by Angharad Evans, Welsh Language Communications Officer
After two very difficult years for our societies, it’s nice to see the buzz of their activities returning once again.
Members of the Jacob Sheep Society Wales region recently had the opportunity to get together to celebrate the year’s successes during an awards presentation.
One family from Llanfynydd, and loyal members of the Union in Carmarthen enjoyed considerable success, as two generations of the family won prizes. Arwel Jones, and his Celtic flock won the title of best large flock in Wales, and it wasn't just Arwel who won trophies.
The next generation were also successful as Arwel's nephews, Harri and Griff won prizes after a successful summer of showing Levi and Bella, you’ll find out who these two are in a moment. But let’s start by learning more about the Celtic flock of Jacob sheep, founded in the early 1990s. "Although I have won the small flock and reserve place in the large flock competition in the past, it was a complete shock to be successful this time around, but I’m extremely proud, as the majority of the sheep are home bred for several generations," explains Arwel.
"It's an honour to receive awards like this, especially from such well experienced judges. Twenty sheep doesn't always look like a large flock, and considering that some of the sheep are 7 to 9 years old and a quarter of the flock are yearling ewes, I wasn't expecting much. Obviously the judges were pleased with what they saw and noted consistency throughout the flock, meeting the breed standard with well bodied sheep and wool. The sheep are a hobby for me, but they need to pay their way, so keeping the standard is important, keeping them as commercial as possible but at the same time producing lambs for the pedigree sales.
"I won the best ram back in 2003 with Owlscote Barrie who is now a bloodline in all my sheep. Almost twenty years later, it was nice to win again with a home-bred ram, Celtic Mini Ben who won his class at the Royal Welsh in 2022 and has produced lambs who have also won top prizes.
“I work full time, and keeping a flock of sheep for showing is hard work. But I’m grateful to the whole family for their help. I’m very proud of my two nephews, Harri and Griff, although they live in the town of Carmarthen, it is clear that agriculture is in their blood.
It was nice that they also experienced success, as they enjoy working with the sheep and do a lot of preparation work for the shows without help.
"Harri thinks the prizes are great and is very proud of the sheep, especially Levi, his ram. Griff took his prizes to show Bella, and he’s given her permission to do anything she wants, as she’s a winner.
"Many say that some of the best Jacob sheep in the country are in Wales, so I'm looking forward to judging this year's competition."
Congratulations Arwel, Harri and Griff, and it is clear that the future of Celtic Jacobs is in very safe hands. We eagerly look forward to hearing more about Harri and Griff's adventures with Levi and Bella in the future.
It’s quite possible that you will guess what the connection is between the Jacob Sheep Society Wales Region Champion Young Handler Gwenllian Evans and Cornel Clecs - do you remember her as ‘Ladi Fach Tŷ Ni’ for many years?!
Junior Young Handler Winners: (Right) 1st Harri Morris; 2nd Griff Morris; 3rd Sara Harries and 4th Lois Harries with competition sponsor as well as Jacob Sheep Society Wales Region Large Flock competition winner Arwel Jones.
Intermediate Young Handler winner and Overall Champion Young Handler Gwenllian Evans with competition sponsor Wyn Harries and junior young handlers competition sponsor Arwel Jones.