Leadersheep

 

Leadersheep are perhaps most precisely described as a rare sub-breed of the Icelandic sheep (making up less than 0.5% of the Icelandic flock), distinguished by distinctive physical and behavioral traits that are genetically based.  In appearance, leader sheep will be taller and thinner than the “typical” Icelandic sheep, and are generally solid colored with white socks and a blaze, although the badgerface pattern was formerly quite common. Leadersheep are highly intelligent: individual leader rams held by the Southram Breeding Center in Iceland are described as “calm and sensible,” “alert,” “gentle and eager to please people,” “eager to learn.”

 

As with any genetically-based characters, the physical and behavioral traits of leadersheep are easily lost through cross-breeding. In North America, the only imported leadersheep was a leader daughter (Yeoman Blessa, who was 50% leader); she showed noticeable traits of flock protection.  However, with usual breeding, the leader genetics and traits she displayed would soon be diluted.  The availability of pure leadersheep semen from Iceland for artificial insemination (AI) has made it possible to up-breed leadersheep in the United States. 

 

At Trinity Farm, we are dedicated to conserving leadersheep genetics.  To date, we have introduced five leader lines (Florgodi, Golsi, Joakim, Karl Philip, and Loftur) new to North America, thus increasing the genetic diversity of North American leadersheep.  We have also attained high percentage leaders (to date, to ~94% leader), the highest outside Iceland.  We are very proud of this achievement, and anticipate further progress in our project of conserving the genetics of these unique animals.

 

Below are illustrated the AI leader sires represented in the leader genetics of Trinity Farm sheep, the leader ewes and genetic lines they possess, and the leader lambs born at Trinity Farm.


AI leader sires


ARI 91-969


BISKUP 96-822


BLESI 98-884

He is the grandsire of Leifur 02-900.

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FLORGODI 11-886

A little bit related to Karl Philip (AI leader) as his grandfather, Mori 04-255, was Karl Philip’s father.


 

GERI 03-986

Ari 91-969 is a great-great grandsire.


GOLSI 09-916


JOAKIM 08-863

Leifur 02-900 is his double great grandfather.


KARL PHILIP 05-827

Generations back in his bloodline Skumur 01-885 can be found as well as Blesi 98-884.


LEIFUR 02-900

Double great-grandsire of Joakim.


LOFTUR 04-970


SKUMUR 01-885

Son of Blesi 98-884.


TIGULL 04-939

Son of Blesi 98-884


FOUNDATION LEADER LINE EWES


KATLA (BLW 267U) ~53% leader

Genotype: Aa/Aa BB/BB Ss/Ss

Tigull, Biskup, Ari, and Yeoman Blessa 


ULTRA (INGL 025U) ~17% leader

Genotype: Aa/Aa BB/Bb SS/Ss

Leifur, Ari, and Yeoman Blessa 


REYJKA (DL 141A) ~28% leader.

Genotype: Ag/Aa BB/Bb Ss/Ss

Ari and Yeoman Blessa


 SURTSEY (CSIC 7C) ~6% leader

Genotype: Agt/Aa BB/BB SS/Ss

Skumur


SURTLA (SSW 319D) ~75% leader

Genotype: Aa/Aa BB/B- Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: Blesi, Joakim, Prestur, Tigull, Biskup. Ari, Yeoman Blessa 


FLUGA (SSW 338D) ~68% leadee

Genotype: Aa/Aa BB/B- Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: Leifur, Ari, Joakim, Tigull, Biskup, Yeoman Blessa


LEADERSHEEP BORN AT TRINITY FARM


EWES


LAKI (BEL 214X) ~77% leader

Geri x BLW 267U (Katla)

Genotype: A/aAa BB/Bb Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Geri, 1/8 Tigull, 1/16 Biskup, 1/16 Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa      


HEKLA (BEL 503A) ~88% leader

Karl Philip x BEL 214X (Laki).

Genotype: Aa/Aa BB/Bb Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Karl Philip, 1/4 Geri, 1/16 Tigull, 1/32 Biskup, 1/32 Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


HÁLSA (BEL 506A) - 50% leader

Karl Philip x DL 653W (Thoris)

Genotype: AgAa Bb/Bb SS/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Karl Philip


BLÁHN (BEL 622B) ~88% leader

Loftur x BEL 214X (Laki)

Genotype:  AaAaBB/B-  Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Loftur, 1/4 Geri, 1/16 Tigull, and 1/32 each Biskup, and Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


HÁALDA (BEL 623B) ~88% leader

Loftur x BEL 214X (Laki)

Genotype:  AaAaBB/B-  Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Loftur, 1/4 Geri, 1/16 Tigull, and 1/32 each Biskup, and Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


HVANNA (BEL 703C) ~14% leader

DL 889Y x DL 141A (Reyjka)

Genotype:  AaAaBB/B-  SS/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/8 Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


SKJALDA (BEL 704C) ~14% leader

DL 889Y x DL 141A (Reyjka)

Genotype:  AaAaBB/B-  Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/8 Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


THEISTA (BEL 716C) ~88% leader

Florgodi x BEL 214X (Laki)

