samedi 31 octobre 2009

GEMO New Website and Show Results

At last, fantastic news GEMO have revamped their website (still some work to do) and listed the winners of this years show. It beats having to wait until the bulletin is produced!

GEMO Website

Results page Bravo à tous!

samedi 24 octobre 2009

GEMO National Competition Part 2

A few more photos and descriptions of the show day.
The competition was hosted by the Parc Naturel Régional d'Armorique and organised by the association Bro an Are - Terres d'Aree. There were a large number of stalls, events and exhibitions going on, on the day, many of which I didn't get to see but a few close to hand that caught my eye were some of the livestock.

There are several breeds who teeter on the brink of dying out and this breed along with the ouessant has been one of them. Until recently I had found very little on them and it was the first time I had come face to face with some at the show, some essential differences and also some similarities but they are not the only local breed found in Brittany.

Familiar colours but a much larger more commercial breed of sheep altogether.

They also had some of the local rare breed goat, Chèvre des Fossés. I absolutely fell in love with these goats.

With long hair all over and a very fetching set of bushy eyebrows, I found them hugely appealing. If only I had the space................
Most of the stalls were local crafts or had an environmental aproach to their trade.
And finally at the end of a long day and with a two hour drive home ahead of me, the awarding of the prizes, the book I received curtesy of the Ecomusée Monts d'Aree was a real treasure.

A series of charming black and white photographs of people and events in the region with verses in Breton, French and English. Many of the photographs had a timeless quality to them, really lovely. The perfect end to a good day.

dimanche 4 octobre 2009

mercredi 30 septembre 2009

GEMO 2009 St Rivoal National Competition

This year I decided to take two sheep to the show. The shows are not just about competing with sheep but a chance for breeders and those with an interest in the breed to come together, spend alot of time leaning over railings, discussing sheep and the politics of the sheepy world. If at this point you are yawning then you have missed the point of the show entirely. For those of us with an interest in the breed this IS where it gets interesting!

Solaia and Koudou were not entirely thrilled with the crack of dawn start but at least they travelled comfortably. Health and transport regs mean that the flock must meet the legal requirements including brucellosis testing, vaccinations for Blue Tongue 1 and 8 as well as ensuring all the relevant treatments to prevent any transport of extra midges or other disease vectors. A little bit of an effort for the paperwork but on arrival everything is checked.
Tag numbers, next year we move to microchipping ( plenty of discussion on that topic!)

and of course for Ouessants the inevitable height measurement, care is taken to place the sheep correctly. Here one of Koudou's competitiors looking really nice.

Entrants have stalls for their sheep, the sheep are on view to the public and there are always plenty of curious people with lots of questions.

TV was there too. This ram entered by a first time competitor did very well.

The ubiquitous 2 hour french lunch. Here some members of the public enjoying some of the many stalls catering for a variety of tastes. Breeders, many of whom had travelled quite some distance were able enjoy a good meal curtesy of the Parc Regional National d'Armorique.
And so to the judges, the judges had travelled far and wide, here along with two french judges Lawrent Wynant BOV ( Vice- President Belgian breed society) and Horst Roller IGOU ( Head of the German breed club)

And then to the showing, this guy took Prix d'honneur or Champion white ram (adult) .

and this guy was champion of champions and a very worthy winner he looked stunning.

So how did we do?

Koudou des Lutins du Montana Prix d'Honneur
Yearling white ram

Solaia (Billes) Prix d'Honneur
Yearling black ewe

I had to use a previous photo of Solaia she is extremely difficult to photograph and as usual I just got a shot of her peering out from hiding behind others, shes the second one in.

I am chuffed to bits, it is with HUGE thanks to their breeders, Dominique Morzynski once again for trusting me with one of his rams. To have taken the prix d'honneur two years on the trot with one of Dominique's just goes to show the consistancy in his breeding.

And to Claude Billes I was struck with his breeding the very first time I saw his sheep and he never disappoints. Solaia beat one of Claudes own ewes for first place but it was a close thing both were very nice . I'm just pleased he was gracious enough to let me have Solaia.

