The Bolton fair went from Thursday to Sunday this year, a new 4 day idea. I had to be there Saturday, and Sunday with my sheep staying overnight. Saturday I was by myself and that was the main Shetland show day and featured breed demonstration. Sunday was other breeds and the best in show classes.
On Saturday I loaded up Sunny, Cammie, Jacqui, and Daisy Mae (who was just going to watch), and drove the 20 minutes to the fairgrounds. I managed to get 2 pens that were in the shade, although the temperatures were in the high 80's and low 90's both days, and settled everyone in. I met fellow competitors and sheep fans, and found out the breed featured class was at 1pm with the show classes taking place after that.
There were over 50 Shetlands at the show which was really great. The breed feature went really well, there were 6 or 7 breeders (myself included) and we all did a part of the talk. We covered breed history, conformation, colors and markings. I talked about conformation, and we had several sheep in the ring that people could come up and feel so they understood what to look for. We managed to represent 11 of the colors and quite a few markings. People really seemed to enjoy the chance to pet our sheep. I was so impressed with how the sheep behaved as they were in and out of the ring for much of the hour. Sunny still managed to wag his tail everytime he was petted. I think serious consideration should be given to a Shetland with the waggiest tail class lol!
After the demonstration/featured class, the actual show began. There was a large yearling ram class which I am proud to say Sunny won. We did not win champion ram, but I was happy to win the yearling ram class with him.
Then Cammie was in a huge yearling ewe class of maybe 16 other sheep which she won, she then went on to win Champion ewe.
Jacqui placed a very respectable 3rd in another large junior ewe lamb class, the judge said she liked her fleece a lot but also said that white does not do as well against the colors. I was still very happy with her and think she will do well next year.
Outside of the ring I had managed to get Gypsy's fleece skirted for the wool show. I entered natural color and won. The fleece also went on to win best in show. Wow.
Sunday started hot. The sheep all got admired throughout the day. I encouraged young children to pet the sheep and feel Sunny's horns, and give out the occasional animal cracker. He was such a good boy and always had a little wag of his tail. Daisy Mae spent the weekend with her head in the hay bag lol, but did get admired a lot in the featured breed class where she showed off her flecket markings.
Cammie competed in best in show but did not win. It is hard for shetlands to compete against meat breeds, but I think the judging over the 2 days I was there was very good, and the shetland judge on Saturday was excellent.
Overall it was an amazing weekend. I met some really nice people. Got helped a lot on Saturday by some great 4H er's and really couldn't be happier. Below is a picture of what I bought home from Bolton. It's actually missing the best in show fleece rosette (I couldn't find it Sunday). Still I think it's impressive. Nadine (at Painted Knoll) you can be proud too as you bred them :)
Now I need to unpack everything and relax. Thank goodness it is Monday lol.