Breed Standard


The UK Breed Standard was based originally on the French breed society's (GEMO's) standard and was last updated in 2020.  Notes on its interpretation are under development.




Fine and regular, the rams are horned; the bridge of the nose and forehead should form a continuous line.   A slight bridge to the nose in the ram, flat or very slightly bridged in the ewe, not concave.


Bright and lively look, a prominent orbit to the eye.


Fine, small, short, mobile, rounded at the tip and have a tendency to be carried pricked.


Dark for the blacks and browns, light for the whites, triangular in section, strong, curled in a single spiral, of large amplitude, a good distance from the head.  


Full and rounded, without dewlap.   Toggles or wattles are permitted but not desirable.


Withers not prominent, deep chest.


A level top line from the withers to the base of the tail.




Short, above the hocks.


Slender, of medium length, well proportioned, good pasterns.  
Hooves dark for the black and browns, light or dark for the whites



Adult Ram 49cm
Adult Ewe 46cm


Adult Ram 42-48cm Yearling Ram 40-46cm
Adult Ewe 40-45cm Yearling Ewe 38-44cm


Solid uniform colours are black, brown and white. In each colour a range of variation is allowed:

- in whites: a red base to a white fleece giving a light reddish aspect appearing mostly on the head, legs or the tail is acceptable.
- in white lambs: red or tan marks on the neck, legs and tail, sometimes covering the body are acceptable; marks usually diminish with age, but do not always disappear completely.
- black lambs may be lightly marked with white on the forehead (poll spot); marks usually diminish with age.
- colour changes due to bleaching, genetic dilution (fading) and age-greying are acceptable.
- in adults limited spotting is permitted but not desirable. One or two spots on the body and/or the fleece may be tolerated up to 1” (2.5cm) in diameter (50p piece)*


Present on the forehead, and partly on the cheeks. Covering all the body, descending at least to the knees and just to the hocks.
Fleece of primitive type, semi-closed, and well-packed, a staple of 8 -10cms for 12 months growth. Average thickness 25-28 microns. Rams may develop a collar or mane of longer coarser hair on the throat and nape of neck, which may be darker than fleece.


Alert and nimble with a smart active gait

 Reasons for Disqualification

Over height
Overdeveloped legs, poor pasterns, poor hooves.
Horns too asymmetrical, too frail, too tight or too wide apart.
Absence of horns in rams. Presence of horns in ewes (Note: tiny hornbuds, without any bony plate, are not considered a fault).
Tail too long, ears too large, nose arched in the ewe, too arched in the ram.
Non uniform, piebald colours.
Excessive colour spotting*
Tail docking is not allowed
Single births are a characteristic of the breed. Although not grounds for disqualification, twin births are exceptional and undesirable.

*The acceptance of limited spotting was agreed at the 2020 AGM following the inclusion of a similar clause in the 2019 French standard, on which the UK standard is based.  It is now understood that the French amendment may be reversed and that it is unlikely that spotting will be permitted in a proposed Europe-wide standard.  The Society has therefore temporarily suspended any registrations of sheep that display spotting (other than poll spots) pending review by the Breed Standard Committee, who will make recommendations to the 2022 AGM.  For more information or advice please contact the Registrar at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.