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Home > Barn Fundraiser > Open Sheep Show

Open Sheep Show

The Open Sheep Show will be held on Wednesday, August 16

Open Sheep leaves Saturday night after 10:00 p.m.

Open Sheep – Purebreds and Commercial

Section II – Sheep

Martha Phillips – Department Superintendent

Lisa Kanney – Assistant Superintendent

Judge: Willie Morris

Rules and Regulations for Open and Junior Divisions


  • All entries must be completed on the Fair Entry website by July 1. You will need correct ear tag numbers and birthdates to enter your animals. These will be required fields. Help information can be found at:
  • All exhibits in this department are subject to the general rules of the Rockingham County Fair Association and Show Ring Code of Ethics. See General Rules and Regulations for health requirements and barn area rules.
  • After registration is submitted, no substitution of animals will be allowed without approval of the Department Superintendents. NO substitution will be authorized after August 07, 2023. Once the show has started there will be no discussion about changing ownership or classes. If you miss your class that animal will be disqualified for pair and group classes.
  • All exhibits must be in place and checked in by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 13, 2023 and remain in place until 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 19, 2023.
  • Check-in times will be 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 13 for all Open and Jr Breeding Sheep. If you do not check-in your entries during this time period or made prior arrangements to come at a different time, you will be forfeited from the show.
  • All entries are open to Rockingham County residents and, depending on space, out of county entries will be accepted by invitation only.
  • Sheep Age Requirements: Yearling must be one year and under 2 years at day of show; senior lambs must be born September 1 to December 31 of the preceding year. Intermediate lambs born January 1-February 15 of the current year and junior lambs born on February 16 and after of the current year.
  • Commercial whether type entries will include ewes and rams that are purebred and crossbred.
  • Entries are encouraged from juniors who have ewe lambs NOT showing in the market lamb divisions. The only tags that should be visible are the farm tag and their scrapie tag. All commercial ewes will be shown slick shorn. No ewe lambs exhibited in the Market Lamb Show will be eligible to show in the Breeding Sheep Show. (No cross entries)
  • Only two animals per exhibitor will be allowed per class. Only one entry in pairs, pen of 4 lambs (both sexes must be represented) and flock classes. A maximum of 8 head per breed, per exhibitor will be allowed for 2023.
  • Any sheep with percentage papers will show in the Commercial class; example: percentage Suffolk and Dorset Advantage, etc.
  • Judging starts at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 16.
  • Exhibitors entering animals that are not brought to the fair, will forfeit pen space with no refund. Refunds will only be made with a veterinarian’s signed statement. Superintendents will reallocate extra pen space.


  • Sheep must have been recently shorn prior to health papers to be written by a veterinarian and at the arrival at the Rockingham County Fair to accommodate inspections. Fleece length shall not exceed 1/4” at arrival for all Commercial and Southdown breeds as well as any other breeds showing slick sheared (exception provided for breeding sheep shown in fleece or with fitted fleece). Breeding sheep that will be fitted must be washed prior entering the fair and rough cut out.
  • No more than 2-3 animals per pen. Overcrowding will not be tolerated.
  • Fresh water will be provided to sheep at all times by the exhibitor.
  • Tack space will be eliminated to ensure proper housing for the animals. No tack will be allowed until after noon on Monday and will be assigned by Superintendents. No more than one (1) day supply of feed and hay will be kept in the tack area. All bedding and extra feed must be kept in a trailer or brought from home each day. All tack, as space permits, may be shared by several exhibitors.
  • Fitting areas will be located outside the barns or in a fitting area. No fitting inside the hoop barn, unless there is an available vacant pen. All fitting areas are to be cleaned and free from trash and wool after each fitting session.
  • Exhibitors will be responsible for disposing of wool to the designated area in the back of the barn (DO NOT PLACE WOOL AND WET BEDDING IN TRASH CANS)
  • Judge’s decision is final.
  • Any animal deemed unsafe will be asked to leave the fairgrounds; including and not limited to destruction of the pens or being a traveler from pen to pen.
  • ALL animals, regardless of breed, will need to be halter or hand broken to show. NO dragging or picking up sheep to and from the show ring – this will NOT be tolerated and will result in the entry being automatically disqualified. The show ring is not a breaking arena.
  • Superintendents have the right to divide classes or to cancel classes due to lack of entries or to adjust class ages.


In keeping with our goal of maintaining the reputation of Virginia’s finest agricultural county fair, the sheep superintendents will require that any sheep not in good health, good body condition, and properly groomed for public viewing, be immediately removed from the fairgrounds.

  • A clean bill of health must accompany all sheep being shown and signed by a licensed veterinarian and must be present at check-in. Animals are not to be unloaded until a Superintendent has checked health papers and approved unloading. Sheep diagnosed with lamb fungus, sore mouth or any other contagious disease will not be allowed on the fairgrounds. A notation on the health paper is required from the veterinarian if any fungus or sore mouth is no longer contagious. All animals must be identified with an official USDA tag. (Scrapie tag) upon arrival at the fair.
  • Any animals not meeting entry requirements and/or found to have an active case of an infectious or contagious disease or condition will be eliminated from the show and will not be permitted in animal stalling or exhibit areas, and may be required to return to the premises of origin.
  • Club Lamb Fungus: Sheep must be free of clinical symptoms of club lamb fungus (ringworm). Any healed club lamb fungus lesions must demonstrate healthy skin. Sheep with active lesions will not be permitted on the fairgrounds, animal stalling or exhibit areas. An animal that has had a contagious disease and has been successfully treated but still has physical evidence of the disease must be accompanied by a note from an accredited veterinarian on that animal’s health certificate regarding the successful treatment of the disease. If no notation is made on the health certificate, a veterinarian will be called to elevate and rewrite the certificate at the owner’s expense.
  • Sheep must be free of clinical signs of sore mouth, foot rot, and Caseous Lymphadenitis. Animals showing clinical symptoms of these conditions will be moved from the exhibition grounds. With reference to caseous lymphadenitis, “clinical symptoms” is used to define abscesses of the lymph nodes, whether draining or not.
  • Any animal that shows evidence of prolapse will be excused from the fair and asked to be taken home. This will forfeit the animal to be shown in its class, pairs, pens and flock classes. Should the animal be taken into the ring it will immediately be excused and disqualified from all other classes.
  • NO muzzles on sheep.


