Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fitting and Washing Shetlands for show

This past weekend at Jefferson there were several 'big time' exhibitor farms that show at least 6 times a year at various shows through out the Midwest. You know them. They have the large, long fleeced, double coated sheep with bone the size to rival Suffolk bone, giant heads, hair/scadder that is 10-12" long on their necks/spine. One farm even went as far as to cut the scadder out and they left large holes in their fleeces.

On top of that they were constantly brushing their fleeces out and had all the animals washed. None of this is allowed by NASSA or MSBBA rules. And if it isn't, it shouldn't be. These farms KNOW they are not supposed to fit but for some reason, they were TAUGHT that brushing doesn't fit the bill for 'fitting'. Any way you look at it. its not natural. Shetlands should be shown in their natural state. That means not washed. Not brushed. Not clipped, trimmed or tails trimmed so they don't look so 'wooly'.

These sheep ultimately win. The person who created the judges packet based on the 2004 Handbook which was written by one person's opinion and not any documented evidence! And these sheep, that do not fit the 1927 Standard keep getting the blue ribbons. Even though they are fitted. Even though they are washed. Even though they are non standard Shetlands.

You don't have to take my word for it. I don't make stuff up and then believe it as truth and then write it on my blog for all six readers to read and then do immature things like call people out by name or write things like laughter in parenthesis. I don't read old romance novels to figure out what Shetland Sheep fleece was or is. I go to the source. The Shetland breeders in the SSS and the SFBT. There is photographic evidence. There are books. There are documents. There are Standards to follow. There are over 100 proven and well documented articles and photos stating what a Shetland Sheep should be according to our 1927 Standard.

Just because a sheep lives on Shetland doesn't make it a Shetland Sheep, nor does it make it registrable as a Shetland that fits the 1927 Standard. having made dozens of phone calls in the past few months to Scotland, England and the Shetland Islands to get as much information from the horses mouth proves everything that those of us who support the Standard as described and supported by the Shetland Crofters, the Shetland Flock Book Trust AND the Shetland Sheep Society....well...its a no brainer! My sheep look like the sheep from Shetland that fit the 1927 Standard. None are perfect, but none will be mistaken for anything but a Shetland.


Rayna said...


(LOL, my passcode thing to post on your blog is "oryli" lmao)

susan said...

Did you take any photos of the "Winners"?

I was thinking about going to our local Dixon Lambtown show and taking a few lambs to show, but I don't have any clue who the judge is. His references he gives look like the old school judges who have never even seen or herd of a shetland. So I probubly won't waste my time.

Ok Acres said...


Available sheep

With my work load continuing to pile up, and less time to spend with the sheep, I am offering the following: My entire flock of BlueFaced ...