It was “One and Only” for 2019 Borderway Agri-Expo

As predicated thousands of members of the farming community met to celebrate and debate the achievements of UK agriculture, livestock farming, and it was “One and Only” who scooped the overall Champion of Champions.

Hosting a total of 57 classes and 5 breed society shows, The National Suckled Calf & Cattle Show featured Baby Beef, Continental and Native bred cattle, and the National Prime Sheep Show, Continental and Traditional breed sheep classes Borderway Agri is the leading UK Winter Livestock showcase.

Agri Expo Judging

We may be facing a general election, a new relationship with our neighbours, and the prospect of growing new markets in the rest of the world, but there was certainly nothing uncertain about Borderway Agri–Expo held on Friday 1st November 2019. 

For this, one of UK’s leading winter agricultural events, warmer weather replaced cold, and the crowds came, attracted by some of the finest sheep and cattle from across the length and breadth of the UK.  The message - the livestock industry is in good shape, a tense championship battle is an audience pleaser, and agriculture can do its bit, and looks forward in hope to the future.

Representatives from many of the British Sheep and Cattle Breed societies brought livestock that showcased their skilfully chosen genetics. They were supported by countless farmers who had brought their champion stock, and the vital support industries that supply everything from machinery to veterinary medicines, from ear tags to tractors.

Chief Executive of the H&H Group, Richard Rankin, speaking afterwards, said:
“Our aim is to organise an event for all sectors of the livestock industry, and we are delighted to be able to put on this event which I believe is integral to the industry. Today has been very well supported by farmers from not just here in Cumbria but from across the UK, and I believe that the industry should be proud of this showcase as it brings everyone together.”

In looking at the results, once again, this was a year for the ladies with the overall Champion of Champion and Champion Heifer rosettes being taken home by John Williams, Trawsfynydd, Gwynedd for April 2018 born, red heifer called One and Only.  LT & SE Sellers of Lincoln scooped Reserve Champion Heifer and Reserve Overall Champion for Orihana, a February born Limousin heifer.        

Judge, Wilson Peters, picked this heifer from the high-quality entries and 31 classes from across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

Champion Steer went to Blair Dufton & Rebecca Stuart of Aberdeen for Dirty Dancer, a July 2018 born Limousin X continental steer.  Reserve was awarded to A & E Vance’s Keltic Storm, a June 2018 born Limousin X.    

Commenting on his choice Mr Peters from Monzie Estate near Crieff said:
“Today we have had a tremendous line-up of cattle and I selected the overall Champion of Champion winner because she is a fantastic all-round beast.”

Baby Beef Champion was Tabasco, a March born Limousin X heifer from Ireland’s JCB Commercials. Reserve went to Aberdeenshire’s Sandy Hunter for Loveable Rogue a Limousin X June born Steer.

With over 350 head of stock being shown there was exceptional representation across the five pedigree society calf shows: The Aberdeen Angus Winter National Show, the Beef Shorthorn National Calf Show, The Border British Blue Club Calf Show, The Hereford National Calf Show and The Simmental Regional Calf Show. 

 The results of the Breed Society Show are as follows:

The Beef Shorthorn Overall Champion went to Mrs L J Townsend’s Coxhill Norseman, born April 2019, with Reserve Champion going to Beautry Blythesome Nutmeg, an April-born heifer calf from  S & G Currie. 

The Aberdeen Angus Champion was A Clark & Sons’ Duncanziemere Sportsman January-2019 born bull calf, R & CRettie’s Lady Rose heifer was Reserve Champion.

Hereford Supreme Champion was awarded to A & P Massey’s Hollyvale 1 Gracious 3rd, an April born heifer and Reserve Champion was won by TD & WT Livesey’s September 2018 born bull Normanton 1 Sydney.

British Blue Overall Champion went Kevin Watret’s male calf Solway View Niko, born November 2018. Reserve Champion was given to H C Hewitt’s Sunnybank Orlando, a February-born male calf.

Simmental Overall Champion was J D Loftus’ Blackpool Josephine, and Reserve Champion was handed to Castlegwynne Data Lulu, by Dafydd Gwynne.  Both were October 2018 born heifer calves.

Across all the sheep classes, there was both a high number and a high quality of entries.

Champion Continental went to J & R Jerman, Brilley, Herefordshire with a pair of Beltex lambs. Reserve went to Young Farmer April Skelton from Cumbria with a pair of Beltex lambs.

Champion Pair of Hill Breds went to Strathaven’s JJ Frame & Co with a pair of Blackface Lambs, and Reserve Champion was Andrew Reid of Glendearg near Langholm with a pair of Cheviot Hill Lambs.