  • Open Breeding Sheep leaves Saturday night after 9:00 p.m.
  • Use caution with the traffic in the loading and unloading areas.


  • Premiums less than $10.00 per exhibitor will be paid in cash
  • Cash payments will be issued beginning Tuesday, Sept 1 from 2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. You will have until Nov 1 to pick-up cash premiums.
  • Checks will be issued Tuesday, Sept 1 2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. After Sept 3 they will be mailed.
  • All monies not claimed by Nov 1, will be returned to the department budget for the next year.
  • Prizes will not be paid if not listed in the catalog. There are no prize monies for Supreme and Reserve Supreme Champions, Grand Champion, Reserve Champions, Ole timers and Showmanship’s. Those awards are donated by generous sponsors and from the Rockingham County Fair

Premiums are as follows:

1st place - $14 4th place - $8

2nd place – 12 5th place - $6

3rd place - $10

2023 Open and Jr. Breeding Sheep Show

10:00 am-

SHOWMANSHIP-must be pre-entered. (Please indicate on entry if you are participating and birthdate)

Class 1 – Pee Wee Showmanship – Judged (Anyone 8 and under)

Class 2 – Jr. Showmanship (9-12 years old)

Class 3 – Intermediate Showmanship (13-16 years old)

Class 4 – Sr. Showmanship (17-21 years old; Must be 21 or under on day of show)

**Classes and Divisions may be split after all entries are received, pending on entries**

BREEDING SHEEP SHOW (Immediately Following Showmanship)

Eligible Breeds: Commercial, Cheviot, Dorset, Suffolk, Southdown, Hampshire

Class No./Name of Class

1- Yearling Ram 1 year, under 2

2- Senior Ram Lamb- born between Sept 1-Dec 31

3-Intermediate Ram Lamb-born between Jan 1-Feb 15

4- Junior Ram Lamb-born Feb 16 and after

5- Pair Ram Lambs

Champion and Reserve Champion Ram

6- Yearling Ewe 1 year, under 2

7- Pair Yearling Ewes

8- Senior Ewe Lamb-born between Sept 1-Dec 31

9-Intermediate Ewe Lamb-born between Jan 1-Feb 15

10-Junior Ewe Lamb-born Feb 16 and after

11- Pair Ewe Lambs

Champion and Reserve Champion Ewe

13- Pen of 4 Lambs, both sexes represented

14- Flock, Ram under 2 years, 2 yearling Ewes, 2 Ewe Lambs

SUPREME DRIVE-Overall Ram and Ewe


Martha Phillips – Department Superintendent

Lisa Kanney – Assistant Superintendent

Shelley Ellington- Assistant Superintendent- Shepherds Lead and Costume Classes

SHEPHERD’S LEAD LINE CLASS (After a brief break following the Supreme Drive)

An opportunity for exhibitors to showcase wool outfits and present themselves and their sheep in a graceful, attractive manner.


  • Outfits must be at least 60% wool and be purchased or handmade (garment must be age appropriate) – Score 40%
  • Poise and appearance (accessories, presentation) Score – 35%
  • Control and presentation of the sheep. Score – 25%
  • Senior entries will have the opportunity to answer one random question about the sheep industry, current agriculture events or the fiber industry. Extra Score – 15%.
  • Market lamb exhibitors are invited to participate
  • Pre-registration is required
  • Prizes will be awarded

Class 1-Juniors (12 years of age or younger as of September 30, 2023)

Class 2-Intermediate (13 – 15 years of age as of September 30, 2023)

Class 3-Senior (16 – 21; Must be 21 or under on day of show)- SR’s will have a short question to answer for the judges. Questions will be emailed to the contestants after entries are received.

Class 4-SELECTION OF OVERALL SHEPHERDS LEAD LINE WINNER- all 1st place Jr, Inter, and Sr are invited back to complete for the Overall Winner.

COSTUME CLASS- (following the Shepherds lead) Costume class will be combined for the sheep and goats-one entry per exhibitor.


  • Pre-registration is required
  • Groups will compete in the class of the oldest exhibitor (example- exhibitors are 9, 13, 15-year-old they would compete in the Intermediate category)
  • Costume’s must be age appropriate, happy, colorful and fun!
  • Costume Suggestions- FAIR THEME- Celebrating 75 years of the fair! Storybook characters, hobbies, jobs, a food item, sports teams. You pick!
  • Prizes will be awarded

Class 1. Peewee – Non-Judged (8 years of age and under) Assistance will be allowed. All Pee Wees entered will receive a prize.

Class 2. Juniors (12 years of age or younger as of September 30, 2023)

Class 3. Intermediate (13 – 15 years of age as of September 30, 2023)

Class 4. Senior (16 – 21 years of age as of September 30, 2023)

OLE TIMERS SHOWMANSHIP- Best class, last class!

Calling all kids, husbands, wives, grandma’s, paw paw’s and anyone who wants to have a good time at the fair – Open to anyone over the age of 21. Grab a sheep and show the young one’s how it’s done!

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