November is almost here, and many things come with it! Beautiful fall weather, Thanksgiving, and time with the Southdown Family at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky. Part of our time spent together includes the 28th Annual Stars of Louisville Sale. Follow the link below to check out the elite 40-head offering in this year’s sale.
You may ask yourself, “Why a Southdown?” when there are so many other breeds to choose from. You could choose Dorsets, Romneys, Natural Coloreds, and many many more. But you chose Southdowns. Why? Why Southdowns? Southdowns are one of the most popular breeds across the country. That means competition at most shows.
This brings us to reason 1: However, good competition allows for learning experiences. Good competition shows you ways that you can improve upon the traits you breed for or that maybe you could push you lambs a little more to be able to win the class.
Reason 2: So many opportunities. The opportunities are endless! One of my favorite experiences as a Southdown junior would definitely be showing in the National Southdown Show. The National Show has such high-quality animals, it’s amazing to just watch the show. Another opportunity is the opportunity I was given to write for an association for a breed I am so passionate about! The opportunity to write gets juniors involved and I believe that getting involved is very important.
Reason 3: They are really, really picture perfect. Whether they are the fuzzy lambs that are running and jumping in their pen when you give them new bedding. Or they are the ones with such elegant and regal faces that they have a certain ring presence. Their mousy grey muzzles and their big beautiful eyes makes for the best photos every time!
Reason 4: They have great personality. When people ask me what breed I think they should get for their kid who’s starting out I say Southdowns because they are good natured, have a sweet personality, and are well behaved in and out of the show ring.
Reason 5: Great mothers. As my ewes don’t lamb at my house, I find it important that my sister who is 7 and I are able to go in their lambing pen and not get hurt. Southdowns are one of the sweetest mother’s I have ever met.
There are so many other reasons on “Why a Southdown?” But these are the top 5 on why I chose a Southdown! Until next time!
Hello my name is Carrie Rutledge, and I am 20 years old. I was home schooled and graduated in 2015. I live on a small farm in York County, Pa., where I raise a flock of Southdown sheep. When I was around 11 a friend of mine asked me to help him with his Southdown ewes and lambs. I fell in love with the breed, so when I was 13 I bought my first two ewes and started showing that year. Now seven years later I breed, raise and show my lambs under my family farm name, Miniature Blessings Farm (MBF Southdowns). I’m proud of the bloodlines in my flock. My mother and I spent hours going over rams and ewes trying to find the best pairings to get the best lambs we can out of the breeding.
I love traveling and showing around my state and country seeing old friends and meeting new ones and seeing all the Southdowns there. I enjoy seeing the new lambs when they hit the ground and hoping that the breeding and bloodlines will turn that lamb into a great show sheep and breeding animal. My goal each year with my bred and owned lambs is to place better than the year before. I also want to be a role model for the younger showmen. I want to be that person that when they watch from the sidelines they see what a good sportsman looks like and be that person they know they count on to be their cheer leader in and out of the ring and help them in any way I can.
As anyone that raises livestock knows, that hardest part of raising sheep is losing a lamb, either at birth or after you put many hours of work into training, feeding, showing and all the high hopes for the breeding of that lamb. It never gets easier when you lose one. I always wonder if there was something more I could have done to save that little life even thought I know I did all that I could.
My proudest moment with my Southdowns has to be showing my favorite ewe MBF 002. Most of my showmanship championships and top five showmanship wins happened with this ewe, as well as winning Grand Overall Champion Junior Ewe at my county fair in 2017. This little bred and owned ewe pushed me to be the showman I am in and out of the ring. From the time she was born everyone said she was born to be in the ring and she sure proved that. Now I show her half sister who is following in her hoof prints.
Another great moment in the ring was with my show ram this year Smith 18-13, he placed 9th at All American and has been top five or better at every other show he has been to, and was also named the Grand Champion Southdown Ram 2018 at my county fair.
Well there is a little bit about me and my Southdowns, until next time!