Events in the Main Ring

Cathy handing over fleece after shearing HerdwickThe Main Ring at Mitchell’s is associated with most of our animal-related events including:

  • Sheep shearing demonstrations 
  • Rare breed parade 
  • Assorted talks

But we also try to have something different – from auctions of crafted sheep to presentations on choosing a raw fleece, keep an eye on the Programme once you get to Woolfest and make the most of a chance to sit down too!

At Woolfest this year Cathy Cassie was back with her demonstation of sheep shearing.  Much loved by many of you!  

Peter Titley, former President of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) again gave his fascinating talk about rare and endangered sheep breeds as the various animals are brought into the ring. He also presented the Marsh Christian award for RBST Volunteer of the Year in 2016 to Woolfest regulars and North Ronaldsay sheep breeders Anne and John Lane. I'm sure many of you enjoyed seeing their tup, Mario, this year.

Sue Blacker of Blacker’s Yarns gave two presentations in the Main Ring.  'Fleece Selection and Sorting' on Friday, then 'Suiting Fibre, Fleece and Yarns to Projects' on Saturday.  Sue answered questions and shared her expert fibre knowledge in both talks.

Alison O'Neil, the Shepherdess, gave a talk each day about Cumbria's native sheep breeds - Herdwick, Swaledale and Rough Fell.  Though Herdwicks and Swaledales are familiar to most, how many of you were previously familiar with the Rough Fell breed?

On Saturday there were two talks by the puppeteers from Theatre by the Lake's Easter production of 'The Shepherd's Life'.  The puppeteers previously worked on 'War Horse' too. There was a demonstration of puppeteering techniques and a relaxed workshop where visitors could have a go themselves.


Peter Titley (RBST) giving rare breed commentary 2016

Sue Blacker's talk on selecting fleece Woolfest 2015

Alison O'Neil taking her sheep to the main ring 2016

Collie sheepdog puppet 2016