Print-friendly version


Considered to be the next best sheep show after The Great Yorkshire Show, Hope Show's sheep section is continuing to grow from strength to strength. 

Exhibitors come from far and wide to compete in this fantastic one day event.  This year alone Hope Show has had exhibitors come from Devon, Powys as well as local exhibitors which Hope Show is keen to acknowledge.  At least every sheep class has a dedicated trophy for the best local animal.

Hope Show is a great place to see the wide variety of breeds, ranging from the local Derbyshire Gritstone to Jacobs. 

2016 had 19 different breeds competing in over 14 classes

2016_sheep_show_day_61.jpg    Pictured is Mr W J Jordan from Cragford, Newton Abbot.

He had a fantastic day at Hope Show, with his North Country Cheviot.

Mr Jordan won the Champion North Country Cheviot
The English National Championship
The Hope Show Supreme Sheep Championship and 
The Hope Show Hill Interbreed Championship
2014_sheep_18.jpgThe Derbyshire Gritstone was orignally bred by the farmers of the Peak District to survive in a harsh environment and to thrive on the poor quality grazing found on the moors.  They are concentrated today around Derbyshire, Chesire, Yorkshire and Lancashire, but Gritstone rams have been used widely on Welsh Sheep to increase their size.

Gritstones are big, strong sheep with a good weatherproof fleece, the finest of all the fleeces found in the hill breeds.  

Both sexes are polled (hornless).  The face and legs are black and white. 
The Lonk is one of the largest native hill breeds originating around the bleak hills of the Lancashire/Yorkshire border.  The face and legs are white and black with speckled legs.  The fleece is trim and even from head to skirt, white and free from kemp.  Both sexes are horned.

Lonks are often used for crossing with other hill breeds in order to introduce more size in the resulting lambs. 
 2014_sheep_46.jpgThe Swaledale almost certainly emerged from the genetic group of horned sheep from which also came the Scottish Blackface, the Rough Fell and other localised types.  Slowly over time a 'Swaledale' breed type emerged from within these horned sheep.

Swaledale Sheep are well equiped for the harsh conditions of the moors and fells.  Short broad teeth are important for cropping the coarse vegetation, while strong legs and feet are essential for crossing the rough hill sides.  Swale wool is very hear wearing, that found near to the skin is very dense and acts like a quilt, while the outer wool is more open ad provides protection against the wind and rain.  The face is black with a distinct white muzzle.
The Whitefaced Woodland or Penistone Sheep is one of the largest farmed hill breeds.  It has a broad face, which should be white with a pink nose.  The legs are white and free from wool.  The fleece is white and of a very fine quality.  They are horned in both sexes, the males having spiralling horns.  The sheep are stronged boned and long in the body. 

These sheep are native to the South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire Moorlands, boths its names are derived from this area. 
 hopeshow2012_4.jpgThe Jacob Sheep takes its name for the story of the Old Testament Book of Genesis of how Jacob became a selective breeder of pied sheep.  It is found in all parts of the British Isles.

The Jacob should be an upstanding, deep bodied sheep with a striking white and black appearance and a badger face showing a clear white blaze.  They should be well up on their pasterns and show no sign of deformity.  They have two or four horns, which should not be forward growing or so crooked that they impede their feeding. 

Jacob ewes are hardy and make excellent mothers, frequently having twins or triplets.  The meat is tender and of excellent flavour. 

The fleece has wide spread appeal to spinners and weavers due to its natural colouring.
The Suffolk evolved from the mating of Norfolk Horn ewes with Southdown Rams. 

Originally remowed as a producer of mutton, the breed has developed over the years to match consumer demands.  Suffolks are now found throughout the world's sheep producing countries.

They are the flag-ship breed in the British Isles and recognised as the leading terminal sire on a variety of ewes to produce top quality prime lamb.
The Texal Sheep originates from the Island of Texel, one of the north-western Islands off Holland, where it has been known since Roman times.  The Texel is hardy, tough and docile.

The Texel is a medium sized sheep with a long rectangular body, well proportioned with a level back and medium bone structure.  The
head should be covered with fine white hair, the body must be well proportioned with strong loins, a solid square stance and round well-developed gigots.

The fleece has a high loft with a staple of medium length and is highly crinkled.

The North Country Cheviot is an extremely versatile sheep and has much to offer the sheep farmer wishing to produce top quality lambs. 

The breed has a very long pedigree, going back 200 years, of which the sheep have adapted and developed to suit their new enviroment.  North Country Cheviot Ewes can thrive in a wide range of different grazing situations and are bred pure in many parts of Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales.

The ewes are good mothers and easy to handle to lambing time, with few lambing problems.

The North Country Cheviot has a striking, alert look with erect ears, the head is brilliant white and woolly, with a short and strong neck. 
The body is completely covered with wool and is long, deep and white. 
Both sexes are polled (hornless).
The legs are covered with short, white fiber. In general, the wool is fine, white and free from kemp.

The overall Champion will receive a rosette from The North Country Cheviot Sheep Society
 2014_sheep_73.jpgThe Bluefaced Leicester is the most popular crossing sire throughout the British isles. 

The Bluefaced Leicester is regularly crossed with many of the native British breeds, particularly hill breeds such as Swaledale, Blackface, Welsh Mountain and Cheviot, to produce the Mule ewe.
The term Mule sheep means any crossbred sired by a Bluefaced Leicester.

The Bluefaced Leicester should have a broad muzzle, bright alert eyes and erect ears.  The colour of the head skin is usually dark blue showing through white hair.
There should be a good length of neck laid into broad shoulders with a good spring of rib and a long strong back.  The hindquarters are broad and deep, with the legs well positioned and strong boned.
It is important that the wool be tightly purled, fine and open cleanly to the skin.

The overall Champion and Reserve Champion will receive a rosette from The Bluefaced Leicester Association.
The Mule & Masham class is a very popular at Hope Show. 

Mules are a cross between a Bluefaced Leicester and any other hill breed.

Mashams are produced by crossing a Teeswater ram onto either a Dalesbred or Swaledale ewe, both hardy hill breeds.

Masham sheep have been bred for over a centry on the hill farms in the Northern Counties of England.

From the parent breeds the Masham gains its hardiness, longevity, heavy milking qualities, strong moterhing insticts and high prolificacy.
The Masham ewe is medium sized and polled (hornless), with a long fleece.
 Pair of Mules

The Champion from each of the following hill breed section, Derbyshire Gritstone, Lonk, North Country Cheviot, Swaledale and White Faced Woodland, will be eligible to be awarded the Strines Shepherds Society Cup.

The Champion from each pure breed section and including Rare Breed and Any Other Rare Breed, will be eligilbe to be awarded the The Parkin Trophy and Sash

Commerical Lambs will also be seen at The Show.  These are Lambs bred for the butchers shop.

There is also a Young Handlers Class for under 10s and 10 - 16s.

Pictures courtesy of Kath Birkinshaw