Shepherd’s Lead

Shepherd’s Lead Contest

Pre-Registration Deadline TBD
Contact: Reni Melvin

Prior Shepherd’s Lead Contest Photos


The Shepherd’s Lead Competition is funded by the American Sheep Industry to promote the use of wool and is a great opportunity to educate the public on the benefits of 100% natural fibers. he competition will take place on Sunday (see Schedule for time).

Ribbons will be awarded for 3 places in each class to both the contestant and to the fiber creator/ source. In the case of winners where the contestant is also the fiber creator/ source only one ribbon will be awarded (for example: an contestant spins wool from their own animals and knits it into a scarf), but the contestant will be listed in the results under both categories (contestant and fiber source).

Additionally, premiums will be paid to the top 3 contestants.  The Best in Show will receive a rosette (no additional premium). The show results (contestant and fiber creator/ source) will be posted on the web site.

Classes and Premiums
A. Peewees – under 8 – Premiums: 1st $25, 2nd $15, 3rd $10
B. Juniors – ages 8 to 17- Premiums: 1st $50, 2nd $30, 3rd $20
C. Adults – 18 and older- Premiums: 1st $50, 2nd $30, 3rd $20

There will be 2 judges and they will use the following criteria:

Animal (30 points) – quality of fleece, cleanliness and overall appearance

Garment (30 points) – color, fit and style of garment

Poise and Control (30 points) – poise of the contestant, control of the animal, and knowledge of the animal and garment

Extra Credit (10 points) – garment handmade by contestant, animal owned by contestant, animal appropriately dressed to match contestant


There is no entry fee, however pre-registration is required by TBD if a donor animal is needed. GSSB reserves the right to edit the description if needed to meet the needs of the competition.
Contestant’s outfit must include one highlighted garment that is made from 100% natural fibers (wool, mohair, angora, alpaca, llama, etc.).
Contestant must lead a halter trained fiber animal around the show ring. Angora rabbits may be carried. Animals can be made available to contestants who do not own a fiber animal. Please indicate need and type animal requested on pre-registration form. You will be matched with a donor and notified who to contact well in advance of the competition.

Optionally the animal may be accessorized with a matching scarf, hat, etc., that matches the contestant’s outfit.

Contestants should be able to answer basic questions about their animal and highlighted garment.

Fiber/ Garment-Specific:
The fiber creator/ source should be provided on the pre-registration form so that the provider is eligible for the Fiber Source Award in each class. The fiber creator/source can be the contestant, one of the Festival Vendors or another source.

A list of the Festival Vendors who are offering free yarn/fiber (Vendor Participants) to contestants will be posted on this web page beginning in July. It is the responsibility of the contestants and vendors to arrange what is provided and how the fiber is delivered.

If fiber is provided free to a contestant, it is the contestant’s responsibility to exhibit an item made from the fiber provided and to indicate the source on the pre-registration form.If the contestant is unable to compete it is their responsibility to return the fiber to the vendor in as provided condition OR pay the vendor their normal purchase price for the donated fiber.  It is the responsibility of the vendor and the contestant to resolve any issues around the provision of the fiber and what is or is not exhibited.”

Fiber provided may be raw or washed fleeces, batts, roving, yarn or any other fiber form that can be used to create a garment.

Garments may be constructed using any method including but not limited to knitting, crocheting, weaving or felting.

The fiber animal will be judged on its fiber, so sheep should have at least 2″ of fleece. Sheep do not need to be blocked or fit, but they should be free of dung tags, have clean ears and trimmed feet. The fiber animal may be white or colored, and need not be registered. The contestant does not have to own the fiber animal.

All animals must be free from infectious and contagious diseases. Sheep and goats must be accompanied by a Health Certificate from state of origin dated within 30 days of the festival. In addition, animals will be inspected by a veterinarian at the show grounds. (See the general show rules on the web site for more information).

Because of the mandatory Scrapie program, all sheep and goats must be tagged with official identification.

Please bring your own pens, bedding, hay, buckets, feed and halters.

Animals must be checked-in by 10:00 AM Saturday and may leave after the competition.


Registration Information:

Submit info below to Reni Melvin:

Contestant’s Name:

Contestant’s email and phone number:

Class (circle):     PeeWee (< 8)                Junior (8-17)                     Adult (>17)

Garment Description including fiber content (will be read during competition):

Fiber Source (Festival Vendor Name, Other Vendors/ Source Name or Contestant):

Fiber Animal Requested for Display in Show Ring (circle):      Yes           No
        If yes, indicate type animal requested:

Page Last Updated: 7-Sep-2018