Vermont 4-Hers do well at Eastern States sheep show

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Eleven Vermont 4-H sheep club members were selected to represent the state at the regional 4-H sheep show, Sept. 27-29, at Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Mass. This is the largest delegation sent by University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H in recent years.
The 4-H’ers competed in several events, including Fitting and Showmanship, Conformation and Lead Line classes; as well as Quiz Bowl, General Knowledge and Skill-a-thon; and Sheep Blocking and Fitting contests. In addition to delegates achieving high individual scores in many of these competitions, Vermont earned first place for its educational exhibit.
Claudia Cousineau of Shoreham won the Individual Shepherd Award for Vermont, which is presented to one exhibitor in each of the participating New England states who shows outstanding teamwork and dedication to his or her 4-H project. The recipient is chosen by secret ballot by the delegates.
Cousineau also had the Best Fleeced Animal in overall competition and was a member of the winning quiz bowl team along with teammates Allison Henson of Hinesburg, and Colleen Bernier and Siri Swanson, both of Orwell. Gabrielle Ochs, also of Orwell, finished first in the Junior Skill-a-thon contest, designed to evaluate the 4-H’ers’ knowledge of sheep through a series of learning stations where they perform a given task.
In the Fitting and Showmanship classes, the judges evaluated the 4-H’ers on both how well they presented their animal in the show ring and the animal’s overall appearance based on standards set for each specific breed of sheep. Local individual placements, by class, included:
INTERMEDIATE SHOWMANSHIP — WOOL BREEDS: 2. Claudia Cousineau, Shoreham; 9. Raymond Bushey, Vergennes.
JUNIOR SHOWMANSHIP — WOOL BREEDS: 2. Bekah Parent, Orwell; 4. Gabrielle Ochs, Orwell; 5. William Cousineau, Shoreham; 7. Jarod Bushey, Vergennes.
Some of the 4-H’ers also competed in lead line classes with Bernier taking second in the Intermediate Ladies’ Lead Line Division (14- and 15-year-olds). Swanson came in second in the Junior Ladies’ Lead Line Division for 12- and 13-year-olds.
In conformation classes, which are arranged by breed and age of the ewe, ram or lamb, the animals are judged on how well they meet the standards for their specific meat or wool breed. Local placements, by breed and class, were as follows:
BORDER LEICESTER: William Cousineau of Shoreham took first with his junior ewe lamb in one of the two groups of competitors in this class.
Claudia Cousineau of Shoreham placed first in several classes including junior ram lamb (first place in two separate groups for her lambs), junior ewe lamb, yearling lamb, pair of lambs and best exhibitor’s flock. Her animals also received several championships, including Champion Ram and Reserve Champion Ram, Champion Bred and Owned Ram, Champion Ewe and Reserve Champion Ewe, Champion Bred and Owned Ewe and Reserve Champion Bred and Owned Ewe.
OXFORD: Bernier took first place for her yearling lamb and junior ewe lamb and had the Champion Ram and Champion Ewe for this breed.
ROMNEY: Parent won the yearling ram class. She also had the Champion Ram, Reserve Champion Ram, Champion Bred and Owned Ram and Reserve Champion Bred and Owned Ram. Ochs was equally successful in competition, taking firsts in the junior ram lamb, pair of lambs, best fleece and exhibitor’s flock. She earned second for her junior ewe lamb and third for her yearling ewe.
NATURAL-COLORED BREEDS: Swanson finished first in the yearling ram class. Jarod Bushey took second in the junior ram class. He also won the Reserve Champion Bred and Owned Ram award while Swanson took Champion Ram.
OTHER BREEDS WOOL: In the junior ram lamb class, Vermont had a one-two-three sweep of awards with Swanson placing first, Jarod Bushey second, and Raymond Bushey third. Swanson had the Champion Ram; Jarod Bushey the Reserve Champion and Champion Bred and Owned Ram; and Raymond Bushey the Reserve Champion Bred and Owned Ram. In the junior ewe lamb class Raymond Bushey placed first and Swanson second. For pair of lambs Swanson took first, and Raymond Bushey, second.
MARKET LAMBS: Swanson came in fourth.
For more information about the 4-H sheep program in Vermont, contact Wendy Sorrell, UVM Extension 4-H livestock educator, at [email protected] or (802) 656-5418.

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