We had to decide who to take to the show – a difficult choice as we had never done so before, so asked Carol and Jodie to help us decide. Having chosen, we sent off the paperwork and busied ourselves with halter training. It proved to be an interesting exercise – Louis the ram lamb simply sat down and wanted to be fussed as an encouragement to get to his feet and co-operate. Wagner, the other ram lamb, shot off with me hanging on for dear life. Lilly had a habit of kneeling and would only walk if she shook her head, swaying along, and Holly took to it like a duck to water. I thought that the experience would have made catching them difficult, as they initially seemed less than keen. On the contrary, they all gambled over and couldn’t wait to get going on their next session – funny little things. After a week they all got the hang of it and enjoyed being taken out for little strolls around the plot.
Okehampton Show day came round rather quickly, and I had a sinking feeling that we were totally unprepared for what lay before us! We found our pen and decanted the sheep in a wet howling gale. Hadn’t thought about bringing tarpaulin to keep them (and us) dry – will definitely do this next time, as our new patio brolly wasn’t up to the job in the least.
We nervously took Louis and Wagner the ram lambs in first – there were so many sheep in general attendance, the showing was conducted in the aisles of the pens. There were 22 entries in the class, and to our absolute suprise, we were pulled in third! Then the judge deliberated some more, and moved us up to 2nd place – we were totally amazed!
Then it was the girls turn, and Lilly and Holly were led up. As usual Holly was keen as mustard (and Lilly reverted to being on her knees, shaking her head). Out of a class of 20, we nearly fainted as Holly was pulled in 3rd! The judge was apparently impressed with her fleece and conformation – the two things we had strived to achieve, so it was wonderful. We definitely have Carol and Jodie to thank, as it was their suggestion we take this spirited little girl, and without their support and encouragement along the way, we may not even have entered at all. So despite the atrocious weather, we had a simply lovely day.
We were umming and dithering about what we were going to do about a ram this year, and considered keeping on one of our own. By chance we were sent a photo of a stunning black Willowcroft shearling ram, and instantly fell in love.
We were due to visit the stud, but the weather postponed it, and unfortunately we were unable to make the re-scheduled date. However, we were delighted to find out that he is better than the photo, so we eagerly await his arrival in September.
He will be called Willowcroft Macintosh, and here he is…