Border Leicester

Breed Type: Wool Breed
Country of Origin: England
Breed Association Website: ablasheep.org

The Border Leicester breed was developed by the Cully brothers in Northumberland, England in 1767 from the crossing of Leicester rams with Teeswater ewes. Some believe that Cheviot blood was also introduced prior to the firm establishment of the breed in 1850. While the Leicester breed was first introduced by George Washington, there are no reports of Border Leicesters being imported into the U.S. The breed was first recognized in the States in 1920 as the result of a census. Since their establishment, Border Leicesters have been used in the improvement and development of other longwool breeds.

These medium-sized sheep are easily recognizable by their characteristic heads which are free of wool with long, erect ears and an arched Roman nose. Their bare legs and head make it easy to shear them for their long, lustrous wool. Traditional Border Leicester fleeces are between 38 and 30 microns and have “pencil” locks with tips ending in small curls. Over the course of a year, these animals grow 8-12 pounds of wool which will yield 70% after scouring. The fleece of a Border Leicester is extremely versatile – it can be spun for texture or for smoothness, felts well, and is easily dyed. Although a longwool breed, some of the finer wool can even be used in everyday garments like sweaters and socks.

Border Leicesters are easy to manage due to their maternal nature, easy keeping, and calm temperament. They are prolific, heavy milkers, and make excellent mothers. When kept on pasture, they are good foragers and can get by with less feed. These traits, along with how easy they are to handle, make them extremely desirable animals for any shepherd.


This breed presented by

Sunset Springs Farms
Brietta Latham
12708 Hessong Bridge Road
Thurmont, MD 21788
(240) 457-0440

2023 Featured Breed: Jacob

Learn more about the Jacob breed and talk to JSBA members in the Breed Display Barn (Barn 7-8 on the map) while you are at the Festival.

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Note from the festival office - Fleece Show & Sale checks (premiums and fleece sale proceeds) have all been delivered to the post office. Auction checks and checks for Sheep Show premiums have all been written and signed and are in the process of being stuffed into envelopes (fingers crossed that I don't run out of envelopes before Staples delivers more on Monday). Factoid - those three categories generated a total of 300 checks, which is a stack almost 2" high. Waiting for payment information from the Skein & Garment committee so I can write checks for their special prizes. Ditto for payments to the Sheep-to-Shawl teams. ... See MoreSee Less
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In case you missed our earlier announcement, we are now accepting orders for a second printing of large tote bags and moss green t-shirts at www.sheepman.com/product-category/maryland-sheep-wool-festival-online/. Orders will be accepted through COB on Wednesday, May 24th. After that time, the order will go to the printer. They have given us a turn around time of around 2 weeks to have the items printed. Once we have the shirts in hand, we will start shipping to fulfill the orders. Your credit card will not be charged until your order ships. Note: The "guesstimated" shipping fee that is computer generated by the online sales platform at the time of your order tends to run high. You will likely notice the actual charge when your order is shipped is considerably less. Store pickup at the Sheepman Supply showroom in Frederick, MD is also possible; put "store pick up" in special instructions when you check out and you won't be charged the shipping. #mdsw #mdsw2023 #festivalgear #celebrating50years ... See MoreSee Less
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Due to the overwhelming popularity of our 50th anniversary items, we are now accepting orders for a second printing of select items at www.sheepman.com/product-category/maryland-sheep-wool-festival-online/. The order period will run until COB on Wednesday, May 24, at which time we will send the order off to the screen printing company. The delivery time will run 2-4 weeks from that point. These second printing items are limited to the large boat tote bag and a short-sleeve t-shirt in Moss green. The shirts are a ComfortWash by Hanes garment-dyed t-shirts in 5.5 ounce, 100% ring-spun cotton and standard unisex sizing, sizes S to 3X. All sales on this second printing will be final (no returns or exchanges). There is also a small quantity of already-printed items available on a first-come, first- served basis until supplies are exhausted:Short-sleeve t-shirt in “Indigo Blue” – Small (16), Medium (14), Large (8), XL (6), 2X (4), 4X (4), 5X (2)Hooded long-sleeve t-shirt in “Saltwater” – Small (6), Medium (4), Large (4), XL (8)Large boat tote bags (8) – these are the same mentioned above“Peacock” blue backpack (13)“Red Rock” beach wash shoulder tote (6)Large posters (12)Small posters (7)These are the same items that were available online prior to the festival and were also sold at the festival. Pickup at Sheepman Supply in Frederick, MD is available. Put “Store Pick Up” in special instructions when you check out and you won’t be charged the shipping. Thank you for your patience while we worked out these details.#mdsw #mdsw2023 #celebrating50years #festivalgear ... See MoreSee Less
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