The Working Herding Dog demonstration at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.

by Nancy Starkey, BLU member
I have been announcing the demos for over 20 years and have been performing in the demos for the past seven or eight years. We have used Bluefaced Leicester sheep from my flock in the demos for several years. The natural beauty and athleticism of the BFL makes for an eye-catching demonstration.

The dogs used in the demonstrations are Working Border Collies. We showcase the natural talent and ability of the dogs and show how they can be an asset to the livestock producer. We also have the dogs work in partnership with the handlers to maneuver the sheep through the various obstacles around the arena.

Throughout the demo, we stress that livestock should always be handled in a calm, quiet manner by the dogs. Our goal is for the demonstrations to be enjoyable as well as informative for the crowds.

Fun at the Montour Delong Fair, Danville PA

Debbie Schwab Knelly’s family had a great experience at their community fair this past week.
Griffin and his BFL, Wicket, took Champion Ewe for the “all other wool breed” division of breeding sheep in a class of 10 ewes, most of which were BFLs.Griffin
And sister, Machaella, won Junior Showman! Her ewe, Lacey, was a bit of a brat but she handled it, kept a smile on and showed her sheep. The judge recognized the effort and rewarded her for it. Mich

All American Junior Sheep Show placings

Shown at the All American Junior Sheep Show, held in west Springfield, MA this year are Iris LaRochelle and Ellora Chapin. Iris placed 5th with Stillmeadow 103 Quince and Ellora placed 4th with Stillmeadow 91 Maybelline. Both lambs were in the Feb natural colored ewe lamb class. Ellora is the granddaughter of long time BLU member, Joan Chapin of Stillmeadow BFLs. Chapin

2013 Black Sheep Gathering Report


From left to right, Judge Pat Ariaz (CA), Robina Koenig with the ram (Tumble Creek Farm, OR), Joanie Livermore with a ewe (Double J, OR [Wensleydales and English Leicesters], Sherry Carlson with a ewe (Carlson Farm, CA [Wensleydales]). Photo by Kelly Wilder (CA). This young flock took first place in lot and was among the final three young flocks in the show competing for the Black Sheep Cup.

Report from Robina Koenig

Black Sheep Gathering 2013 was judged by Pat Ariaz, CA, and attended by five farms with three others represented. The missing regulars, Jared Lloyd (CO), Judy Colvin (MT), Jeff and Patricia Seldomridge (WA) and Sue Gustafson (CA) were very much missed. This show is the highlight for me to visit with all my ‘sheep’ friends. It was good to see all of you!

The weather was rainy as we set up on Thursday and again as we packed up on Sunday afternoon, but Friday and Saturday were beautiful. The traditional potluck was warm and sunny with great lamb served and good company to visit with. The potluck follows the grand finale with Best Sheep of Show selected from the Champion Ram and Ewe of each lot and presented with the Glen Eidman Memorial Trophy, followed by the Best Young Flock of Show and receiving the Black Sheep Cup donated by the Black Sheep Newsletter. The Bluefaced Leicester was well represented in both.

BLU had a breed display booth set up and shared with folks the joys of BFL ownership and their wonderful fiber. I had coloring pages available that Kris Barndt designed, the BLU Scorecard and Breed Standard brochures were available, plus the locker hooked logo done by Margaret vanCamp was hanging for all to see. Old and new friends from across the country [Patricia Keeley-Seldomridge (WA)] and Canada stopped by (a wonderful surprise to see James and Lori Nibourg and a big ‘Thank You’ for the help showing), plus a gentleman from Yorkshire who had been to my family’s hometown of Richmond and had seen beautiful Blues on the dales.

I am looking forward to BSG next year and don’t forget to put August 2014 on your calendars for the next National Show in Michigan.

Results of BFL show at the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon

Sue Gustafson, Four Oaks Farm CA-Champion Ram (on right)

Robina Koenig Tumble Creek Farm OR- Champion Ewe (on left)



Bear Hill Farms CA (Kathy Gasson)- had the Res Champion Ewe

Robina also had Res Champion Ram and Young Flock

Here is the complete list of class placings:

Yearling Ram (4)
Four Oaks Farm, Sue Gustafson CA
Tumble Creek Farm, Robina Koenig OR
Tumble Creek Farm
Little Smoky Blues, Rory and Jody McLean, Alberta Canada

Ram Lamb (12)
Quarter Acre Woods Farm, James and LoriAnne Nibourg, Alberta Canada
SonCroft, Jared Lloyd CO
Tumble Creek Farm, Robina Koenig OR
Tumble Creek Farm
Little Smoky Blues, McLean, Alberta Canada
SonCroft, Jared Lloyd CO

Pair of Ram Lambs
Tumble Creek Farm
Quarter Acre Woods Farm, Nibourg, Alberta Canada
Tumble Creek Farm

Champion and Reserve
Four Oaks Farm–Yearling
Tumbe Creek Farm–Yearling

Yearling Ewe (6)
Tumble Creek Farm
Tumble Creek Farm
Tumble Creek Farm
Little Smoky Blues
Tumble Creek Farm
Little Smoky Blues

Ewe Lambs (18)
Bearhill Farms, Kathy Gasson, CA
Bearhill Farms
Wind Dance Ranch, Ann Morrison WY
Gilkeson Family Farm, Nancy Gilkeson OR
Tumble Creek Farm

Pair of Ewe Lambs (9)
Bearhill Farms
Wind Dance Ranch
Tumble Creek Farm
Little Smoky Blues
Four Oaks Farm

Champion and Reserve
Tumble Creek Farm–Yearling
Bearhill Farms–Lamb

Young Flock
Tumble Creek Farm
Little Smoky Blues
Four Oaks

News from Canada

Alberta, Canada BLU member Jody McLean shares a photo of some of her 2 month old lambs produced by LAI from Myfyrian(B10) Blue Dragon E+, owned by Matt Drummond. Right now, this semen is only available for use in Canada, but the Blue Alliance has also purchased semen, and is working toward getting it imported to the US for the use of our membership. Jody is thrilled with her lambs. I can see why – look at the muscling on these 2 young rams!

This is a photo shared by Matt Drummond of Blue Dragon as a ram lamb. The breeder is Merfyn Roberts of the well regarded Myfyrian flock.

And here is Blue Dragon as an adult, being classified Elite Plus at the 2010 Penrith Progeny Show.

National Show Skein and Fiber Art photos

A view of the vendor booth in the Great Lakes Fiber Show. The booth was available for all BLU members to sell their wares.





Some of the skeins entered in the competition at the national show.




In the foreground is the champion skein, a plyed laceweight 100% BFL yarn spun by Christina Kurk.

The champion fiber art, a sweater knitted by Christina Kurk

Scenes from the National Show – Fiber Events

Kelly Ward explaining  how to fit a BFL for show.

Carol Densmore demonstrating how to process a BFL fleece for spinning.   In the background are some of the photo contest entries.


Kelly Ward, Letty Klein, and Anne Bisdorf discussing fiber art and skein competition placings.

Letty Klein, judging the BFL fleece competition