The hunt is on for the best sheep flocks in Dorset as part of a new competition being staged by the Dorset County Show.

The competition is open to all farmers who have flocks in the county and is for breeding sheep, including commercial, pedigree and rare breed flocks.

There are three classes: small flocks (1-50 ewes); medium flocks (51-300 ewes) and large flocks of over 300 ewes with the winners of each class being presented with a cheque for £125, two complimentary guest tickets and badges for the Show and great gifts from the sponsors. The runner-up in each class will receive £75.

Judge Andy Elford, from the Sydling Estates, will be visiting all the farms that have entered, along with a show steward during June and July.

Bill Britton, chair of the Dorset County Show sheep committee, said he was excited about the competition: “It’s a great opportunity for farmers who don’t take sheep to the Show to demonstrate the fantastic quality of flocks in the county.

“Dorset has a proud heritage of quality sheep production and Andy, the judge, will be looking at the welfare and husbandry of the flocks, how the animals are managed and importantly these days, how they are marketed.

Mr Britton, whose family run a small flock of Poll Dorsets at Dewlish, near Dorchester, added: “The winners of each classes will be taking part in the grand parade on the Saturday.”

Richard Cuzens, Dorset County Show Secretary, urged farmers to enter the competition: “This is the first time we’ve had a competition that encompasses every sheep farmer in the county. It’s a great chance to show off the talent and skills in the livestock sector and to be crowned best sheep farmers in Dorset.”

The entry fee costs £8 for members of the Dorchester Agricultural Society, Melplash Agricultural Society or Gillingham and Shaftesbury Agricultural Society and £10 for non-members.

The deadline for entries is Tuesday 31 May.

Rebecca Cox
21st Apr 2016 12:57:00

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