More to follow.............

lundi 12 janvier 2009

Annual General Meeting GEMO 2009

Ronan at Spered Breizh

The date for the next Annual General Meeting of GEMO (the French Ouessant Breed Society) will be Saturday the 18th of April.

There will as usual be a number of issues on the agenda but I think for me the highlight has to be a presentation by Prof JJ Lauvergne on the subject of the genetics of colour in wool. Later followed by a further discussion during a visit to Paul Leducs flock of prize winning ouessants. I can't wait and I look forward to meeting some new faces at the meeting and after. Should you wish to attend the meeting all members of GEMO will be notified by mail of the details and how to register their wish to attend in a letter to be sent out shortly If you are not already a member of GEMO it may be a good idea to subscribe.

How to Join GEMO

vendredi 9 janvier 2009

2008 GEMO 20th National Show Results

Paul Leduc with his prize winning Yearling Black Ram. Paul pretty much swept the board winning or being placed in virtually every category. Well done to him and all the other participants!


Béliers Adultes et Antenais / Yearling and Adult Rams

Prix d’Honneur R HEMMING Height 45 cm
1er Prix PARC d’ARMORIQUE Height 47,5cm
2ème Prix H VAILLANT Height 44 cm

Brebis Adultes / Adult Ewes

Prix d’Honneur P LEDUC Height 43 cm
1er Prix P CARRÉ Height 41 cm
2ème Prix P ROYER Height 43 cm

Jeunes Brebis (Antenaises) / Young Ewes (yearlings)

Prix d’Honneur P LEDUC Height 42 cm
1er Prix H VAILLANT Height 41 cm
2ème Prix PARC d’ARMORIQUE Height 43 cm


Béliers Adultes / Adult Rams

Prix d’Honneur P ROYER Height 45 cm
1er Prix P LEDUC Height 45 cm
2ème Prix R HEMMING Height 46 cm

Jeunes Béliers (Antenais) / Young Rams (Yearlings)

Prix d’Honneur P LEDUC Height 45 cm
1er Prix P CARRÉ Height 44 cm
2ème Prix ÉCOMUSÉE de RENNES Height 45 cm

Brebis Adultes / Adult Ewes

Prix d’Honneur P ROYER Height 41 cm
1er Prix ÉCOMUSÉE de RENNES Height 42 cm
2ème Prix P LEDUC Height 42 cm

Jeunes Brebis (Antenaises) Young Ewes (yearlings)

Prix d’Honneur P LEDUC Height 40 cm
1er Prix P ROYER Height 41 cm
2ème Prix C BILLES Height 42 cm


Béliers / Rams

1er Prix C BILLES Height 42 cm

Brebis / Ewes

Prix d’Honneur P ROYER Height 43 cm


Brebis / Ewe

Grand Prix d’Honneur H VAILLANT Height 41 cm


Prix d’Honneur P LEDUC
1er Prix P ROYER
2ème Prix H VAILLANT


Qualité de l’organisation B CHASTELLIER
Diversité des types H VAILLANT
Qualité de la présentation R HEMMING

How to Join GEMO

The Ouessant Sheep originates from the island of Ouessant, part of a tiny archipelago just off the north coast of Finistere, Brittany. The island of terror as it was known to some, was swept by the full force of the atlantic’s weather, the hardy sheep adapted to survive on poor grazing from salty clifftop meadows. It was the women of the island that raised the sheep, renowned for their black wool to weave into cloth known locally as berlinge and their meat with its sweet and delicate taste.

La race "Mouton d'Ouessant" est originaire de l’île d’’Ouessant qui fait parti d’un petit archipel au large du Finistère, Bretagne. L’île de l'épouvante comme c'était connu par certains était balayé par les intempéries de l’atlantique, ces moutons rustiques s'adaptaient à survivre sur les pâturages pauvres des falaises salées. C’était les femmes de l’île qui élevaient les moutons réputés pour leur laine noire à tisser « la berlinge » une étoffe régionale et leur viande avec un goût doux et délicat.

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