2018 saw another Irish export following on from those in 2017. This time it was Irish breeder Jim Croke of Co.Tipperary, who imported 10 in lamb shearling ewes from A.E.Williams & Son and their renowned Pen-y-Wern Flock. Jim is well known in the Zwartble Sheep world with his Tullamain Flock being crowned All Ireland Supreme Champion 2014,15,16,& 17. When Jim was asked why choose Cluns, he replied, "I was visiting a farm that keep Cluns and Zwartbles in Ireland and I was just so taken by them and their alertness as I entered the field and I have to say it was love at first sight. My friend told me a few weeks later that the man that she bought her Cluns from was indeed retiring from the sheep business. After researching the breed and learning how rare they were, we felt it a pity to see their numbers diminish further. This led to the decision to buy 3 lambs who subsequently turned out to be in lamb. Seeing how well the Cluns raised their lambs, being fabulous mothers and an extremely resilient breed just cemented the decision to start breeding pedigree Clun Forest Sheep." The ewes, which are by Sarnesfield 01052 and Guifron 00009 are all in lamb to Menutton 05008, arrived in Ireland in early January 2018 and are now lambing in their new home. Pictured below are the ewes in the December 2017 snow (prior to export) in their native Shropshire hills; then housed at Tullamain prior to lambing; finally the first Clun lamb to be born there. Good luck in 2018 to Jim and our other registered breeders in Ireland: E.Adamson (Kilroot Flock, Co. Antrim), L. & E.Skelly (Shanaghan Flock, Co. Down) & K.Rowley (Swinford Flock, Co.Mayo). If you have an unregistered Clun Flock in Ireland then drop us a line and register your flock.
Past CFSBS Chairman, Ralph Fulton, has donated a number of photos to the 'Clun Photo Archive' page, which has certainly filled some gaps for the Royal and the Royal Highland Shows of the 1970's and 80's. The Babraham Flock was founded in the 1950's by Ralph's father Tom, who managed the flock at The Institute of Animal Physiology, Cambridge and was very successful at the Royal and Three Counties Shows. Ralph has been instrumental in the establishment and the growth of the Clun in Holland and is still a regular judge at the Dutch Annual Show in August each year. Here are a few of those new photos.
Where will this fabulous breed take us next!