2016 Summer shows report
In 2016 the Southdown Sheep Society celebrated its 125th Anniversary, and the National Show held at Goodwood over the Anniversary weekend provided a fitting tribute to the breed, with members converging on Goodwood from as far afield as North Yorkshire, Wales and East Anglia. Competition was fierce with almost 200 sheep forward and over twenty exhibits in many of the classes, and judges Jim Cresswell and Charles Sercombe had their work cut out selecting their winners and champions. The Society’s past President Mr Cresswell commented that “the breed continues to improve and the high standard in every class is testament to that. Breeders are to be commended on the continued development of the breed as both a pedigree and commercial sheep.”
Taking top honours on the day was the day’s male champion and winner of the shearling ram class, Ridings 15/03099 by the homebred sire Ridings 13/01443 and out of a homebred dam, from Messrs Wakeham-Dawson and Harmer, Offham, Lewes.
Standing reserve overall was the female champion and winner of the shearling ewe class for flocks of less than 25 ewes from the Long family’s Chaileybrook flock, Bishops Frome, Herefordshire. A daughter of the imported sire TC10187 ‘Sarkozy’, she is out of a homebred dam.
In reserve spot in the female line up was the winner of the January and February-born ewe lamb class from the event’s host, Goodwood Estate. This ewe lamb, shown by flock manager Nick Page,was by Ridings Baby Ben and out of a homebred ewe from the 100-ewe pedigree flock managed by Mr Page alongside the Estate’s commercial sheep enterprise.
Taking the reserve male championship was the second prize winning shearling ram from the Glaves family’s Brompton flock, Brompton-by-Sawdon, Scarborough. This is a son of Southern Cross 13/00419 and out of a homebred dam by Chaileybrook 07/0019.
The breed featured in interbreed line-ups at many of the shows up and down the country.
The Suffolk Show as always attracted a good number of entries. Judge Alan Draper selected a shearling ram from Messrs Wakeham-Dawson & Harmer as his champion and this ram went on to take the Interbreed title the following day. Messrs Wakeham-Dawson & Harmer continued their success by taking the interbreed titles at the South of England, Surrey County and Heathfield Shows.
Amy Readhead-Higgins from Leiston in Suffolk saw hew Sutherland flock take Interbreed titles at The Wayland Show, Hadleigh, Tendring Hundred and Essex Young Farmers Shows.
Southdown Sheep Society members flew the flag for the breed at over 50 shows throughout the 2016 season, with notable success: Mrs Lesley Mead scooped the Interbreed title at Ashby Show, in addition to taking home the Interbreed title from the New Forest Show, and the Interbreed Group of Three prize at Newbury Show.
Hannah Turner did likewise at Cranleigh Show, and Mrs G Helyer took the Interbreed championship title at Frome Show. Graham Ryves-Webb repeated his success of the previous year by once again taking the Interbreed title at the Henley and District Agricultural Show.
Southdowns featured in the championship line-ups at the Royal Welsh Show with Basil Cooper’s ram lamb winning the Supreme Ram Lamb title. Kent County Show, Rutland, Herts County Show, Royal Bath and West and Royal Cornwall shows all featured the breed in the Reserve Supreme Championships.