Three Valais Blacknose, considered by some experts to be the cutest breed of sheep in the world, have been entered for the Winton A&P Show on Saturday.
Grace and Rachelle Keen will be exhibiting three Valais first cross hoggets nicknamed Molly, Rosie and Minty. The trio live on the family farm at Winton and are owned by Grace, 18.
The hoggets are out of two English Leicester ewes who were in lamb when given to Grace as a birthday present by her parents, Greg and Rachelle. ‘‘Grace loves sheep,’’ Rachelle said.
Each ewe had twins. The only male, Larry, is not going to show because there is no section for him. However, he and his sisters will be at the Gore show on February 1.
The quartet had their first birthday on Wednesday.
Rachelle said she agreed with the breeders at Valais Blacknose New Zealand that Valais were the cutest sheep in the world.
‘‘They’re a Swiss breed and bred for their wool . . . They have to be shorn every six months,’’ Rachelle said.
The wool around their face grows fast and the four owned by Grace get their faces trimmed often.
Another one or two Valais sheep owners were expected to be exhibiting at the Winton show, Rachelle said.
Show president Dellwyn Malcolm hoped farmers and contractors could take a day off and attend the event. Many of them got behind in their farm work with the wet weather through the spring and early summer, and were now working long hours to catch up.
The poor weather conditions had made it difficult for exhibitors to get their livestock in prime condition, he said.
Malcolm, who is now in his second year as president, would be exhibiting 70 South Suffolk and Leicester stud animals.
The Heddon Bush farmer became involved with the Winton show in 2008 and joined the committee seven years ago.
One concern was the shortage of young people willing to be involved in running the show, Malcolm said.
There were about 33 show directors, all of whom were volunteers, and their average age was 50 or older.
Malcolm said it was important for the future of the show that young people became part of the organising group. Ways to attract them were needed.
He expected that, with fine weather, 3000 to 4000 people would attend on Saturday.
‘‘They’re a Swiss breed and bred for their wool . . . They have to be shorn every six months.’’ Rachelle Keen
Rachelle and Grace Keen with Molly, who is one of the Valais Blacknose hoggets to be exhibited at the Winton A&P Show on Saturday.