BIBLE HILL - The AgriDome will be filled with baas and bleats this weekend as sheep from across the country vie for top honours and dollars.
The two-day All Canada Classic Sheep Show and Sale opens today with nearly 300 sheep comprising 16 different breeds being brought in from every province except Newfoundland and Labrador.
"It's an opportunity for people to see sheep and see what happens in the industry and that kind of thing," said show chairwoman Rhonda McCarron, of the annual elite ram and ewe show sponsored by the Canadian Sheep Breeders Association and hosted by the Purebred Sheep Breeders Association of Nova Scotia.
This will represent the first time the All Canada Classic has been held in Nova Scotia since 2006.
"We're hoping for a good turnout," said Richard Hines of River John, a sheep farmer of more than 15 years and one of the event organizers.
"What will come here we hope will be top-notch breeding," he said of the four-legged entrants.
Participants are hoping the quality breeding will also lead to top dollars for breeders when the sale gets under way on Saturday.
Some recent sales have seen the best of the best go for more than $3,000 for individual animals and Hines said he is hoping that Saturday's event will also bring some good returns.
"There's some of them that will go quite high. There will be some in the thousands likely," he said. "If we got into the $2,000s it would be nice."
The sheep, all under two years of age, will be sold to the highest bidder through the gavel of auctioneer Andy Carter of Amherst, the 2008 Canadian champion.
"I think it will be a really good show. One of the best we ever had in Nova Scotia by the look of it," Valley sheep farmer Paul McNutt said.
"You're going to see the best in Canada," added fellow sheep farmer Wallace McKay of Upper Brookside.
During show day today, a fleece competition will also be held with a silent auction for the fleeces scheduled for Saturday.
The show will also include various industrial and commercial displays and sheep and wool supplies and handmade items will be available for purchase.
Everyone is welcome and there is no admission charge.
If you go:
All Canada Classic Sheep Show is being held in the AgriDome on the grounds of the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition in Bible Hill.
7 a.m. - barn opens
9 a.m. - trade show opens and silent auction on fleece competition entries begins
9:45 - opening ceremonies
10 a.m. - All Canada Classic Sheep Show begins
3 p.m. - silent auction closes
7 p.m. - banquet (featuring Nova Scotia lamb and salmon)
7 a.m. - barn opens
9 a.m. - trade show opens
10 a.m. - All Canada Classic Sheep Sale begins. (Release of sheep will begin after completion of sale);
• Note: All exhibitors must be present at time of examination of their animals. If necessary, animals can remain in barn until 10 a.m. Sunday.
Hay and straw will be available for purchase on site
Pre-purchased animals will be housed in separate barn on premises.