Genotype: Ab/Aa Bb/Bb Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Florgodi, 1/4 Geri, 1/16 Tigull 1/32 each Biskup and Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


KATLA (BEL 817D) ~94% leader

Geri x BEL 622B (Bláhn)

Genotype: Aa/Aa BB/Bb Ss/Ss

 

Leader genetics: 5/8 Geri, 1/4 Loftur, 1/32 Tigull 1/64 each Biskup and Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


RAMS


OLD LOKI (BEL 215X) ) ~77% leader

Geri x BLW 267U (Katla)

Genotype: Aa/AaBB/Bb Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Geri, 1/8 Tigull, 1/16 Biskup, 1/16 Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


 JOLNIR (BEL 402Z) ) ~77% leader

Geri x BLW 267U (Katla)

Genotype: Aa/AaBB/Bb Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Geri, 1/8 Tigull, 1/16 Biskup, 1/16 Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


ELDJÁ (BEL 403Z) ~77% leader

Geri x BLW 267U (Katla)

Genotype: Aa/Aa BB/Bb Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Joakim, 1/8 Tigull, 1/16 Biskup, 1/16 Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


LOKI (BEL 514A) ~77% leader

Joakim x BLW 267U (Katla)

Genotype: Aa/Aa BB/Bb Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Joakim, 1/8 Tigull, 1/16 Biskup, 1/16 Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


MYRDAL (BEL 515A) ~77% leader

Joakim x BLW 267U (Katla)

Genotype: Aa/Aa BB/Bb Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Joakim, 1/8 Tigull, 1/16 Biskup, 1/16 Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


HRAUNEY (BEL 516A) ~47% leader

BEL 403Z (Eldjá) x INGL 025U (Ultra).

Genotype:  Aa/Aa BB/B- SS/Ss                                                 

Leader genetics: 1/4 Geri, 1/16 Tigull and Leifur, 1/32 Biskup and Ari and some Yeoman Blessa


HJALPAR (BEL 517A) – 50% leader

Joakim x DL 655W (Torfa).

Genotype: Aa/Aa BB/Bb Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Joakim


GLANNI (BEL 631B) – 58% leader

Karl Philip x INGL 025U (Ultra). 

Genotype:  Aa/Aa BB/Bb Ss/Ss

Leader Genetics: 1/2 Karl Philip, 1/16 Leifur, 1/32 Biskup, 1/32 Ari and some Yeoman Blessa


LÝKUR (BEL 635B) ~77% leader

Joakim x BLW 267U (Katla). 

Genotype:  Ag/Aa BB/B- Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Joakim, 1/8 Tigull, 1/16 Biskup, 1/16 Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


KELDUR (BEL 705C) 53% leader

Florgodi x DL 144A (Blanda).

Genotype: Aa/Aa Bb/Bb SS/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Florgodi and 1/32 Yeoman Blessa


SKAFTÁ (BEL 708C) ~94% leader

Florgodi x BEL 503A (Hekla)

Genotype: Aa/Aa BB/Bb Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Florgodi, 1/4 Karl Philip, 1/8 Geri, 1/32 Tigull 1/64 each Biskup and Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


GÍGAR (BEL 715C) ~88% leader

Florgodi x BEL 214X (Laki)

Genotype: Aa/Aa Bb/Bb Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Florgodi, 1/4 Geri, 1/16 Tigull 1/32 each Biskup and Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


ALFTAN (BEL 726C) ~77% leader

Karl Philip x BLW 267U (Katla).

Genotype: Aa/Aa BB/Bb Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Karl Philip, 1/8 Tigull, 1/16 Biskup, 1/16 Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa        


ÓLAF (BEL 739C) ~ 53% leader

BEL 403Z (Eldjá) x INGL 025U (Ultra).

Genotype:  Aa/Aa BB/B- SS/Ss                                                 

Leader genetics: 1/4 Geri, 1/16 Tigull and Leifur, 1/32 Biskup and Ari and some Yeoman Blessa


THORDAR (BEL 815D) ~ 88% leader

Golsi x BEL 214X (Laki)

Genotype:  Aa/Aa BB/Bb Ss/Ss                                             

Leader genetics: 1/2 Golsi, 1/4 Geri, 1/16 Tigull 1/32 each Biskup and Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


LUGJA (BEL 816D) ~94% leader

Golsi x BEL 503A (Hekla)

Genotype: Ab/Aa BB/Bb Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Golsi, 1/4 Karl Philip, 1/8 Geri, 1/32 Tigull 1/64 each Biskup and Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa


MYVATN (BEL  829D) – 58% leader

Karl Philip x INGL 025U (Ultra). 

Genotype:  Aa/Aa Bb/Bb Ss/Ss

Leader Genetics: 1/2 Karl Philip, 1/16 Leifur, 1/32 Biskup, 1/32 Ari and some Yeoman Blessa


LYSU (BEL 831D) ~94% leader

Joakim x BEL 623B (Haalda)

Genotype: Aa/Aa BB/B- Ss/Ss

Leader genetics: 1/2 Joachim, 1/4 Loftur, 1/8 Geri, 1/32 Tigull 1/64 each Biskup and Ari, and some Yeoman Blessa