Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My show string

I have had Shetlands for less than three years, and showed some of mine for the first time last year. Boulderneigh's second foray into the ring will be at Black Sheep Gathering this weekend. Of the four sheep I own that are of eligible age to compete there, I am showing three: yearling Braveheart and his sons, Blizz and Bluster (Brava doesn't have enough fleece to show!). Unlike other, bigger breeders, who can choose their very best from among many, I am taking what I can. How will my boys compare? I have no idea. My main goals are to successfully market the sheep I have for sale, and expose more people to the wonderful option of polled Shetland rams. If I accomplish those goals I will be a very happy shepherd - no ribbons needed!

My two ram lambs are accepting their halters well and leading decently, but setting them up in the ring to show them off to their best advantage will be a challenge (I'll need someone to help me in the ram lamb class). This morning during their leading lesson I snapped some photos which did little to capture their best qualities; hopefully someone at BSG can take better ones!
It is readily apparent which twin inherited his dad's poll gene, and which one did not!

Here is dad:Sometime before morning chores Braveheart broke off one of his little scurs. I was disappointed, since he would have looked nicer in the show ring with symmetrical scurs. Maybe he'll break off the other one before Friday.... Below is a close-up of Braveheart's fleece; it's very consistent from front to back, with this bold crimp all over. He has "blocky" locks with rather blunt tips to them; very different than all my ewes and the vast majority of Shetlands I've seen in the show rings around here. (Those long, flowing fleeces can hide a multitude of flaws!) So far, none Braveheart's lambs look to have his style of fleece, but only time and maturity will tell.
Off to get more done before leaving for BSG!


Corinne R. said...

Beautiful fleece! Good luck at BSG.

Anonymous said...

We used to raise Shetlands!

Nancy K. said...

I had to chuckle at your photos...I get lots that look just like them!
Have fun at BSG! I wish I could go. Maybe some day...

Kara said...

Welcome home! I am thinking my black ewe may be a poll carrier. Her son horns were a little funkie and she has deep impressions, where as my other ewe has tiny horn buds. The ewe is Maple Ridge top line. Check out the pictures of Blackberry on my blog and tell me what you think. The polled ram is an interesting concept and would like to learn more. I could see going in that direction someday, depending on how we find managing horned rams once they are more mature. Well off to ride my horses while I have a chance. Good luck at the show!

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Makes me want to jump into the picture to put my hands in it! Thank goodness this is my Friday, not much longer to wait till I can be home to spin :)