OK So it’s not quite the solstice, but the celebration will last at least until then.
All 11 new rams, 3 adults and 8 ram lambs are now legally landed citizens of Canada. They cleared the border at 6:00 pm and are now on their way to temporary quarters before being disbursed to all the Canadian flocks participating in this importation.
I did some more checking and by cross referencing all the sheep that had been sold to Canada with all the sheep I know about whose pedigrees I have and am confident of it looks like the total Canadian population of purebred Black Welsh Mountain sheep was founded on 8 animals, 2 separate importations of 3 ewes and a ram, one in about 1985 and one in 1998 or 1999 both from Tom Wyman’s Wye Heights flock.
21 December edit Correction to the founding animals for the Canadian flocks: There was one importation of 5 ewes and at least one and perhaps two rams in 1987. And then in 1999 3 ewes and 2 rams were sent to Canada. Those are the only documented importations to Canada until this one.
This group of new rams will make a huge difference to the long term viability of the breed in Canada.
A special thanks to everyone involved, Becky Bemus, Lois Heslop, Dr. Cotten, Dr. Kelley, Dr. Sponenberg, Ron Keener and all the others who helped or will be participating in the cooperative breeding program outlined for these rams.
I’m celebrating with a shot of that lovely Welsh single malt, Penderyn.