Judging the main cattle classes this year is Wilson Peters from Monzie, Crieff, Perthshire.
Wilson is the farm manager of the 4,500-acre Monzie estate near Crieff, responsible for overseeing a herd of 200 suckler beef cows and 1,500 North Country Cheviot ewes.
Wilson has a reputation for producing outstanding beef cattle and has himself regularly won prizes at shows across the UK. No stranger to Borderway Mart or to Borderway Agri Expo, and having judged throughout the UK from Orkney in the North to the Royal Welsh in the South, Wilson is also no stranger to judging.
“I was brought up with producing prime cattle for the high street butchers, so I will be looking for a butcher’s type of animal – correct formation, stylish and an animal that demonstrates the best beef attributes.
“It is a total honour and I am absolutely delighted to have been asked to judge at what is one of the greatest shows in the country and I am looking forward to it tremendously as I know that some of the finest commercial animals in Britain will be presented.”
Paul Tippets farms with his wife, Christine, and together they run the noted Wilodge herd of Pedigree Limousin Cattle along with cross bred cows and a sheep flocks, on Lodge Hill Farm – their 400acre farm near Shifnal. Although this is the first time he has judged at Borderway, he is no stranger to the mart and has exhibited several times picking up several rosettes, and fondly describes Borderway as his second home:
“It is a great honour to have been asked to judge at Agri Expo – the number one Primestock event in the country and a great showcase. There is always a tremendous line up of young stock in the Baby Beef classes so it will, without a doubt, be a very enjoyable challenge. In terms of the type of calf, I will be looking for a calf with a lot of presence, style and overall balance.”
Judging the main Sheep classes is Gregor Ingram from Logie Durno Inverurie in Aberdeenshire.
Gregor is himself an award-winning producer of commercial sheep and seasoned judge. They mainly produce rams for selling and have 3,350 ewes. They sell rams across the UK and Europe and have won the Interbreed Championships at the Highland Show quite a few times along with the Interbreed Championships at the Royal Welsh.
Historically, their livestock has been produced for the family butchers, but today Logie Durno are catering for the supermarkets, selling 800 rams onto commercial farms. “The supermarkets are looking for a correct sheep with even fat and flesh throughout and without a doubt the most money in the lamb at the moment is in the loin,” says Gregor.
“The market is changing massively, and I will be judging a lamb based on what the consumers are currently looking for – a consistent, commercial product. So, it is not all about the back end, they have to be wide, long and I will be specifically tailoring my judging on the hind quarter.
“The majority of the rams we are selling are for producing finished lambs – a really good commercial lamb, with a big thick loin and top line, and good skin and hind quarters – this is what the customer is looking for and as such this is what I will be looking for.”
Celebrating the pinnacle of the extreme end of the sheep, Gregor notes “it is not all about the gigot”:
“It is always a pleasure to judge other people’s stock and it is certainly a great privilege to be asked to judge such a big section at such a prestigious show, with one of the best collection of prime stock you would find in the UK.”
Andrew, who farms with his wife Caroline at The Steel and Carrick, runs a flock of 1500 ewes predominately Blackface which are put to Blue-faced Leicesters. The ewe lambs are retained and a small quantity are sold to other breeders, gimmers are sold both direct off the farm and through the auction mart system.
No stranger to judging, Andrew regularly judges at shows across the North of England, but this is the largest event he will have judged to date and on accepting his invitation he said:
“It really is a fantastic honour to be invited to judge at such a prestigious event, the calibre of entries I know will be very high, so it will be a challenging task.”
“The market for mule sheep is strong and I believe that this is because it is a prolific breed with great motherly traits. In terms of what I will be looking for it is lambs with good coats, bonny markings and of course they will need to be structurally correct for the breed type.
“The reputation of Borderway Agri Expo as a livestock event is second-to-none and I am looking forward to what I know will be a fantastic showcase of stock.”
Andrew is a noted and highly respected Mule sheep breeder who has topped the North of England Mule Sheep Association sales twice in the last three years.