Tuesday 16th July 2019

Countryfest Agricultural Show Cumbria

WHS Young Handlers Team 2018

Saturday : Practise Day - Session 1 : Control your Sheep

This was initially chaos but Emma-Rose was a natural at handling a Shetland sheep.

Below, Jazmin and Nadine do a great job with their North Ronaldsay sheep.

Our pupils train alongside children from established RBST farming families.

Saturday : Practise Day - Session 2 : How to Butcher a Sheep

A freshly slaughtered sheep with its lungs and heart hanging from its neck was butchered in front of the Young Handlers there were a few green faces but they now all know where their roast lamb comes from!

The aim of this workshop was to understand the slaughtering process and the importance of knowing where your meat comes from. How the animal was raised and what it was fed. Commercial sheep breeds are pumped with hormones and lack flavour, whereas, rare breeds are pasture fed and have more flavour.

Jamie gets the added responsibility of having to look after rare breed pigs.

Saturday: Session 3 - How to prepare a sheep for competition

Competitions are important to farmers if their sheep wins a prize the flock can sell for a higher price at market it is down to the sheep handler to show the sheep to the best advantage.

The RBST Farmer/Trainer thought Melissa was a natural and that she would make an excellent sheep farmer.

Melissa did a great job controlling a Norfolk Horn sheep (which wasn't easy).

Jazmin masters the skill of head collaring a sheep.

Jazmin puts all her newly learnt skills into practise and takes a Devon and Cornwall Longwool sheep into the ring.

Saturday : Session 3 Stock Judging

The RBST Judge shows the Young Handlers what he looks for in a good sheep then the Young Handlers were all tested on which Herdwick sheep they thought was best and why.

Sunday : Competition Day Jamie looks confident

Jamie's Norfolk Horn sheep won First Prize!

Melissa has to explain to the Judge how she has prepared her sheep and information about the breed. Lily, Mollie, Jazmin and Nadine wait in the background for their turn with the Judge.

Judge No. 2 tests Melissa on her sheep harnessing skills not easy when the sheep doesn't want to cooperate!

The Judge makes his final decision

The Results:

  • Melissa = Won the Trophy for Best Communicator
  • Mollie and Jamie = Shared the Award for Most Improved Sheep Handler
  • Lilly = 5th in the Sheep Handling Competition
  • Mollie = 6th in the Sheep Handling Competition
  • Jazmin = 7th in the Sheep Handling Competition
  • Emma Rose = 2nd Prize in the Primitive Ewe Class

Our pupils competed against children from established farming families. They did an amazing job and developed many skills including:

  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Public Speaking
  • Resilience
  • Team Work
  • Presentation
  • Endurance
  • Interpersonal skills

They were totally out of their comfort zone but they all rose to the challenge!