After a few of us saw (and drooled over) a photo of a ram named “Scotty” all the way back during New York State Sheep & Wool Festival 2007… straws from UK Bluefaced Leicester ram Mossvale Masterplan 1463/X6 E+ have finally been imported this year by Martin Dally of Super Sire, Ltd.!
Jared Lloyd was fortunate to see Masterplan during his 2009 trip to the UK. Jared wrote in his notes: “Mossvale Masterplan – Phil May (Derwenlas) and Phil Davies (Gornal). Martin is already dealing with them; they’re incredible people. Mr. Davies has a renowned dairy herd, and Mr. May is a rep/tech for ABS Global/Genus. Anyway, Masterplan is a heckuva tup! Tremendous body and easy keeping, his daughters are superb for those traits…. So, we’ll buy this semen from Martin. Masterplan didn’t break his leg, but there was a mistake with the paperwork.”
A few years ago there was a rumor that circulated briefly here, that on the way to the collection station, Masterplan had an accident getting out of a truck and broke a front leg. From whence it came, we have no idea, but many of us who were looking forward to the import were upset, thinking that this magnificent ram had to be destroyed.
Turns out the rumors were UNTRUE and that Mossvale Masterplan was alive and well… and that there was no accident… only some paperwork malfunctions! Were we ever relieved to hear that news! In the years to come, there will always be stories like this one to retell whenever we get together to share our memories… “Hey, remember the time that… !”
We’re so pleased to have this UK ram’s genetics available to us here in North America. He joins a great list of other UK rams whose straws entered the country this year. Please contact Super Sire, Ltd. at www.toprams.com for more information.
Mossvale Masterplan 1463/X6 E+ (also known as “Scotty”)
Sire: Walton Golden Eye 468/W7 E+ [RR]
Dam’s Sire: Jerriestown 567/N1 E+ [RR]
Codon markers: ARR/ARR
Breeder: A. & J. Minnis
Importer/Year: Super Sire, Ltd., 2010
Here is a photo of one of Masterplan’s sons from the UK, bred by Phil May, Derwenlas flock. Derwenlas 3822/Z2 E+
By Heather Landin, Cedar Fen Farm, Baldwin, WI
Originally published in the newsletter BLU Print; October 2010 issue, Vol. 1, No. 3
Additional content/edits by Kristen Barndt for this version
A group of BFL Union Members from both the US and Canada pulled together last fall with a group of UK breeders to figure out how to solve a problem that was looming in the Bluefaced Leicester breed in North America. There simply was not a sufficiently varied genetic base to continue to grow the population of BFLs and broaden its appeal as a commercially viable breed in North America. More bloodlines were needed.
Jared Lloyd got the whole project started by traveling to the UK in 2009 to learn more about our breed. His 20-day whirlwind tour and introduction to some of the best of the UK BFL stock was invaluable to this project. When he arrived back a loose group of people began comparing notes and figuring out which rams would best complement the sheep we already had.
The group includes Carol Densmore, Robina Koenig, Margaret Fryatt, Margaret VanCamp, Lisa Rodenfels, LeeAnne Richert, Kris Barndt, Kelly Ward, Kathy Davidson, Judy Colvin, Jody McLean, Jared Lloyd, Janice Lever, Heather Landin, Garrett Ramsey, Becky Utecht, and Jolene Vezzetti.
In the UK we have been fortunate enough to work with Jo Binns, Matt Drummond, Phil Davies, Maldwyn Davies, Elfyn Owen, and Martyn Archer among the larger group of BFL breeders that showed Jared their hospitality and worked with him to identify excellent stock for possible import to North America.
Martin Dally and the staff at Innovis were also critical to the success of the project, contributing their expertise and advice. Without all these people’s participation and investment of time, energy, and money the project would not have come together. It’s been a learning adventure. After a couple of false starts and some problems getting viable semen collected and shipped, the project started to come together around Christmas 2009.
