The best young shepherd in the world is French and only 18 years old

The best young shepherd in the world is French and only 18 years old
The best young shepherd in the world is French and only 18 years old

He has already found his sheep but is still on cloud nine. Friday May 31, 2024, Benoit Toutain was crowned best young shepherd in the world at only 18 years old. He won the World Ovinpiades, in which around thirty representatives from 17 different countries participated. ” This is completely crazy. I didn’t expect it because there was a lot of levelhe tells us. For example, the United Kingdom and Australia are countries famous for their flocks of sheep. And I beat them! »

The competitors competed against each other for a week “very intense but very nice”. They traveled to the four corners of France and had to demonstrate their skills during seven tests: shearing, trimming, handling and assessing the state of health of a ewe, sorting with an electronic reader, hoof trimming … “I think I managed to be good in all the events and that’s what allowed me to win”simply analyzes the young man from Saint-Quentin-des-Près, near Beauvais (Oise).

“A real pride”

A few days before the competition, young Picard did not at all imagine himself climbing onto the highest step of the podium. “I didn’t even necessarily want to winhe says, smiling. I participated mainly to gain experience, improve myself, meet people…” He is silent all the same seriously prepared with the help of his apprenticeship master and his trainers at the Maison famille agricole in Songeons (Oise), where he is in his final year.

Hours of training rewarded by this great victory spotted by France Blue Picardy . “It’s a real source of pride because I live in a region where there are very few sheephe explains to us. My parents were very happy, proud of me and a little emotional. » It must be said that their son never ceases to amaze them. In February 2024, he had already been elected best young shepherd in France at the International Agricultural Show. “It was the first time I participated in a competition. Getting everything right the first time is super rewarding. »

He received his first sheep at 11 years old

Only 18 years old, Benoit Toutain manages a daily farm of more than 120 sheep on his parents’ farm, which previously only raised cows. It was he who decided to set up a sheepfold. “I was given my first sheep at 11 years old. Since then, these animals have fascinated mehe says. I don’t really know how to explain it but I prefer them to cows. They are very versatile and I like the breeding system…”

The young man already has a very clear idea of ​​his career: he would like to run his own farm in Saint-Quentin-des-Près after working for a few years as an agricultural worker. But before that, the high school student will have to complete his studies and pass his oral exams. “I am calm, the written tests have already gone very well”smiles the best young shepherd in the world who, for the moment, has no plans to participate in other competitions.

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