samedi 8 septembre 2012

Judging Ouessants Dutch Style

The opportunity to visit Holland for a second time and enjoy not only the hospitality but to add in a little sheep viewing was too good to turn down. The presentation of Ouessants at Didam was  hosted by the  "Fokkersvereniging Ouessantschapen" or FOS which is a lot easier for me to say! There was a nice entry, general observations where that black and brown Ouessants were well represented with only two whites  entered.

As is customary in Holland all the adult sheep were both measured and weighed.


La toise - height 

For me one notable aspect was how relaxed it all was , the use of one handler per sheep and the recent addition of camping chairs was deluxe in comparison to some of the frenetic dashes and chaotic melees  for judging  I have seen and made the whole affair much easier to follow and of course less stressful on all participants. 

There was plenty of time to sit and chat, enjoy the ambiance and the sheep of course. More of those in another post. 

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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