Some of the UK breeders had voluntarily taken their rams in for collection on the group’s word they would purchase. Some were waiting for firmer commitments and the season was already late for collection. Investors were not sure what they needed to invest. Spread sheets on costs were finally pulled together with the help of Helene Garnham at Innovis. Checks came in, the last rams were collected, health checks finished and after much paperwork, the US straws collected from six different rams arrived in the US a couple weeks ago in time for fall breeding.
There are extra straws for anyone who would like to purchase straws now they are safely stored in the US. Canada is bringing their straws in next year with two years’ worth of collections all in one shipment. We hope to bring several more rams to the US next year, also.
The six rams represent a variety of qualities and a range of bloodlines that we hope will compliment the North American flock. Extra straws are available to any breeders enrolled in the USDA scrapie certification program from three of these rams, and straws from two more are available on a limited basis. There will also be breeding stock with these bloodlines available next year from Blue Alliance investors doing AI this fall. If you are interested in straws, please contact Heather Landin at Cedar Fen Farm.
Llwygy Black Mountain 1706/B67
Sire: Edgton 3945/A2, by Kilfaddoch 3757/W7 E+
Dam: Llwygy 1706/W15, by Firth 1574/R1
Born 5/3/09; Twin; ARR/ARR
Scan Weight: 3.68 (BFL Top 10%)
Muscle Depth: 1.15 (BFL Top 25%)
A dark colored ram from Jo Binn’s Great Llwygy farm in Monmouthshire, Wales. Jo breeds with a strong emphasis on performance. His rams are chosen for their EBVs and suitability as crossing rams while still keeping to the traditional BFL standard for type. He brings a fantastic pedigree to the lines carrying color in the North American flock.
Additional notes; He’s a big, powerful black lamb who is four-square and wide made. He is skeletally correct and his bite is perfect. He has a long, wide pelvis with good angle. Legs and locomotion are correct. His fleece is dense, fine and lustrous with great handle and deep color. Straws of this ram available for purchase.
Myfyrian Trueblue 1183/B13 E+
Sire: Cernyw 1070/Y1 E+, by Cernyw 1070/T1
Born 3/1/09; Twin; ARR/ARR
Total index: top 4%
Scanning wt. kgs: top 1%
8 week kgs: top 1%
Mature size: top 1%
Maternal ability: top 1%
Muscle depth scan: top 3%
Owned by Phil Davies, he has proven himself to be a superior sire in his first year breeding. Phil says he produced a fine crop of lambs that grew exceptionally well on grass. Coming from the Myfyrian flock with a sire like Cernyw Y1 E+ speaks for itself. This is a super ram and a great addition to the US flock book.
Phil Davies says, “He has an exciting index, putting him in the top few young rams for total index in the UK, being in the top 4%. His scanning weight kgs in the top 1%. 8 week kgs in the top 1%, and mature size in the top 1%. Maternal ability in the top 1%, but more importantly this is combined with a muscle depth scan in the top 3%. His sire Y1 Cernyw Elite plus has turned out an exceptional breeding ram with great scanning results of his progeny but has also bred many show winning animals dominating progeny shows in Wales.” There are straws of this ram available.
Grugoer Welshman 2188/B1
Sire: Cernyw 1070/Y1 E+, by Cernyw 1070/T1
Dam: Grugoer 2188/X50, by Myfyrian 1183/T8
Born 1/1/09; Twin; ARR/ARR
EBVs (9/15/2009, as lamb):
Scanning wt. kgs: top 1%
8 week kgs: top 10%
Mature size: top 5%
Maternal ability: top 1%
Litter size: top 2%
Maldwyn Davies says, “He (Grugoer B1) was second in the show and sale in Builth Wells; B1 did also win every show that he went to in North Wales.” Used by both Llwygy flock and Maldwyn Davies flock in fall 2009, he will be used again by both as, according to Jo Binns, “he threw lambs with exceptional colour.” Maldwyn is very pleased with the quality of the lambs he throws. Maldwyn was one of the original supporters of the Longwool index. There are straws of this ram available.
