Thursday, September 15, 2011


I arrived Thursday evening around dusk to unload sheep. Kelly Bartels and her husband Mike were there and offered to help unload and pen my sheep. These two people are two of the most amazing people ever!! Always there to lend a hand and always full of positive vibes. Such good people. I did set up my tent in the dark and did get to sleep at a decent time.

Friday morning came early and I won't go in to detail about the days happenings as Rich and Theresa did a great job on their blogs describing the day. But I did want to show you this photo of myself and WhitePine Caiphas AI. He was sold to a chap in Maryland and was along for the inspection. While you cannot see his fleece well in this photo, he did have what we call bolder crimp and what Kate and Alan referred to as a wavy crimp.  That totally baffled my mind as they described it as fine and wavy. Not to be confused with the 1927 Standard being wavy or 'fine waves'. He was fine, but not as fine as other rams I have. And again, both very finely crimped and fine waves are both acceptable and both are found in UK flocks. But both have the Shetland characteristics of their wool "memory, elasticity, density, crimp/wave". All things typical of a Shetland fleece.

As for our now traditional photo of Kelly, Briony and I in the bleachers we had to get a photo of us all waving at Corinne. We had to do it during the juniors class as we had entries in every other class (at least I did) and I wanted to thank Briony for all her help as well.
The rest of these are out of order and I'm to tired and busy to take the time to put them in order but wanted you to see me in 'action'.
Below is WhitePine Nesse's Monster Mash (or M&M). He was pulled for the final lineup and I can't even remember if he placed or not LOL. my bad. He's now in a fantastic home in Iowa.
Below amongst friends is myself with WhitePine Skor, a 4 year old shaela ewe (solid color, not black/white fibers blended). She did quite well considering never being haltered before this year ;)
Another photo of Skor and I. My back was a wee bit sore from squatting, bending over, kneeling etc all day :).
The MSSBA potluck! At one point I counted 46 people at the set up. It was fantastic! Thanks to Briony and Matt for setting up! ALL of the lamb brats I brought were gone and the lamb sausage Michelle brought was all gone as well! All the food was fantastic and everyone enjoyed themselves fully.
Below is the ram lamb class again with M&M and the white ram lamb of mine that Briony showed. He is now in a fantastic home in Colorado and am so happy he went there :)
This was the first class...the senior rams. I have the black polled ram WhitePine Levi who was 5th in the class of 12 or so and behind me is Wintertime Jazz being shown by Briony. Both boys walked well having not been haltered before this year :)

Finally we have Sunday morning with Kate and Alan's talk on the Shetland Sheep, the Shetland Sheep Society and proper 1927 Standard Shetlands. This was taped by audio and will be part of the DVD from the Friday/Saturday inspections/judges certification and MSSBA Show.

Oh I also was 3rd in the colored fleeces at the fleece show with FirthofFifth Nekomis' fleece and in the top 10 with the other fleece I entered, WhitePine Lydia, who is out of Jazz and WinterSky Layla. A great start to my first fleece show!

After the show and seminars we headed back to my farm (Kate and Alan along with me). We spent two days going over my sheep, inspecting the rams, ewes, ram lambs and ewe lambs, and seeing the sites around here. I have never met such educated, selfless people who are more than happy to answer any questions we may have, educate us on what THEY know, inform us about the SSS, and help us with breeding direction etc. I am forever indebted to them for their time, patience, assistance, support and friendship. Words cannot express how I feel about this past weekend. Thank goodness we have the DVD coming out of the weekend for those of us who could NOT be there to still learn and be educated as well.

A few things I wanted to say:
1. Kate and Alan clarified many sticky spots in regards to the 1927 Standard, Appendix A (clarification of the 1927 Standard), what a Shetland fleece should look and feel like as well as length and crimp.

2. I"m more determined than ever to continue on this path of being a good steward of the Shetland Sheep and the 1927 Standard.

3. I'm eager to see what my breeding groups produce with the help of Kate and Alan's suggestions.

4. I realize now that I am on the right track for breeding 1927 standard Shetland Sheep and that really nothing else matters. I am breeding for what those in the SSS and the SFBT are breeding for and that is all that I care about. To have Kate and Alan say many of  my sheep, or sheep from the show in general they would take home in a heartbeat meant a lot. And every time we drove my flock along the road they would say "look Alan (or Kate) that looks just like our flock at home!". You can't get better than that.

I'm not sure how we'll top this year:

One of the largest entries of Shetlands in North America ANYWHERE, EVER!

The largest for a UK judge in North America ever! Kate and Alan said they have never had a ewe lamb class of 37 ewe lambs...ever...anywhere in the UK or on the Shetland Islands.

The wealth of knowledge that was ingested by us Americans, and how everyone was SO receptive to all that was talked about.

The amount of laughter, jokes, hugs and congratulations passed by all those who were entered or ringside was amazing. What a great group of people! I believe this was the most fun ever for a show and I hope those of you who were on the fence about  coming this year will for sure plan to come the next time we have a UK judge.

Yes I did ok in the ribbons, but it wasn't about the ribbons. Those animals that won, won because they deserved it. They were amazing sheep and i'm proud to have been considered for any placementst. There were a lot of Shetlands of quality there and I look forward to next year.


Kelly Bartels said...

Thanks Garrett, great write up on the show.
Might I add that I think you should have gotten some sort of award for the most sheep present at this show!!!
I would like to echo your sentiments regarding Kate and Alan, they were so wonderful and friendly, it beyond my wildest expectations. My head is still reeling with information that they provided.

Michelle said...

I am more jealous that you got a farm visit and flock evaluation than I am that you got to go to the show! What a wonderful opportunity! Would love it if you could take time to email me any suggestions you have for me and my flock after getting Kate's and Alan's suggestions for your flock. My breeding groups (pairs) will go together in 2-3 weeks; would love input before then!

Potosi Sheep Farm said...

I am so happy to see your big smiles in the pictures. Receiving recognition for your breeding program is what you you have needed and deserve. Congratulations. I am proud to say I have White Pines sheep in my flock. My only regret is that I wasn't there again this year.

Available sheep

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