The number of prairie raised sheep to win grand or reserve champion at the All Canadian Sheep classic was far above average this year.
Courtney MacDougall, president of the Sask. Sheep Development Board, says the usual number of winners from the Prairies is around 10 to 15, making this year’s 27 winners a significant increase from past years.
MacDougall attributes part of the success of prairie sheep to the event being hosted in Saskatchewan but admits the number of winners this year is also higher than at the previous western-hosted shows.
“(Western and Eastern representation) is normally pretty even because the people that came this year might come every two years, but don’t go east. Just because of mileage and the cost. Or they go and they just buy instead of actually exhibiting,” says MacDougall. “But I’d say it was above average even for a west show because it was pretty strong but consistent to the trends of the last five years when I looked back.”
MacDougall says the prices were also high with this show being “one of the top selling classics in history.” The average price for ewes was $603, while the average price for rams was $840.
“It’s definitely in the top four for one of the best averages,” she says. “I think that to be honest the committee did a really good job connecting with the different Hutterite colonies that are around and different buyers. I also think that it could just be the time of the show was really good and we just hit a good year that people were looking for rams.”
MacDougall said the prices for North Country Cheviots, in particular, were as high as they’ve ever been which she attributes to the show having some new bloodlines this year.
“I think that some of the Cheviots that were there were newer bloodlines so people were looking for that. A lot of that does come into play because Canada is so small; getting different genetics is a bit of a challenge. So when there are genetics out there and available people tend to pay more for them,” she said.
Case in point was one North Country Cheviot yearling ewe that set the high water mark for all the winners with a sale price of $2,700.
The supreme champions this year were a Dorset yearling ram that sold for $1,400 and a Suffolk yearling ewe that went for $1,700.
The following animals were the prairie-raised sheep that won grand champion at this year’s All Canadian Sheep Classic in Humboldt.