There are more than 60 breeds of sheep native to the UK, they were bred to suit the climate and farming systems in each geographical area. The two breeds most locally developed were the Wensleydale an old breed famed for its heavy fleece of very fine high quality wool, a large sheep with a distinctive curled fleece, and the Swaledale named after the dale it originated from , a blackfaced horned, hardy hill breed with distinct markings of white around it muzzle and eyes. Swaledales were bred to survive the harsh winters on the high fells at the top of the dales. This breed carries the hefting instinct which makes sheep farming possible on the unfenced moors, each sheep returns to the patch of ground where it was brought up and will always return to that patch.
You will see many different breeds of sheep in our classes, there may be some which have been introduced from Europe to inject speedier growth and improved carcase conformation into our native breeds.
shearling is a sheep which has been shorn for the first time ie approx. 15 months old
lamb has been born in 2020.
CHAMPION OF SECTION is awarded to S5-24 – Ewe Lamb
Congratulations to Nick Oliver
“With regard to the Section Champion in my opinion this is an excellent example of the Wensleydale breed and stood well so showing herself off the best possible way and as a result certainly has the “wow” factor I was looking for. This was a very good photograph with a uniform grass background which did nothing to distract from the view of the sheep which took up a good part of the frame.” (Judge Neil Spedding)
The Young Handlers classes at the lives show are very important to the show committee here we encourage and nurture the next generation .This year we have asked the competitors to enter a video of themselves preparing their chosen sheep for exhibition, and presenting the animal for the judge. The will show all the steps taken and may include a commentary.
Rams are male sheep- in this context they will be used as breeding sheep. The judge will be looking for an animal which is a good example of its breed, particularly important are the feet and legs as during the breeding period the ram will have to travel large distances keeping a check on his females.
A ewe – a female sheep will have to be a good example of her breed , with no evident health defects, of particular importance is her mouth so she can forage successfully and her udder so she can suckle her lambs successfully.
A Ram lamb of any breed – the judge is looking for a potential flock sire , showing good growth for his age, good stature, no obvious blemishes or health issues.
A ewe lamb of any breed – once again the judge is looking for a potential breeding animal the ewe lamb should be suitable and a good example of her breed or cross breed, showing good growth for her age, good stature and no obvious blemishes or health issues.
A class open to all breeds – the sheep and its owner must reside within the show area – defined in the general rules.
Leyburn Auction Mart are pleased to sponsor Wensleydale Agricultural Society’s Online Show, wish them success and look forward to being back on the show field in 2021.
Leyburn Mart sell on Friday’s: –
100 – 150 Rearing Calves & Stirks every week.
100 – 400 store and Breeding Cattle fortnightly.
Breeding Sheep in the autumn and spring.
Store lamb sales fortnightly.
Wednesday is primestock day for prime cattle, cast cows, sheep & lambs.
Email: email@example.com Auctioneer/Manager: Stephen Walker 07866 358 130
Robin Jessop Ltd is a local firm of Chartered Surveyors, Auctioneers, Valuers, Land and Estate Agents covering North Yorkshire and South Durham from our Bedale and Leyburn Offices. We specialise in the sale and valuation of rural property. We are passionate about property and provide the highest standard of care to our clients and customers.
Neil has probably seen more sheep in 50 years as a Livestock vet than most! So he’s ideally placed to judge the diverse range of breeds that might enter this year’s online show!
Based in practice in Ripon, Neil spent his career specialising in cattle and sheep production, before finally hanging up his wellies in 2015.
At home in Sawley, Neil has been keeping sheep since the 90’s, then pedigree Texels and commercial mules and nowadays breeding pedigree Zwartbles which he successfully shows, including at Wensleydale!
His passion for agricultural shows began whilst attending Batley and Mirfield shows as a boy in the 1950’s and these days he has judged Zwartbles sheep at Bingley and Todmorden Shows and is Head Steward at Ripley Show that achieved record entries last year, so as he can handle it, we’re hoping for the same!