Champion Bred from a Hill Ewe went to M & B Allen of Borrowby Grange with a pair of Beltex X Swaledale, with them also winning Reserve Champion, with a pair of Mule Lambs.  

Sheep Judge, Gregor Ingram, from Inverurie in Aberdeenshire commented on the quality of the winners:

“They had that wow factor and as soon as I saw them in their calls, there were no faults. A lot of sheep have gigots, but I was also looking for good shoulders and loin and not too much fat and they fitted the bill.  The Blackface were another really good pair. Representative of the breed, with very good back legs.  It has been a tremendous show of livestock and I believe it is one of the best shows of lambs in the country.” 

With a class of 19 entries, the NEMSA best pair of Mule Gimmer Lambs was awarded to James Robinson of Carnforth and the reserve went to Philip Elliott of Penrith.  The judge Andrew Hunter from Bellingham, Northumberland said:
“This was a phenomenal show of mule gimmer lambs and this was a challenging task, however, I chose the winning pair because they had fantastic coats, sharp eyes, were brightly coloured and they were perfectly correct on their legs.”

The winners of the Sheep Class was a result of five years, hard word of Richard and Jamie Jerman, from Hereford who showed at Agri-Expo last year for the first time.

“Today is a result of five years hard work and it means everything to win. It is one of the best shows to win in the country and certainly the 500-mile trip has been worth it.”

David Pritchard, Harrison & Hetherington’s Joint Managing Director and Event Co-ordinator said:
“Each year Borderway Agri-Expo continues to grow in size, scope and reputation.  It is the event to attend for the whole of the agricultural industry.  Yet again we have seen the highest quality livestock, and I know I speak on behalf of the judges when I say congratulations to all winners, each and every one was outstanding.”

Agri-Expo is a multi-generational event and the organisers are always keen to encourage participation from the younger generation of show professionals.

In the Cattle section, this year’s winner of the Junior Cattle Handler was 11 year old Amy Vance from Whithorn and taking the Champion Senior Cattle Handler award was Cumbria’s 16 year old Rachael Graham. 

In the sheep classes, Champion Junior Young Handler was awarded to six-year-old Isobel Thompson of Higher Broach Farm and ten-year-old Jack Whiteford of Tercrosset Farm won the Senior Young Handler Classes.

In the Young Farmers Stock judging Class Dougie Crew was awarded first prize in the over 16’s and Ashley Watson scooped the award in the under 16’s.

Borderway Agri-Expo has become an all-round showcase not just for livestock but all elements of the farming and agriculture sector, where farmers can visit the popular trade stands, meet manufacturers, sector retailers, vets and training providers to discuss current issues and products.

The commitment from the businesses exhibiting does not go unnoticed and awards were made to the Suffolk Sheep Society for their breed stand, the indoor trade stand was awarded to Dugdale Nutrition and the outdoor trade stand was awarded to A1 Tractor Parts and Quads.

Speaking on behalf of the Suffolk Sheep Society Robin McIlrath Chief Executive and Breed Secretary said:
“As the leading domestic terminal sire breeds in the UK and Ireland, it is very important for us to be here as it is the hub of the sheep industry in this part of the world. Thank you to H&H for organising such a successful event.

For many who visit Agri-Expo, their aim is to gather information and learn more as to how they can ensure that what they produced is right for today’s markets.  Many of those visiting were keen to learn more about current consumer trends and demands when it comes to meat cuts and attended the informative butchery demonstrate by Butcher Martin Eccles on behalf of the Trade Marketing Executive for The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Summing up another spectacular showcase, David Pritchard said:
“Once again, we have had a wonderful Borderway Agri-Expo with a fantastic show of livestock, tremendous array of trade stands and there was a great buzz all day. On behalf of us all here at Harrison & Hetherington I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone for their support and helping to make it a day to remember – the sponsors, the judges, the livestock and trade stand exhibitors. 

“Our objective when we launched Agri-Expo all those years ago, was not only to provide an event where or British livestock farmers could show stock, but we wanted to host an event that would support our livestock farmers in terms of business, education and importantly as a social gathering.  And this today has been demonstrated in so many ways. 

“Today we have welcomed exhibitors, businesses, judges and visitors from the length and breadth of the UK, and from the feedback we have received, we have an industry which is robust and keen to grasp whatever the future holds.

“I would especially like to highlight the work of our judges, with such a high-quality calibre of sheep and cattle across all of the classes and breed society shows, their task takes great skill, attention and knowledge and without their support, today would not be possible.”

Agri Expo

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