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Exmoor Horn   EFABIS Data


International Name

Exmoor Horn

Local Name

Exmoor Horn


Exmoor and Dartmoor

Breeding females



Trend of population size


Flock book established



Origin history

The Exmoor Horn is an ancient native sheep found in upland areas of the South West of England, particularly Exmoor and Dartmoor.  


Breed description

The Exmoor Horn is white with large curling horns on both rams and ewes, a white face with close forelock and black nostrils, with has sound feet and legs giving very little foot trouble.
It is a very hardy breed and is classified as a true hill breed, thriving on grass at any level up to 1,500ft and is correctly described as a dual-purpose upland sheep.
It produces a fine quality white fleece of medium length with a valuable felting property.
It is an excellent grass sheep with long lasting teeth and a quiet temperament
The ewes are excellent mothers and very good milkers, producing quality upland lamb. The draft ewes are very good for crossing producing half-bred ewes which are used by lowland sheep farmers as prolific ewes producing prime lamb for the modern meat market.
The Blueface Leicester sire produces the Exmoor Mule and these mules are considered to be among the finest in the United Kingdom. The Exmoor Horn can also be mated to the Border Leicester with great success giving a good sized animal.
The breed is used for the production of meat and wool with Exmoor mutton being regarded as a delicacy. The ewes weigh approximately 50 Kg and the rams, 73Kg. The flock book was established in 1906.

Conservation activities

With the Exmoor National Park Sustainable Development Fund, the breed society is aiming to promote the Exmoor Horn Sheep in their native habitat and reduce the influx of non-native breeds by raising the profile of the breed, both as landscape managers and as lamb, mutton and wool producers.
Ex situ
Cryopreservation of semen, NSP storage. 2302 doses.

Contact: The breed society is the Exmoor Horn Sheep Breeders Society.
                Sec.  Ms Gina Rawle, Kitridge Farm, Withypool, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 7RY.
                Web site  www.exmoorhornbreeders.co.uk


Action Heritage Sheep AGRI GEN RES 040 receives financial support from the European Commission, Genetic Resources in Agriculture, under European Commission Council Regulation (EC) No 870/2004 AGRI GEN RES 2006 HERITAGE SHEEP