The British Texel Society is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, with a series of events and other activities to give breeders across the UK the opportunity to come together and celebrate this important society milestone.

The major focus of the society’s celebrations take place during the summer months and include a Textravaganza weekend at Carlisle on July 5-6 (Friday and Saturday).

The Friday will see an inter-club competition day with teams of five from regional Texel clubs tackling a series of tasks, including stock judging, shearing and cookery challenges.

This will be followed on the Friday evening by the society’s summer sizzler BBQ and party for all society members.

The Saturday will then see members competing in the Textravaganza National Show, with classes being judged by Robert Cockburn of the Knap flock and Jennifer Aiken, Coniston.

“This promises to be an excellent weekend giving members the opportunity to come together and relax while also having a competitive edge,” explained John Yates, society chief executive.

Alongside these member-focused events, the society will also be issuing commemorative 50th anniversary rosettes to local shows across the UK and hosting an international visitors workshop for Texel breeders from across the world.

“British Texel genetics have been exported across the globe and the society is delighted to invite breeders from overseas to see Texels here in the UK in this special year.

“Visitors will have the opportunity to attend the Textravaganza National Show, a series of flock visits and the Great Yorkshire Show,” he added.

Helping to mark the anniversary will be a 50th anniversary book and a series of podcasts, featuring insights from a number of noted Texel breeders reflecting on the society’s success over the last half century.

Wrapping up the celebrations is a social weekend in Chester, incorporating the society’s AGM and social weekend, on November 15-17.

The society will also be staging an anniversary national flock competition, featuring competition winners from flock competitions run by regional clubs.

Former society chairman Roy Campbell will have the task of judging this, with the results announced at the social weekend.

There will be a fundraising effort for the society’s anniversary charity, The Farm Safety Foundation, better known as Yellow Wellies.

“The work of Yellow Wellies in highlighting the need for farmers to take care of both their physical and mental health is vital for safeguarding the future of the farming industry,” explained Mr Yates. “Back in the early 1970s, despite the recent arrival of continental cattle breeds, the idea of importing a foreign sheep breed was an entirely alien concept.

“Those initial importers faced numerous hurdles in their quest to bring Texels to the UK and the fact that a number of founding flocks are still active and will be taking part in these 50th anniversary celebrations is testament to the success of the breed,” concluded Mr Yates.