Regional Contact member – Vacant

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Kevin Gaskell’s shearling ram, champion at Great Harwood Show, with the judge, Kay Carpenter

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Pat and Trevor Black’s ram lamb, reserve champion at Bishop Wilton Show


Claire Bentham

The NSA Sheep North event was held on the 7th June 2023 after a break of four years.

Our small dedicated team of Jacob sheep Society members travelled up to Bradford House Farm, an impressive mixed arable and livestock enterprise near Belsay, Ponteland in Northumberland, to promote and advertise the Jacob breed. Representing the Northern Region of the Society and from the East Riding of Yorkshire were event veterans John and Freda Fozzard (Whitley flock), experienced members Pat & Trevor Black (Blackwolds flock), myself based in the Yorkshire Dales (Greenbank flock), accompanied by enthusiastic and relatively new Lancashire breeder Rachel Knowles (Riverbank flock)

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On the 6th June, our team members travelled up through stunning Dales and Cumbrian landscapes, and with good timing we all arrived close together. It was lovely to be greeted by the organising staff from the previous North Sheep, (Franklands Farms, Rathmell ), all familiar farming faces from my home town of Settle. We had to be set up and ready by the evening. The event opened at 9am the following day, judging of the stands began first thing and so it was action stations to put together our display. John and Freda had transported the Society stand up from Stafford after Jean Simmons had used it for NSA South, and luckily John had unpacked and practiced putting it together so we had a basic plan for the layout. It was still a performance worthy of Krypton Factor, a combination of lots of hands and the laws of physics prevailing. Our ‘live’ exhibits had travelled well. I had brought a Jacob ewe with her 2023 gimmer lamb and John had brought two Dutch Spotted x Jacob gimmer lambs. We aimed to show our breed at its best, with representation of pedigree Jacob sheep in show condition and turnout, as well as a nod to their commercial adaptability. Keeping the theme of the display simple, our sheep would be penned either side, the fantastic stand as the backdrop, and our central space used for information and an individual display of Jacob wool clothing and horn stick carving. As an extra entertainment, we were running a ‘Guess the birthday of the Jacob gimmer lamb.’ Designed and put together by Pat and Trevor, it was a slightly challenging competition as Greenbank Esther was a lovely big girl for her age.

A rather unexpected surprise, and definitely not prepared for whilst we were buzzing around setting up, were TV cameras. But what a bonus for breed promotion. A spot on the local BBC Look North that evening showcasing our favourite sheep.

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Event day dawned and we all arrived back on site early to final polish and prepare for visitors. We were all ready for Breed Society Stand judging, and I had carded out Greenbank Esther who was entered for Wool on the Hoof. There was plenty of competition from the other breed stands, some amazing displays ranging from high tech facts and figures to panoramic photography visuals. The whole event was packed with all things ovine, be it equipment, clothing, feed, medicines, veterinary, and machinery. For Rachel, the highlight being her selfie piture with social media star, Cam from the Sheep Game.

A fantastic day. We had so many visitors, including JSS members, and lots of interaction. The ‘Guess the Birthday’ competition was a great success, a full entry and a very pleased winner of the Jacob goody bag. And a wonderful result for our Sheep North team when it was announced we had won 2nd prize in the Society Stand competition and 3rd in Wool on the Hoof. Thanks to everyone who helped to organise and prepare, and the team involved on the day bringing it all together. These events are hard work, and we all felt justifiably proud to be representing our amazing Jacob sheep breed at such a prestigious event.


August 2023

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