NSA Sheep South West 2017

Date: 20th June 2017

Location: Ayshford, Westleigh, Tiverton, Devon EX16 7HL

The event was held on the hottest day of the year so far and this meant that some people stayed home harvesting but those who came were greeted with a record number of trade and breed society exhibitors.  This was an event with a difference in that there was no farm tour but that did not deter visitor’s enjoyment and a packed day had plenty for everyone to see and do.

The opening was performed by Joe Farron, CEO of British Wool spoke of how impressed he is with the NSA and the work they do.  British Wool are proud to work with the NSA in such areas as the NSA Next Generation programme and at the regional events such as Sheep South West.  British Wool are focussing on running their depots more efficiently and aim to reduce depot costs, they are marketing British Wool as a quality fibre and this can only have a good result for producers.

The NSA Next Generation Shepherd ran throughout the day and was eventually won by James Westcott who will now go on to represent the region at the national final at Malvern in 2018.  The student section was sponsored by Volac this year and had a record number of entries, the winner being Andrew Stanbury from Lackham College.

The Gift of the Gavel is a fun auctioneering competition sponsored by Kivells.  Melvyn Britton showed great enthusiasm and humour to claim the senior title  and Lewis Martin who had come all the way from Kent to take part showed he was equally enthusiastic and won the junior class.

From judging the Gift of the Gavel Russell Steel had to demonstrate his own skills to sell a Charollais shearling ram.  The ram had been purchased by the NSA Sheep South West event committee with contributions from the NSA South West Ram Sale committee and the Charollais Society.  It sold for £550 with all the proceeds going to the FCN.   Russell went right on to sell the sheepdogs.  Trade was little slow to start with but soon improved to top at £2,000 for a four year old bitch from R Edwards of Chulmleigh, R Williams of Postbridge sold to £1,700 and TJ Nicholls from Buckland Brewer sold Sam at £1,500.  The working dogs sold averaged £1,440, part trained dogs averaged £500 with a top of £700 for Tracey Peat.  Six puppies sold at an average of £228. 

One hundred children from a primary school in Tiverton spent the day at the event and we are extremely grateful to all exhibitors who gave so willingly of their time to these youngsters.  Another party from the local pre-school also came and were enthralled by everything they saw.

After the event, Alan Derryman, the NSA Sheep South West event chairman said “despite the heat this has been a successful event with trade exhibitors seeing a steady flow of visitors.  This is in no small way due to the input of David and Janet Disney and I would like to thank them, the sponsors for their continued support, exhibitors, advertisers in the event guide, companies who have lent equipment, the event organising committee, the South West regional committee and anyone else who has helped in any way at all.  As always we relish the challenge of the next event and already some of the committee have been discussing how some things can be improved on in 2019, we look forward to seeing you all again then!”

Competition Results:

NSA Next Generation Young Shepherd, Open class, sponsored by Mole Valley Farmers – 1st James Westcott, 2nd Matthew Crooke, 3rd Sam Edwards

Student Class sponsored by Volac – 1st Andrew Stanbury, 2nd Ben Creed, 3rd Cathy Daniells – all from Lackham College.

Gift of the Gavel over 26 – Melvyn Britton, 2nd Philip Derryman.  Under 26 – 1st Lewis Martin, 2nd William Hopper.

A larger than usual entry of fleeces kept the wool board busy. Fine – 1st & 3rd RJ Harding, 2nd R & D Huxter.  Cross & Lustre – 1st L Perrett, 2nd D Bawden, 3rd J Richardson.  Hill & Mountain – 1st & 2nd RJ Harding, 3rd D Bawden.  Naturally Coloured – 1st and Overall Champion T Franklin, 2nd & 3rd and Reserve Champion Mrs J Ayers.

The Champion fleece will go forward to the Final of the Golden Fleece 2017 competition.  The Shield for most points in the Fleece classes was won by RJ Harding.

In the wool area was a new competition for an example of a woven fabric for use either in fashion or interiors, the entrants came from Falmouth and Winchester Art Colleges.  All the students were very enthusiastic about using wool for their designs and results were – 1st Monika Pun (Winchester), 2nd Jodie Cropley (Falmouth), 3rd Emma Hacket (Winchester).

Trade Stands.  Outside judged by Paul Quick – 1st Harpers Feeds, 2nd John Bright Fencing, 3rd Barkers Animal Health.

Indoors judged by Mr & Mrs David Darke – 1st Fernhill Farm, 2nd Bentham Auction Mart, 3rd British Wool.

Breed Societies judged by Alan Lyons – 1st Texels, 2nd Lleyn, 3rd Welsh Mules.

A Charollais ram sold at the event raised £550 for the farming Community Network
A Charollais ram sold at the event raised £550 for the farming Community Network