Chris and Kay Westlake’s 48 ewe Owslebury flock based at Cadeleigh, Tiverton has secured the Hampshire Down Sheep Breeders’ Association’s supreme championship for the second consecutive year.
Chris Westlake with some of his
award winning Owlesbury flock
In addition, the couple headed the sections for medium flocks, older ewes and ewe lambs together with the champion ram lamb.
“The Owslebury flock demonstrated excellent specimens of the breed,” commented judge, Mike Adams, Wotton under Edge, Gloucestershire after visiting the 26 entrants and judging them against the breed type and for overall conformation. “Chris has bred a flock that is uniform; the ewes have very balanced, well-developed bodies, it is very well managed and accompanied by an overall standard that anyone would be proud of.”
In overall reserve place was Barry, Eirlys and Stuart Jones’ Maes-Glas flock of over 80 ewes based near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire which won the large flock award and shearling ewes section as well as runner-up in the breeding ewes and reserve champion ram lamb.
The Westlakes who recouped the silverware which they initially won in 1995 as well as last year, have since been among the finalists for the Hampshire Down Sheep Breeders’ Association’s top award on several occasions, including four times runner up. They have also enjoyed numerous show ring championships over the years including at the Royal Bath and West, the Royal Cornwall and Devon County as well as countless interbreed titles at regional shows. Chris is an accomplished judge and is lined up to judge the three Royals and the national Hampshire Down event over the next four seasons.
For over 10 years, the couple have been firm supporters of the Hampshire Down Signet SRS which is designed to improve breed performance. The Owslebury flock is among the breed’s top 10% and has produced the annual top Hampshire Down SRS ram on five occasions. The Westlakes are also suppliers of rams to the breed association commercial flock of the year winners and finalists.
Chris comments: “We are really pleased to be the first flock to win this award two seasons in a row and feel that the award reinforces the judge’s decision last year, especially seeing as we came up against some different flocks this time. Commercial producers continue to demand a modern terminal sire to improve a flock’s profitability and efficiency with the ability to produce lambs that are lively and hardy with high levels of performance that match other leading terminal sires. From what we have seen they are satisfied that Hampshire Downs have provided the answer and they’re also finding the rams have longevity.”
Large flock: 1, E, B and S Jones; 2, H J Knight and Son; 3, R and K Vincent
Medium flock: 1, C and K Westlake; 2, G and J Boyles; 3, D and D Middleditch
Small flock: 1, T and J Hunter; 2, G and J Galbraith; 3, R Haynes and D Taylor
Novice flock: 1, R and J McFarlane; 2, Messrs E Parry; 3, W Thomas
Best stock rams: 1, R Vincent; 2, C and K Westlake
Breeding ewes: 1, H J Knight and Son; 2, E, B and S Jones
Older ewes: 1, C and J Westlake; 2, E, B and S Jones
Shearling ewes: 1, E, B and S Jones; 2, H J Knight and Son
Ewe lambs: 1, C and K Westlake; 2, H J Knight and Son
Scottish Flock: 1, R and J McFarlane; 2, M Blanchard
Champion Ram Lamb: 1, C and K Westlake; 2, E, B and S Jones
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