VBSSUK member Renee Snouckaert from Valais Blacknose Sheep Oxfordshire visited Switzerland to attend this year's wonderful ‘Miss Visp’ event. Renee has kindly shared her experience.
This competition, a great Swiss tradition, took place in a large school hall with the sheep at one end and the bar with long dining tables at the other end. On entering the hall, one is welcomed by a sea of white Blacknoses which created a gentle sound of the super large copper bells which each ewe wears for this occasion. On the Saturday morning the inspection of the 280 ewes took place and possible contenders for the coveted title were marked with a green ribbon. In the afternoon the crowds gathered and all of the ewes were paraded (some more willing than others!) on the stage together with an explanation of the inspectors why some of the ewes stood out from the others. This farmer’s get together had a great atmosphere, with bratwurst or lamb (!) steaks served at long communal tables and washed down with some excellent Swiss wine, accompanied by a traditional band and the sheep stage was turned into a dance floor.
Sunday morning was started in a packed hall with a Holy Mass and the Shepherds Choir, with background bleating and bells. After a complimentary drink for all, Miss Visp and runner-up were crowned with great pride and celebrations began. An event not to be missed for any Valais Blacknose lover. Visp is extremely easy to get to by direct train from Basel, Geneva and Zurich Airports, which have daily flights to the UK. We opted to stay at the very comfortable family run Visperhof Hotel, 2 steps from the train station and 5 minute walk from the Miss Visp location, restaurants and shops.
Miss Visp 2016 is bred by Dyonis Schnidrig of St Niklaus and runner-up is bred by Wasmer Jacob from Baltschieder.
Would be great if a group of The VBS Society would visit Miss Visp 2017 (11 and 12th February) next year?
Plenty of photos and videos for your entertainment on Valais Blacknose Oxfordshire Facebook Page to tempt you!