Llwygy 1706/X1 E+
Sire: Firth 157/R1, by Walton 468/P4 E
Born 2/3/05; Twin, ARR/ARR
This high-performing ram is a Welshpool reference ram. Lisa Rodenfels has brought in a very small number of straws to try on her flock and will hopefully have lambs to offer in the next few years from his line.
The following two rams are available for in very limited quantities under special conditions. They are both older rams belonging to Martyn Archer and are the sires of many show champions from Martyn’s Carry House flock. We hope to see lambs from these rams available in future years.
Heddon Valley 3246/X4 Sire: Bowder 708/W1, by Red Cottage 1510/V3
Dam: Beeston 3138/R34, by Eskley 2634/N1 ‘A’
Martyn Archer comments, “He (Heddon Valley) is probably the most consistent breeder we have used with his lambs of a very uniform type. Their breed character and style are outstanding with very good mouths, ears, top lines and legs. He hasn’t grown into a big tup – he was small and stylish when I bought him but his progeny are much bigger.”
A son, 281/Z1 was the top priced traditional type ram sold in 2007. Champion and top price at the 2007 Hexham sale was from Martin Archer, Carry House, with a ram lamb which sold for the day’s top price of 1900 gns. Please note that Eskley 2634/N1 ‘A’ is Beeston Titan’s and Gigrin Red Kite’s grandsire.
Sire: Rosehill 209/W1, by Barlaes Titus 2217/T5 E+
Dam: Ladybank 3746/S26, by Cocklaw 119/P6, by Pennine 78/L1
Born 2006; Twin; ARR/ARR
Jared took pictures of some very impressive daughters by this ram at Carry House. Please note that Barlaes Titus is this ram’s grandsire. Titus is already a US sire.
Information originally published in the newsletter BLU Print; October 2010, Vol. 1, No. 3
The Garden State Sheep Breeders Festival was held on September 11th & 12th. Although it is a small sheep and fiber festival, the numbers have been growing significantly in recent years. This year’s Festival was very well attended and by many knitters and fiber artists who had never been to a sheep festival before. It was exciting to see them running through the barns like kids in a candy store trying to take it all in.
A BFL breed display was set up and it received much interest. Fiber samples were handed out in addition to flyers with all BLU members. We received much interest by these “newbies” that loved using BFL yarn and had to come and see the sheep.
The organizers of the Festival would like us to hold a regional BFL show there next year if possible. Please let me know ASAP if you are interested in bringing sheep to the show so that I can pursue this. The dates of the Festival for 2011 are September 10th & 11th, and will be held at the Hunterdon County Fairgrounds in Ringoes, New Jersey.
Please contact Paul & Jolene Vezzetti, Breezy Meadows Farm, Perkasie, PA. You may use the Contact Form on this website; select Jolene in the drop-down menu.
The biggest news from the secretary’s desk is that we’ve been working on a new BLU website. We apologize for the delays, but here it is! Like all births, it was accompanied by much groaning and gnashing of teeth (as well as some pulling of hair)!
It’s been a pretty big project, but the new WordPress website is very flexible. It will require some on-going development for a while, but it will be very easy for the administrators to update it frequently… every few days, if needed! We can also post articles, stories, and content on a continual basis. By keeping content fresh, such as posting every week or every other week, it may eventually eliminate the need for a “traditional newsletter.”
We’ve tried to organize the website and make it as user-friendly as possible, and we’ve tried to cover all information that you may need. In creating the pages, we kept finding there was more and more information that should be included!
We have included a classifieds ad section (up to 4 photos allowed!). There is also a calendar where we can post upcoming events, such as big shows where BLU will have the display booth, or where BFLs may be shown. I think in just a short time, our new BLU site will be “world class!” We hope you’ll enjoy it. Please visit often!