Sunday, September 23, 2007

OFFF, part two

As I made my way toward OFFF this morning, I drove right by the launch site of these hot air balloons. I often see them in the sky on still early mornings, but never close enough for a good picture. If I had been driving my car instead of a pick-up towing a three-horse trailer, I would have pulled over for some better shots!

When I arrived at the show grounds, I got to work picking hay and straw out of Braveheart's, Brava's, and Bella's fleeces. Shetland classes were to start promptly at 9:00 with ram lambs, so I had to have everyone ready to shuttle back and forth to the show ring.

Said show ring was inadequate in size for the number of sheep showing in most of the Shetland classes. There were 21 ram lambs in Braveheart's class! He was the smallest boy there, but stood like a trooper and enjoyed all the attention I had time to give him while the judge worked his way through the class. When he came to Braveheart, the judge said, "Well, this little guy won't ever have to worry about his horns growing into his head." Bingo! That's one of the many good points about polled stock!

This handsome young ram won the class; we left without a ribbon (as did 16 others).

After seven yearling rams were evaluated and champion and reserve champion rams were recognized, it was time for ewe lambs. This time 33 of us crowded into the small ring with our little sheep!!! Like Braveheart, Brava mostly enjoyed getting lots of attention while we waited. Again, we left without a ribbon; the striking black and white girl who won went on to win Champion Shetland Ewe and Champion Classic Breeds Ewe.
I grabbed Bella and back to the ring I went for yearling ewes. "Only" 22 showed up (35 had been entered!). All our homework paid off in a mostly well-behaved Bella. Once again we left the ring without a ribbon, but I was thrilled for my dear friend Lois, whose horned ewe Fantasie won the class (she was later named Reserve Champion Shetland Ewe).
I didn't hear who won best flock, because I was scrambling to decide which of my three to take back into the ring for the Best Fleece class. I ended up taking both lambs that direction, but after someone observed that this judge seemed to prefer the double-coated fleeces, I tied Braveheart up and used Brava. The judge said all the sheep entered had very nice fleeces; the winner was the ram lamb who had won his class.

More tomorrow from . . .

1 comment:

Franna said...

It always takes me by surprise when events like OFFF are over, and I hardly get time to say more than "hello" to friends I only see once or twice a year! We really did come back before leaving, and the Shetland aisles were pretty well deserted. Little Brava is such a pretty girl, there is no disgrace in leaving without a ribbon! Braveheart and Bella, too.
Michelle - you need to tell the folks about Valentine's FLEECE - CONGRATULATIONS!!!
- Franna