Romneys in the Show Ring
The purpose of breeding Romney sheep is the production of high quality meat and wool, and breeding animals for both the small flock and the commercial sheep industry. There are several tools that may be used to evaluate the success of a breeding program. These include extensive record keeping, progeny testing, and competition in the show ring. The showing of Romneys is not an end in itself, but merely one tool to be used in the evaluation and promotion of the breed.
Preparation for showing should include the following:
FEEDING: An adequate food supply is necessary for proper muscle and fleece development. Romney sheep grow well on good pasture, supplemented with grain and hay when necessary. Lush green pasture, when available, or grass and legume hay in winter will provide the bulk of needed feed.
FOOT TRIMMING: As with all sheep, feet should be kept trimmed to the pad to insure their health and proper gait. All dirt and manure should be cleaned away before showing.
FLEECE PREPARATION: Romneys may be lightly rinsed with plain water within six weeks of showing, but aside from legs and hooves, should not be washed with soap. Washing the sheep removes the lanolin, may alter the crimp, and detracts from the normal lock formation. For a clean appearance, dung tags should be removed and the belly wool shorn. The tips of individual locks should be trimmed to improve general appearance. Carding, if done at all, should be done carefully to avoid damaging the crimp. Blanketing, if done at all, should be minimized, and done with loose-fitting blankets to prevent packing the wool.
INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO: The American Romney Breeders Association has produced a video on fitting Romney sheep for show. It is available for purchase through the Association Secretary, this website, or the district directors.