Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dorset Sheep!

We raise a breed of sheep called Horned Dorsets, which are a very old breed originally from Dorset County in Southern England.  About eight years ago my Dad came to England on a business trip and took along me, my Mom, Aaron, and another one of my brothers, Stanley.  While we were here we visited a sheep farmer named Francis in Dorset who breeds Horned Dorset sheep, and we were very impressed with his stock.  We ended up using his bloodlines in our flock with artificial insemination, and have been quite pleased with the results.

On this trip Aaron and I decided we needed to visit Francis once again; after all, he's the only person in Britain that we actually know, and it would be nice to see his current sheep flock.

So on Friday after visiting the Ashmolean Museum, we got on the train to Crewkerne, a small town in Somerset, near the Dorset border, and the closest train station to where Francis lives.  We were planning to find a bus that heads in his direction, but he kindly offered to pick us up at the station.

When we arrived at his farm it was beginning to rain, so we checked out the sheep first to keep ahead of the storm.  He had several different fields with sheep of various ages, and we were especially impressed with his adult ewe flock for their good type and uniformity.  (a ewe is a female sheep, a ram is a male).  I will post some pictures soon.

The countryside of Dorset is very nice, and we also got to see some wildlife.  We saw many pheasants, and three wild deer; two of which were black.  We have never seen black deer, so that was a treat for us.

After seeing all the sheep, Francis invited us inside, and true to British custom, offered us a jolly good cup of English tea.  After tea we went to dinner at a nice pub, and Francis dropped us off in Dorchester, where we could find a place to stay and reach a train station.

The next morning we took a train from Dorchester to Bournemouth, where the famous "Jurassic Coast" is located, along with awesome sandy beaches, and this evening we will be heading back to Oxford after going for a nice cold swim.  See you all tonight in Oxford!

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