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Henry Noel Gibson | 1947

Considered the best sheep judge of his time, Noel Gibson was the only North American ever invited to judge Shropshires at the British Royal.

1878-19?? | Artist: Othmar J. Hoffler (1893-1954)

Impact & Accomplishments

H. Noel Gibson was the son of English-born breeder Richard Gibson and was raised at Belvoir Farm in Delaware, Ontario.

He managed Altamont Stock Farm, Millbrook, New York, and John Larocque’s New Jersey farm, before partnering with James Brown at Thaxton Farms, Dundee, Illinois, in 1915.

He judged the wether classes at the International Live Stock Exposition more frequently than any other judge in the show’s history. He judged at the British Royal as well, and he earned the Queen’s Coronation Medal.

President of the American Shropshire Association, that organization made Gibson an honorary vice president for life.

Did You Know?

“In judging sheep the first impression one gets is usually the most convincing. My method, therefore, is to watch the animals as they enter the ring. A deal of time as well as overmuch handling is thus saved. Many touches and movements on the part of a judge are wholly unnecessary. I have often seen cases of too much handling, leading to confused and inconsistent decisions. My advice to a beginner is this: Go over the class carefully, know what you are looking for, and remember what you find. First, walk round the sheep, observing with particularity how its legs are placed, and how it stands on its feet. If the animal has crooked legs or long, weak pasterns it need not be handled or further considered. The presence of any of these faults automatically eliminates the animal from the list. Select the entries whose underpinning is strong, straight and short, and then begin a systematic handling in order to discover defects not visible to the eye." H. Noel Gibson, (The Breeders Gazette, Vol. LXXIV – Chicago, July 25, 1918)
Jess Andrew, Shropshire Association president in 1919 to 1921, lifetime exhibitor and sheep superintendent at the International, in 1931 said, "I consider Noel Gibson the best all around sheep judge in the United States and Canada."

In 2017, H. Noel Gibson was inducted into the Middlesex County Ag Hall of Fame at the London Farm Show in the United Kingdom. 

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