Judges & Ram Inspectors
Shetland Sheep Society judges and ram inspectors are appointed by the Judges & Inspectors Panel (J&IP) and are reviewed every four years. Any member of the Society may apply to become a trainee ram inspector, if they fulfill the necessary criteria, and once successful in this discipline may then go on to become a judge. Find out more about becoming a trainee here.
Your ram is responsible for 50% of the genetics of your lamb crop and is, therefore, the most important animal in your flock. Ram inspections (find out more) play a key role in upholding the 1927 Breed Standard and members are strongly encouranged to have their rams inspected.
Below is the current list of approved Shetland Sheep Society Judges and Inspectors - as at December 2016
Judges & Inspectors
The current J&I Panel members and their contact email:
Philip Cowan (chair) firstname.lastname@example.org
Lesley Beazer email@example.com
Barry Watson (Committee Representative)
Any member may apply to the J & I P to become a trainee. Applicants should give details of relevant experience of keeping sheep, particularly the length of time they have been breeding/registering Shetland sheep. Acceptance as a trainee will be confirmed by letter and trainees will receive a Society Record Card to record the number of inspections/training sessions they attend.
The criteria for acceptance as a trainee will be based on the following:
- The trainee applicant will normally have been breeding and registering Shetland sheep for five years
- The minimum age to be accepted as a trainee is 18 years. In the case of young people, involvement in a family flock will be taken into account.
- Applicants must be prepared to travel for inspections and/or conferences and be intending to continue their involvement in the breeding and registering of Shetland sheep.
The training for a Ram Inspector is “hands-on” at inspections and/or shows where possible. When and if movement restrictions permit, workshops involving animals with defects will be organised.
Trainees should complete at least 25 inspections as a trainee. Credit for an inspection can be obtained from “Training Inspections”. These sessions may be either at a dedicated workshop or at a show. The trainee will undertake an initial one-to-one “Training Inspection” with a qualified inspector who will agree to demonstrate and illustrate to the trainee his/her methodology of inspection. The one to one tutorial will be with the ram owner’s consent.
Trainees will be expected to keep a detailed “log” of their inspections and training.
Trainees will be expected to attend at least one Ram Inspectors’ Conferences.
There is no time limit on the period of training
On completion of training a trainee will be expected to carry out a solo inspection in front of two experienced Ram Inspectors. Recommendation for promotion to Ram Inspector at completion of training is at the discretion of the J & IP.
INSPECTOR TO JUDGE
Inspectors, who aspire to become Shetland Sheep Society appointed judges, will be expected to have experienced a reasonable degree of success in the show ring.
It is not mandatory for all inspectors to become judges.
Newly appointed inspectors wishing to become judges should continue inspecting, continue their involvement in the breeding and registering of Shetland sheep, continue showing and act as steward at shows whenever possible. They can then begin to judge at smaller shows.
Promotion to judge will be by a proposer and seconder from two judges to the J & IP
Judges are expected to continue their involvement in the breeding, registering and showing of Shetland sheep.
Judges are encouraged to advise and give tutorials to trainees.
A Judge may for whatever reason request to be moved to the retired judges list.
A Judge will at the discretion of the J & IP and at the annual review of judges and inspectors, be placed on the “retired judges list” if they have ceased to be involved with the breeding and registering of Shetland sheep for a period of five years.
Judges and Inspectors Panel will carry out a review every four years on the continuing commitment of every Inspector and Judge to ensure that each is continuing to judge shows and regularly carry out inspections. The result of this review will be reported to Shetland Sheep Society Committee Meeting.
Each judge and Inspector must attend two Judges and Inspectors Conferences every four years.
The evolvement of the Ram Inspection scheme came about in the early 80’s when sheep were brought from the Islands and checked for size, quality etc. The first major inspection was at Cotswold Farm Park and about 90 rams were inspected, many of which failed. The late Dr S Bowie was a prime mover in the development of the voluntary scheme which is still with us today.
The value of Inspections today remains undiminished:
- For the experienced breeder it confirms a judgement made to rear a ram to maturity and if appropriate pass it on for breeding.
- It helps and assists new members and breeders in their choice of ram.
- It provides overall monitoring of our breed in conjunction with the 1927 standard. All assessment forms are reviewed annually by the J&IP.
- The system provides a training ground for trainee inspectors some of whom may subsequently become judges.
Applying for a Ram Inspection
To qualify for inspection a ram must have two UK flock eartags in place, have two broad (adult) teeth erupted and have at least 2.5 cm of second fleece. This requires the ram to be in its second year. It is not necessary to have the ram registered. It is possible to have it inspected to ensure that it is of a standard worthy of registering. There is no charge for a ram inspection at the present time.
In the first instance you should apply to any member of the Judges and Inspectors Panel who will arrange an inspection. Inspections can take place at any venue where two inspectors are present and can include shows. Home farm visits can also be arranged. It is expected that if you are requesting an inspection at an Agricultural Show it is good manners and for insurance purposes to give prior notification to the Secretary of that show.
After the inspection, provided that the ram has passed, you will be given a copy of the completed ram assessment form. For a ram already registered the top or master copy will be sent to the Ram Inspection Co-ordinator who will issue a certificate.
Rams which pass and are not already registered the master copy will be sent with the usual registration fee to the Registration Secretary who will register the ram and send details to the Inspection Co-ordinator who will issue you with an Approved Ram Certificate.
Thereafter the Approved Ram is identified in the Flockbook with an asterisk appended to his registration number and on the Pedigree Certificate issued after his approval. Rams that pass inspection are listed in the Approved Ram Register in the Flockbook for the year of
their approval. Also first generation progeny are identified by a + character before the sheep’s registration number.
J and I P October 2014
Venue Sheet for Inspectors to print off before carrying out inspections HERE.
Page Updated November 2015