We have a series of events happening through out the year, which include
our AGM, Training day, Agricultural Shows and socials.
My first time showing sheep by Polly Glyde.
Having only a few Valais Blacknose sheep to choose from and being fairly new to the world of sheep the thought of showing was quite daunting but also exciting.
My first and only show to date due to the corona-virus was Dorset county show in September 2019. For this show I only had one suitable sheep to take due to timing of lambing of my ewes so the new addition of a class for my well grown 2 year old wether Donald was very welcomed.
Having had him sheared in mid April his fleece was the required 10cm length and good quality although grubby and full of the usual brambles VBNs seem to find. With a bit of hard work and patients from us both he was show ready!
Being fairly local and our first show we decided to travel on show day, we arrived in good time and he settled in straight away I quickly learnt that in future I should pay for an extra pen to store necessities in, luckily the breed society were there and I was given space for his and our stuff so we didn’t need to keep going backwards and forwards to the car to get things!
Following a much needed and very nice stockman’s breakfast the showing classes began, if I’m honest I was nervous…I did not have a clue about showing sheep but again the breed society, breeders and members were there and offered help, advice and encouragement as I needed it. When it was time for Donald’s class I was obviously a little disappointed that he was the only wether entered, for myself and the breed itself as I do believe being able to show wethers will encourage only the best to be kept as rams and give people the chance to get their loved pets out to have some fun. Donald did me proud, him wearing his white halter and myself my white coat. As we entered the ring I felt even more nervous, more so because it was just me and my boy in there, but he stood up well for the judge and I tried to remember all the things I had been taught to do. Not surprisingly he was awarded 1st place although the judge did say he was a fantastic sheep and deserved to win anyway. Obviously we were over the moon with our first red rosette!
This is where things will be different in future, Donald went forward to the VBN male championship and was awarded reserve champion to the ram, from this he was then entitled to go into the breed championship where again he surprised everyone and was awarded overall reserve breed champion.
As my first showing experience this was amazing and although in future wethers will not be put forward to the championships it certainly helped me get the showing bug.
My advice to anyone new to sheep and showing is have a go, put the time in at home to prepare yourself and your animals, take advice when offered, ask questions and above all have fun.
With 2020 showing season now officially cancelled we all have the time to learn new things and look forward to a lot of fun in 2021!
Social BBQ at Dorset Show
Every year at Dorset show we all get together to have a social BBQ after the days events on the Saturday. It is always a lovely atmosphere and everyone has some delicious food, and some drinks and enjoys a chat.
Th great thing we love about this event is it is so casual we all get together to chat about various different things that have happened throughout the year and its a great opportunity for new members and breeders to get to know each other as well. Dorset show is not a massive show and gives people who are new to showing and opportunity to do a county show in a smaller setting. Most of the committee show at this event as well and none of us have other commitments so we all really enjoy just hanging out.
This years AGM was again held at The Mount Pleasant Hotel, Great Malvern on February 15th. Despite the awful weather there was a fantastic turn out of people from around the country. The Chairman delivered his report giving a good overall account of the previous years events, the treasurer went through the accounts which were then approved, the existing committee were re-elected to hold their positions for a further 2 years and new committee members were elected from different counties showing how the society has grown as a whole over the year. The food and drink were great, obviously an important part of any evening, a raffle with a good selection of donated prizes along with the chance to put faces to names of other breeders and owners. Its events like these that bring us all together no matter what stage of our personal VBN journey we are at. It’s a chance to hear what has happened during the year, what future plans are, to ask questions and to be involved in the way things move forward.
I would highly recommend you try to attend next year yourselves, this was my second AGM and I admit the previous year I was a little anxious about attending but within a few minutes of being there was made to feel incredibly welcome and part of the Breed Society family and a year on I am now a committee member myself!