Below you will find our upgrading guidelines.
The basic idea is to start with very specific approved Foundation ewes from specific breeds. The first generation of animals must be produced by mating a Registered NAWSA foundation ewe via AI with approved frozen semen. That first generation of ewe lambs born are eligible for registration and receive a blood percentage of 50%. First generation ram lambs are not eligible for registration. After that first generation, shepherds may use Registered NAWSA rams on Registered NAWSA ewes to produce offspring that can enter our registry. The goal is to use as much purebred UK genetics generation after generation so that we eventually produce stock with high blood percentages that can reliably reproduce animals that closely resemble the existing Wensleydale breed in genotype and phenotype.
Please note, breeders are free NOT to register their lambs, and it is ONLY the breeder who can submit animals for registration. After 24 months, no animal may be registered.
Item I - OBJECT
The North American Wensleydale Sheep Association (NAWSA) supports the development of purebred white and colored Wensleydale sheep from the crossing of specific non-Wensleydale ewes with purebred Wensleydale rams. The first generation (50%) blood bred back to a purebred Wensleydale sire produces a 75% blood. A second generation (75% blood) female, bred back to a purebred Wensleydale sire produces an 87% blood, the fourth generation produces 93%, and a fifth generation produces 96%.
Item II - FOUNDATION EWES
The non-Wensleydale ewes used in the first cross must be registered with one of the following U.S. breed associations. No other foundation breeds shall be recognized.
Item III - PROCEDURES
A. There is no discrimination or separation of record keeping for colored animals. Fleece color and Codon 171 status, if known, will be noted on the registration certificate. Fleece color will be indicated by a suffix to the registration number. White-fleeced animals will be identified by the suffix “W”, and animals other than white will be identified with suffix “C”.
B. All first cross lambs must be sired by use of imported 100% Wensleydale semen. Ewe lambs from this cross will be registered as 50% Wensleydale. First cross male lambs will not be registered All rams must be at least 75% Wensleydale blood and test RR at codon 171 to be eligible for registration.
C. A sire must be registered as 75% Wensleydale or higher before any progeny are eligible for registration.
D. Lambs will be registered with their blood percentage calculated from the use of two registered parents, i.e. 50% dam crossed with a 75% sire results in a 62% lamb. If this lamb is male, it is not eligible for registration. (Refer to Item III B).
E. Rams with 75% to 95% Wensleydale blood and Ewes with 50% to 95% Wensleydale blood will be issued registration numbers with the prefix “B”.
F. An animal of either sex will be considered a purebred American Wensleydale when their percentage meets or exceeds 96% (31/32) Wensleydale blood. Sheep submitted for NAWSA purebred status must meet the breed standards set forth by the Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Breeders Association, U.K.
G. The NAWSA has set codon 171 standard for the use of imported semen, and beginning January 1, 2000, only semen from rams testing RR at codon 171 will be eligible to sire recorded or registered animals. The only exception to this rule is Upper Mill Cracker, a colored ram that has already been imported and used in the United States. This ram has tested QR at codon 171.
Item IV - DETERMINING PERCENTAGE
The sire and dam Wensleydale percentages are added together and divided by two. The resulting figure is truncated to whole numbers (e.g. 87.5 becomes 87). This number is the percent Wensleydale of the lamb.
An animal is eligible for registration as follows: