Congratulations to Liongate Farm for their Best in Show white BFL fleece at the recent Josephine Co fair in Grants Pass, OR.
Congratulations to Margie Smith (PA) for her first place BFL fleece at the recent Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. Margie will receive the $50 award sponsored by the Bluefaced Leicester Union.
This year, BLU will sponsor a $50 cash award to the first place BFL fleece at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. Details will be in the MS&W festival catalog and entry form. So if you have been considering entering a fleece in the contest, this is the year to do it!
Here is the MS&W website with details on entry, and the entry form.
Dreaming of attending the 2018 BFL National show, held during the Black Sheep Gathering in Albany, OR on June 29th!!!
Check recent posts on this site for sheep and fleece classes and information on judging. The deadline to enter is June 1st.
Dr. Geof Ruppert
Your judge for the 2018 Black Sheep Gathering is Dr. Geof Ruppert. His involvement with sheep began in 1976 with a starter flock of Corriedales, chosen in part because of his mother’s interest in the fiber arts. Along the way, he participated in judging livestock through 4-H, where he was on the Maryland State judging team. After completing undergraduate studies and vet school at Virginia Tech, Geof began judging county fairs, mostly in New England. Dr. Ruppert has also judged the National Junior Corriedale show and the New England Sheep sale as well as the National Merino sale, held in conjunction with the New York Sheep and Wool Festival.
Over the years his Corriedale flock has endured, and he has added a separate flock of Cormos to explore the finer end of the wool spectrum. After meeting with Corriedale breeders from around the world at the 2000 World Corriedale Congress, Geof realized that American Corriedale wool quality could be improved by introducing Australian Corriedales to his flock. Since 2001, the Rupperts have been pursuing an artificial insemination program using Australian rams that reach back to the very roots of the breed. In 2014 the American Corriedale Association held its 100th year anniversary celebration. Ruppert’s Corriedales participated in the National Show with just one ram entry; winning Best Fleece overall and best headed Corriedale.
Today, Geof divides his time between his sheep and his companion animal practice, but he sneaks off to Australia every chance he gets to learn more about that most amazing and versatile fiber … wool!
The classes for the BFL National Show, held during the Black Sheep Gathering in Albany, OR in June are as follows: Yearling Ram
Pair of Ram Lambs
Pair of ewe lambs
Breeders young flock (1 ram lamb, 2 ewe lambs)
You may enter 2 white and 2 natural colored per exhibitor, per class.
The judge is Zane Bone, from College Station, TX. Entries close June 1, or whenever they get 600 entries.
There are 2 classes for BFL fleeces. One is for lambs, the other is for hogget fleece (1-2 yo)
Dr Geof Ruppert, from Fairfield, PA is the wool judge.
The catalog, entry forms, show schedule and anything else you might want to know is now available at the BSG website. www.blacksheepgathering.org
Zane Bone • College Station, Texas
I am a 4th generation sheep and goat raiser from the Texas Hill Country. My father was a state winning sheep and goat vocational agricultural teacher; my mom was also from a ranching background. My mom’s brother was one of the best known sheep and goat 4-H agents this state has ever had. My grandfather ran a working cattle, horse, sheep and goat ranch for a family estate for 40 years. It was no wonder I ended up liking sheep and goats. I was involved in 4-H and FFA as a youth, and I judged wool and mohair up until attending college at Texas A&M University where I obtained a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agronomy. Growing up on the ranch, I’ve had my own Rambouillet sheep and Angora goat herds. It was through this diversity that I found my true love for sheep and goats; I work to design breeding programs with different goals in mind.
In the past few years I’ve been invited to judge at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, the Mountain State Fair in Asheville North Carolina and the Maryland State Fair. It has been a true blessing that I have found to be very rewarding and refreshing. Being involved in these shows has awoken a new desire to see sheep through a different lens again. Who knows? Upon the completion of my children’s show careers, we may just give fiber a new whirl. I think I am again catching the bug you all have.
Every show I am asked to judge has been an honor and brings great rewards. It has been so refreshing to see sheep showing as it was intended, both educational and a time of fellowship. Fiber festivals have renewed my hope that exhibition can be about more than a ribbon; it can be about the love of sheep and the acceptance of the diversity sheep can bring. Each breed fascinates me in different ways. I so look forward to judging the Black Sheep Gathering and seeing what the West Coast has to offer. Thanks in advance and may all of you have safe travels and outstanding lamb crops.
Please put the Seventh National BFL Show on your calendar— June 29th at the Black Sheep Gathering in Albany, OR.
BLU is accepting sponsors*** for the awards for this show. If you would like to sponsor an award, the cost is $50 per award (you may partner with another breeder if needed). Make your check out to Bluefaced Leicester Union, and mail to me at the following address:
44011 County Rd 23
Coshocton, OH 43812
***Be sure to tell me if you want recognition for the award donation in your name or in the name of your flock. A banner will be in the showring with all sponsors listed.
The BFL National Show is fast approaching! Since the hotels near the fairgrounds do not block rooms for groups, rooms are first come, first served. So if you have not already made reservations, be sure to do that soon! Here is an info sheet that gives dates, websites for the BSG and show venue, and contact info for the 2 hotels on site, as well as an RV park at the fairgrounds.
2018 National Show info sheet
BLU youth member Rhiannon Curley entered a single fleece in the open class wool show during the recent Deschutes county fair in Redmond, OR. It was from her new ram, Jehovah’s Cornerstone. The fleece placed champion in the BFL division, and then it took Reserve Grand Champion Fleece in the wool show.