With just a fortnight to go, having attracted 199 entries from 56 exhibitors, Texel breeders' thoughts are turning to the Texel Sheep Society’s inaugural ‘Textravaganza’ National Texel Show at Carlisle on Friday, July 30.

Society chief executive John Yates said the event is set to be a day everyone associated with the Texel breed and the wider sheep industry will enjoy.

He said:

With the show season significantly curtailed over the last two years due to Covid-19, this new event represents a great opportunity for everyone connected to the Texel breed to come together.

"Thanks to the dedication of breeders and the continuing improvements being made, the breed remains the UK’s most popular sire for commercial lamb production, providing significant value throughout the supply chain.

"There is, rightly, much to celebrate and be proud of as the breed closes in on its fiftieth year in the UK and the demand from new breeders shows no sign of abating, as new flocks continue to be established across the country."

Show classes

The main show classes will be judged by a brace of judges, with John MacGregor of the Allanfauld flock, Kilsyth, Glasgow, taking charge of the female classes and Richard Henderson of the Ballynahone flock, Magherafelt, Co. Derry, having the task of sorting through the males.

Both judges will then join forces to decide the championships.

Judging the young handlers classes for Texel enthusiasts aged under 16 will be Rachel Wilson of the Milnbank flock, Aberdeenshire.

Alongside the show classes the event will also host two sales, one for gimmers and another for ram lambs, with these attracting entries of 26 sheep from 22 vendors.

These sale classes will offer breeders the opportunity to source top quality stock ahead of the breeding season.

“The ram lamb sale in particular will present an ideal opportunity for breeders from Northern Ireland to buy ram lambs in time for use in this year’s breeding season.

"Bearing in mind the need for 40 days continuous residency on Great Britain mainland holding prior to export to Northern Ireland as a result of export rules introduced under the Northern Irish Protocol."

Buying early in the season

“Of course, the sale will not just be of interest to Northern Irish breeders and I’m sure many breeders will see the value in having an opportunity to buy ram lambs earlier in the season and get them home and adjusted to a different regime prior to the breeding season,” he added.

To complement the day’s activities will be a raffle in aid of the Farm Community Network.

Society events and sales cataloguing manager Ailish Ross said the Society was keen to do its bit to support this worthwhile charity and those within the farming community who needed its services.

We all know farming can be a difficult and at times isolated life with many of those within the farming community suffering both financial and emotional hardship as a result.

"We are sure that whatever funds we are able to raise in support of the Farm Community Network will be put to good use to help those less fortunate within our industry and support the work of more than 400 volunteers that play a part in FCN’s work in providing free, confidential, pastoral and practical support to anyone who seeks help."