Could You Have The Golden Fleece?
British Wool are looking for THE 2017 Golden Fleece to highlight and showcase the exceptional quality of British produced wool
All producers marketing their wool through British Wool are being invited to enter fleeces into the 2017 National Golden Fleece competition. Initiated by British Wool in association with JG Animal Health, producers can enter via the network of 11 grading depots up to the end of October, whilst qualifying fleece competitions have been held at 14 agricultural shows across the UK during the summer months. Country competitions will then follow, with winning fleeces from these rounds being automatically entered into the final, to be judged this year by British Wool Sales Manager, Stephen Spencer, at The British Wool annual conference of regional committee representatives in Exeter on Wednesday 8th November.
The winner of the 2017 National Golden Fleece Champion will receive a competition salver as well as £500 prize money and reserve Champion will receive £250.
The key objectives of this competition are to showcase the exceptional high quality of British wool and to highlight the difference that fleece presentation can makes in terms of increasing the value of producers’ wool.
Last year’s winning Bluefaced Leicester fleece was exhibited by Jayne and Myrfyn Roberts from Gaerwen in Anglesey and was described as “a shining example of the breed, exhibiting excellent wool properties” as well as “a very worthy Golden Fleece for 2016.” Following the competition, it was the exhibitors’ wish for the fleece to be auctioned with proceeds split between two charities; Cancer Research UK and Ty Gobaith Conwy.
On being crowned the Golden Fleece of 2016, exhibitor Jayne Roberts said: “I was thrilled and honoured to have won the Golden Fleece competition last year. We as sheep producers have a product that has many different assets, be it producing future breeding animals or producing milk/cheese and meat for the food industry. From all these we produce a wonderful by-product: wool.
“Taking part in the competition was very easy. It was also great fun and an interesting learning curve on the journey of our wool from farm to auction. We as winners visited the British Wool depot in Bradford and were given a guided tour. It is clear to see how passionate the team are about their product and in obtaining the best price for our wool. Through the competition we were delighted to be able to enhance the profile of British Wool, especially the Bluefaced Leicester breed.”
Speaking ahead of this year’s national competition, Jonathan Guy, Managing Director of JG Animal Health said: “This is a very exciting and important competition for the industry that we are delighted to be involved with, and we are expecting strong entries throughout the qualifying rounds. It is certainly unquestionable that Stephen will have his work cut out in judging the final rounds.”
For British Wool the show season is coming to a close and so it is keen to encourage producers to enter their fleeces through their local grading depot by Tuesday 31st October. A maximum of two fleeces per producer can be entered. These fleeces must be packaged separately to the remainder of the wool clip and be accompanied by a completed entry form.
On receipt of the competition entry, the fleece will be allocated to the appropriate category of the competition, either traditional carpet fleece or speciality/knitwear fleece. All entries will be judged daily by the depot manager and senior head grader and the best fleece from each day will be judged against those from previous days.
Ahead of the National Golden Fleece final judging, the winning fleeces from each country are then put forward to the second round. All eight country finalists will be invited to attend the presentation ceremony and will each receive a prize of £125 in product vouchers from JG Animal Health. This round culminates with an overall champion from each category being selected to be judged against each other.
The final round will see both exhibits competing to pick up the title of ‘2017 British Wool National Golden Fleece Champion’.
Commenting, Stephen Spencer said: “Competitions such as these really do highlight the outstanding quality of British wool and it is rewarding for producers to gain some recognition for this. Following a successful inaugural year last year, we are expecting a very high calibre of entries.
“To get through to the second round and be selected as one of the best exhibiting fleeces in your country is something to be immensely proud of, however to take home the title of British Wool National Golden Fleece Champion really is the is the ultimate accolade of superb quality wool for wool producers across the UK.”
Ian Buchanan, Chairman of British Wool said “This is an important competition for both British Wool and its producers with entries being received the length and breadth of the country. We are actively encouraging producers to enter their fleeces and showcase the exceptional high quality of British wool.”
Full competition rules, as well as a list of eligible shows and British Wool grading depots, can be found on www.britishwool.org.uk.
Notes to editors:
Jayne & Myrfyn Roberts 2016 Golden Fleece Competition Champion
Ian Buchanan British Wool Chairman
Stephen Spencer British Wool Sales Manager
For further information or to arrange an interview
Please contact either
Lauren Boulton, British Wool’s Acting Producer Communications Manager
07970 476300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane Keating on 01274 688666 or email@example.com
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