jeudi 9 septembre 2010

Cormont 2010 The Aftermath............

Given that the show was some 600 kilometres from home and that this year I was taking 8 sheep and returning with 10,  I decided the only way for the sheep to travel was in style. I rented a small horse box. I don't generally get to go away very often so this was my annual holiday and I had every intention of treating it as such. The sheep were comfortable in the back. I had loaded up the van with every conceivable item I thought I might need  and a few surplus ones  and we set off at a leisurely pace. Within twenty minutes drive of my front door  are major arterial roads which makes travel very easy. The traffic was pretty much as always, non existant and we rocked along to some thunderous tracks from U2, Queen and Robbie Williams before we knew it Cormont was in sight and it was all too easy. Unload the sheep, the obligatory measure and paperwork, check out the competition....hmm stiff!

There were quite a few members of GEMO who had made it from all parts of France and so we spent the evening eating, chatting and dancing................ OK we mainly watched others dancing, I'm not a great one for Breton dancing so Flemish dancing was well, a little too close to home. 
The following morning an early start to check on how the sheep had spent their night and then the visitors started to arrive, the mix of languages was fantastic and we all talked a common language sheep.

The girls in their pen , you may spy a stray ram in there thats Anakin, I didn't think he wanted to take his chances meeting the rams at the show. If there are any lambs in five months we know who's responsible!

As I suspected getting going was not that punctual and of course everything over ran by ages including lunch and we found that already most of the day had gone and still classes to judge. The french have no sense of urgency, its all very social and relaxed except its hard to relax when you can see the schedule slipping by hours, guess I still have some way to go to integrate!

I don't usually take so many sheep but this year there was an added incentive. The possibility of getting the sheep confirmed as meeting the breed standard. I admit this is a huge step forward and a welcome one. I entered four adult sheep ( only adults get confirmed). César who at five years old is begining to look his age he is age greying and has lost a couple of teeth. In his prime he was place deuxième prix , despite his age he was classed and awarded the same. The entry for the black adult rams was disappointing and I don't think its because of a lack in the breed just one of those things. One of my "new" girls is a veteran of the show circuit already being a champion of France so she took things in her stride but age and stiff competition was against her in the champion of champion classes and the  class went to her breeder for both the rams and the ewes but younger models. All four adults entered got their certificates of conformity to fill in. YAY! It is a very nice feeling to know that finally and after a little kicking and screaming we have entered a new era in  the breeds history.

César, Faolan and Koudou pretty laid back about the whole affair. The day and the weekend was a good one, a chance to catch up with friends, a chance to make some new ones and a chance to talk  sheep and there were some very interesting conversations, more on that another time. The two greys were both entered in the "other colours" class, I can't remember seeing such a big and good entry. Faolans breeder got special mention, no prizes were awarded for the other colours category, Faolan was next to his sire and I was pretty pleased to see the both of them out there. 
 Prize presentation time and  on se fait la bise. Before I knew it, it was all over and time to load up. I decided to make the drive back that evening despite the long route I knew the sheep would benefit from getting back as soon as possible and I longed for my own bed so, turn up the volume and drive back to Brittany. I unloaded the sheep as soon as I arrived which meant them going into the fields in the dark. The newbies were kept in as they weren't familiarised with the layout or the rest of the flock but it meant most had a chance to de-stress a little before the morning.

I'm not sure how long these links will stay viable but heres the news as seen in France with thanks to "palers" for the links
La Voix du Nord

Le Telegramme

Here is the list of winners as noted once again by Palers. Its still not the official confirmation from GEMO and I'll post a link when it gets published

Béliers blancs ( adultes et antenais ): Honneur. François Pensyn ( 62 ). 1. Dominique Morzynski ( 23 ). 2. Hervé Vaillant ( 35 ).

Brebis blanches : Honneur. Dominique Morzynski. 1. Dominique Morzynski. 2. Hervé Vaillant ( 35 ).

Antenaises blanches : Honneur. Dominique Morzynski. 1. Parc d'Armorique ( 29 ). 2. Ecomusée de Rennes ( 35 ).

Bélier noirs . Pas de prix d'honneur. 1. André Delepoule ( 59 ). 2. Renée Hemming ( 22 ).

Antenais noirs. Honneur. Patrice Royer ( 59 ). 1. Dominique Morzynski. 2. Ecomusée de Rennes.

Brebis noires : Honneur. Ecomusée de Rennes. 1. André Delepoule. 2. Ecomusée de Rennes.

Antenaises noires : Honneur. Patrick Carré ( 29 ). 1. Claude Billès ( 22 ). 2. André Delepoule.

Prix d'ensemble : Honneur. Dominique Morzynski. 1. Hervé Vaillant. 2. Ecomusée de Rennes.

Couples : Honneur. Patrice Royer. 1. Dominique Morzynski. 2. Claude Billès.

Champion des champions : Mâles. Patrice Royer. Femelles. Patrice Royer.

Mention " autres couleurs " : Claude Billès.

So thats it for another year. What fun I would do it all again in a heartbeat, must be mad!

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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