This year’s NSA Scotsheep, to be held at Dumfries House in Ayrshire on Wednesday, June 6, is already shaping up to be the best ever.
Trading stand bookings and exhibits by sheep breed societies are set to hit record levels as confidence returns to the sheep industry on the back of buoyant prices for finished, store and breeding sheep over the past 18 months.
Organised by the Scottish Region of the National Sheep Association, with Bank of Scotland as main sponsor, the venue for NSA Scotsheep 2012 is the home farm at Dumfries House which is run as a joint venture by Dumfries House Trust and the UK’s fourth largest supermarket group, Morrisons.
“We have a really exciting venue for NSA Scotsheep which has captured the imagination of the whole sheep industry in Scotland,” said NSA Scotland executive committee member, Neale McQuistin, who chairs the organising committee.
“More trade stands have been booked than ever before and the number of breed societies participating, and associated exhibits, is also a record.
“This reflects the better times in the sheep industry and the fact that sheep farmers are ready to invest in advances in genetics, technology, health management and husbandry to further improve the performance of their flocks. All the latest developments in the industry will be on show at Scotland’s national sheep event.”
Features of NSA Scotsheep will include a farm tour, practical and technical demonstrations, advisory and educational exhibits, comprehensive seminar programme, sheepdog trial, stockjudging, ATV competition, sheep shearing and farmers’ market. There will also be special feature on wool and the event will host the finals of the Scottish Young Shepherd of the Year competition.
The following sheep breed societies will be participating – Beltex, Blackface, Bluefaced Leicester, Blue Texel, Bleu du Maine, Border Leicester, British Berrichon, British Rouge, Charollais, Cheviot, Dalesbred, Dorset Horn and Poll Dorset, Hampshire Down, Highland Mule, Jacob, Kerry Hill, Lleyn, Meatlinc, NEMSA, North Country Cheviot, Oxford Down, Rough Fell, Roussin, Ryeland, Scotch Mule, Shetland, Suffolk, Swaledale, Texel, Swartbles.
Dumfries House is one of Britain’s most beautiful stately homes with a unique collection of Chippendale furniture. It has been described as an 18th century time-capsule since the principal rooms and their contents have remained virtually unchanged for 250 years. Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, in his capacity as the Great Steward of Scotland, headed a consortium of charities and heritage bodies which purchased the house and adjoining land in 2007 to keep it accessible to the public.