The 3rd Show and Sale to be held by the Valais Blacknose Sheep Society and their very first AGM, promised to be a huge celebration, and without a doubt it was, with the biggest gathering of Valais Blacknose Sheep in the UK to date. Tim Dunne of Cumbria’s Westmorland Valais had a tremendous outing, scooping Supreme Reserve Champion, Champion Female, Reserve Male and achieving 3,500gns for ewe lamb Westmorland Follies Bergere.
This was especially so for Jenni McAllister and Raymond Irvine, with their Highland Valais Blacknose. Their Ram Highland Eric was crowned Supreme Champion by the Judges Josef Eyer and Stefan Schnidrig, and their Ram Highland Egbert topped the sale, selling to the New Zealand Valais Blacknose Sheep Society for 10,000gns.
Apart from the biggest shows in Switzerland, this was one of the largest gathering of Valais Sheep ever seen by the judges. The Valais Blacknose is the UK’s fastest growing sheep breed, and as such, the sale had attracted breeders from across the UK, Judges from Switzerland and buyers from around the world. Held at Harrison & Hetherington’s Borderway Auction Mart, Carlisle, there were 195 Valais Blacknose Sheep entries in the show, some of which were the best of the breed ever seen in the UK.
In the show, Overall Reserve Supreme Champion went to Tim Dunne’s Westmorland Dilly. Highland Ebony and Westmorland Frankie were awarded Reserve Female and Reserve Male respectively. For the first time, special rosettes were awarded to all the sheep which were graded with Maximum Points by the judges. The first to be handed out went to J & J Simonini’s Moorahill Elvis, and others to receive them included Shoemaker Elsa, Deepdale Florrie, Kinneff Flora and Swiss Findon Faye. Other flocks to gain maximum points were Highland, Westmorland, Prendwick and Snowdonia.
Keen to encourage the next generation, the Young Handler’s classes saw 16 entries, split into two age categories. Angus Jacobsen won the biggest class, the 11 years and younger, whilst Emma Campbell won the older class.
Since being established as a Society in 2015, by Jenni McAllister, Raymond Irvine and Jamie Wood, the breed has gone from strength to strength. The sale following on from the show, saw 74 Blacknose Valais sheep go under the hammer, with Highland Valais Blacknose selling 2016 born ewes Highland Diamond and Highland Deedee for 5,000gns and 4,000gns respectively and gimmer Highland Faye selling at 2,400gns. Cumbria’s Tim Dunne sold Westmorland Follie Bergere for 3,500gns and Westmorland Fred for 3,200gns. Other notable sales were Henry and Emily Duncan’s ewe lamb Whitehall Esther for 2,600gns and Northumberland breeder Jamie Wood selling Prendwick Esther a ewe lamb for 2,400gns.
On behalf of the Society and commenting on the sale, Jenni McAllister, Joint President of the UK Valais Blacknose Society, said:
“We have had the most fantastic day and Raymond and I are thrilled with the results, both for ourselves and the Valais Blacknose Sheep Society as a whole. We would like to say a huge thank you to the Judges who came over from Switzerland and Marita Asp Tauni, for coming from Sweden and doing such a fantastic job commentating on events.”
I would like to thank our mainline sponsor, GSC Grays for their support, all of our sponsors including Valais Blacknose New Zealand, Tomintoul Distillery and Glen Wyvis, along with the Valais Blacknose Sheep Association of North America and members of the Society, who helped both before and during the show. There is an incredible amount of preparation and this assistance is invaluable to the Society.”
The Valais Blacknose Sheep Society represents breeders across the UK from Stornoway to the South of England. The aim of the Show and Sale is to showcase why this breed, which originated from Switzerland, is particularly suited to UK conditions.
The Judges travel from Oberwalliser Schwarznasen Schafzuchtverband, Valais, in Switzerland, and carry out grading of all entered sheep using the adopted points system from Valais. This system is designed to ensure that the high standards of the breed are maintained in Britain.
Lot Price Purchaser
115, Highland Egbert born April 2017 10,000gns Christin Reed, New Zealand.
15, Highland Diamond 2016 Ewe 5000gns Christin Reed, New Zealand.
12, Highland Deedee 2016 Ewe 4000gns Christin Reed, New Zealand.
76, Westmorland Follies Bergere Ewe Lamb 3500gns Charlotte Wemyss, Kirkcaldy, Fife.
146, Westmorland Fred Tup Lamb 3200gns V Carter, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire.
30, Whitehall Esther Ewe Lamb 2600gns Paul McMillan, Newton Stewart,
47, Highland Faye Ewe Lamb 2400gns SD & D Roberts, Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys.
186, Prendwick Esther Ewe Lamb 2400gns Adam Kirkbride, Whitehaven, Cumbria.
101, Jura Fergie Ewe Lamb 2050gns Undisclosed Purchaser
183, Prendwick Ebonee Ewe Lamb 2000gns Adam Kirkbride, Whitehaven, Cumbria.