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Exmoor pair are pick of the bunch

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: October 24, 2012

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A pair of Exmoor Horn rams proved the strength of Carol Burge's flock at Oaremead Farm when they came to market at Blackmoor Gate.

The two were placed first and third in the pre-sale show.

"It was lovely to win, it hasn't happened for quite a while because I've not had the time to get them ready for showing recently," said Carol, whose sheep graze the Oare Valley and Malmsmead, in the heart of Exmoor.

"I only kept two show rams for this year and both happened to be really good. Some years I can keep five or six and they just don't impress the judges at all.

"My father-in-law would have been chuffed," she said of the man who taught her much about the Exmoor Horns, the late W J Burge, winner of many shows around the country with this native breed.

"I got the bug for showing them from him," said Carol.

There are estimated to be about 15,000 Exmoor Horn breeding ewes in and around Exmoor, three-quarters of the total flock.

This year Carol has bought in two rams from flocks away from Exmoor to introduce fresh blood.

She said: "If farmers keep buying from the best rams you're sharing the same gene pool and everything becomes related to everything else. So I've stuck my neck out and bought two off different people from outside the area."

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