The search is on for the Caltech Hampshire Down commercial flock of the year.
The award is open to all commercial sheep producers in Britain using two or more performance-recorded pedigree Hampshire Down rams over a portion of their flock.
A total of £1,000 of Caltech product is at stake together with £50 ram purchase vouchers for each of the four finalists.
The awards will be presented at the NSA Sheep Event 2014 held at Malvern in July.
After entries have closed on April 30, judging will take place during June by ADAS sheep specialist Kate Phillips, who will take into account overall flock performance, including genetics, health and technical and financial management together with marketing arrangements.
The Hampshire Down Sheep Breeders’ Association’s Richard Davis said: “We’re delighted to be running this award again, kindly sponsored by Caltech, to reward high performing commercial flocks using Hampshire Down rams to finish lambs quickly from low inputs.”
Caltech’s David Parker added: “We are pleased to once again support this initiative and thrilled that the Hampshire Down sire continues to gain popularity, with both registrations and prices significantly increasing.
“Previous winners include Chris and Caroline Hodgkins, West Sussex and Duncan Nelless and Simon Bainbridge both of Northumberland. Each found Hampshire Down rams were leaving lambs that finished to target weight quickly off grazed grass thereby freeing up the grazing swards for other livestock.
“We’re looking forward to recognising others who are finding that introducing the Hampshire Downs as a terminal sire is helping to reduce enterprise costs, improve its overall efficiency and in turn help them gear up for CAP Reform next year.”