The hogg in wool class may have only had 4 forward but it consisted of 3 show Champions of 2016, namely:- Otley, Northumberland County & GYS and not to be left out a black exhibit too. The Otley Champion took the honours ( A. Fisher) narrowly from Mrs Pennells’ GYS Champion with The Prescotts taking 3rd & 4th. Young exhibitor Laura Beaton showed the veterans how to do it in the lamb classes taking top honours with her home bred ram & Gimmer lambs,
The success from the GYS followed on for Ernie Sherwin with his shearling ram &
gimmer shearling Lulu 3 , the ram went one better than GYS reserve male to claim his First championship. The Jack & Jessie Watkinson memorial Silver plate was presented by their grand- daughter Jessica Newton, to Ernie Sherwin, seen pictured with the judge Alan Duffield & ram “Nosterfield Superb”
Fleece competition successes:
Well done to Sandra Brown for successes with a black Wensleydale fleece in the wool competitions at South of England Show (2nd and reserve champion) and Kent Show (champion) this summer. The fleece has been chosen for entry in the national Golden Fleece competition which will be judged at the end of 2016 which is a tremendous achievement and demonstrates once again the quality of Wensleydale fleeces.
Wensleydale workshop: held at Wooton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire on 20th September 2016 hosted by Ann and John Griffiths.
A now familiar group of breeders met on Tuesday 20th September and enjoyed a very convivial day. We welcomed three new faces, two who are about to move to Wales and first made contact with us at the South of England Show in June (once settled after their move they will join the Association), and the other being an established breeder who has been unable to attend previous workshops. We are fortunate to have such an enthusiastic membership in the area.
Richard Broad, South West Field Officer for the RBST talked about the Wensleydale breed and how the Watch List is arrived at. He gave us ideas about how we can, as individuals or as an association, preserve the breed for the future. It was up to us to find niche markets whether this be for wool, related products from the wool, or from meat. This led to much discussion and the group as a whole wanted to see better lines of communication, a web site giving more information on who had what for sale, and enquiries more quickly dealt with in order that contacts can be made. Richard then talked about DNA sampling and the RBST semen bank which is gradually being released. This led to a discussion on the size and conformation of the breed. Sheep in the north seemed to be much larger than in the south. In this instance size is important!
Kimberley Dudley and her colleague from Allflex talked about tagging and current related legislation. She emphasised the importance of of correctly placing the tag in the ear so as to avoid problems when the ear grew. Interestingly she showed us tags that incorporated DNA sampling. Some members have had problems with the official ear tags with the disc breaking up. She agreed to explore the composition of the ear tag itself to ensure its durability. She also demonstrated electronic readers for EID tags. This was a very useful session for all of us.
Bryony Kendall, one of the local vets from Tynedale Farm Practice, who coincidentally comes from Wensleydale, talked on matters relating to feet, legs and lameness in sheep, including the current practice of not trimming feet unless really necessary. She brought with her an illustrated presentation which we all found useful.
After more coffee, tea and cake, some members left, others stayed and we talked Wensleydales for some while longer.