Agri Expo Breeds for Success

21st October 2017

 Top British Winter Livestock Event Showcases the Best of Livestock and Agricultural Services

Attracting some of the very finest British livestock, and thousands of visitors from across the UK, Harrison and Hetherington’s Borderway Agri Expo is now seen by many in the industry as the UK’s leading winter livestock event.  Annually, its reputation grows as both a livestock show and industry support exhibition, and the 2017 event, taking place on Friday 3rd November, is once again a guaranteed agricultural showcase.

A key event for the industry, the numbers are impressive; the prize fund stands at £17,000, over 42 livestock classes and 6 breed society shows.  This year sees a real commitment from the exhibitors with 360 head of sheep and 565 head of cattle totalling 924 head of stock being shown in the livestock classes, with dozens of Young Farmers demonstrating their showmanship.

The livestock being exhibited highlights the tremendous quality of British sheep and cattle and the UK’s high standards of care in animal welfare and husbandry.  In addition to the commercial sheep and cattle classes and the baby beef classes, Borderway Agri Expo also features six breed society shows which include the:

  • Aberdeen Angus Winter National Show, including Walkers Shortbread Aberdeen Angus Herd of the Year Competition
  • Border British Blue Calf Show
  • Beef Shorthorn National Calf Show
  • Hereford Regional Calf Show
  • Simmental Regional Calf Show

The breed society calf shows have always been a highlight for many and this year many of the shows see a marked increase in entries. An excellent example of this is the Beef Shorthorn National Calf Show, their entries have increased from 55 head, to 72, and as a result this year the Beef Shorthorn show will feature a total of 11 classes.

The breed society stands are also an important element of the event and a new society attending for the first time this year is the Gascon Cattle Society. Here Pauline Milton, Secretary of Gascon Cattle Society, tell us why they were so keen to attend:

“Borderway Agri Expo is an event which attracts a large footfall, and as such it will give us the opportunity to promote the Gascon breed to new and wider audiences. The location of the event is in a renowned cattle producing area, and it provides a great platform to highlight the breed’s traits; easy calving, gentle temperament and a good all round breed for today’s market and consumers.”

This year’s judges, selected from the north, south, east and west of the country, all bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge.  Judging the main cattle classes is cattle and sheep breeder, Chris Pennie, from Gwern Yr Ychain, Montgomery in Wales. Judging the Baby Beef, Showmanship and Young Handler classes is Sarah Wareham of Little Tottingworth Farm, near Heathfield in East Sussex.  The main Sheep classes will this year be judged by Chris Wright, a wholesale butcher at the family-run A. Wright & Son in Boston, Lincolnshire and the Mule Gimmer class will be judged by Northumberland livestock farmer, Martyn Archer, from Low Carry House, Wark, near Hexham.

There is a hugely diverse range of over 160 trade stands, with an outstanding array of companies from all sectors from handling equipment to pharmaceutical, feed companies, pedigree societies and industry bodies; many attending for the first time.  Each will be showcasing their latest products, their vision of the future and giving both expert advice and welcome hospitality.  They are drawn from the length and breadth of the UK, whilst at the same time Agri Expo plays an invaluable part in supporting the local economy and businesses in Carlisle and the surrounding area.  In addition to the livestock competitions there are also competitions for Best Indoor, Best Outdoor and Best Breed Society stands.

The younger generation have always played an important part in the success of Agri Expo, and through both Young Farmers classes and Showmanship classes, it provides the foundations for competitive showing.  Here David Pritchard, Event Organiser, explains the importance of engaging with the next generation of the industry:

“This year we have a young generation showing sheep, and it is this next generation that will be the key to the success of the industry.  Looking to the future is more important than ever in the pre-Brexit farming industry.  As an industry platform the show itself not only plays a fundamental part in endorsing the success of British beef and sheep production, the trade stands and exhibits highlight the latest commercial and pedigree breed statistics, trends and cutting edge technology.”

Demonstrating the importance of Agri Expo to the industry is the support, endorsement, and active participation of its mainline sponsors: Carrs Billington, Morrisons, Norbrook, Lloyds Bank and Farmers Guardian.  Commenting, Andrew Thornber, Manufacturing Managing Director at Morrisons, said:

“Agri Expo showcases the best quality cattle and sheep the UK has to offer and has now become one of the largest Livestock events in the country, with industry trades demonstrating the latest innovations and farming developments.

At Morrisons we strongly believe that events like Agri Expo are key to supporting and encouraging growth and development in British agriculture.  We are proud to be mainline sponsors of this event.”

All those sponsoring represent different areas of business within the livestock industry and all are integral to its ongoing and long-term future.  Undoubtedly their sponsorship is seen as integral to the event.

So on a final note David Pritchard said:

“As the UK’s largest livestock trading business it is always a pleasure to welcome sponsors, exhibitors and visitors to Carlisle for Borderway Agri Expo.  Throughout the year, the entire Harrison and Hetherington team always feel very privileged to have the opportunity to sell some of the finest livestock produced in the UK.  By hosting Agri Expo it is the aim for us to provide a platform for our producers to showcase their livestock in a competitive environment and through the trade show to give people the opportunity to learn from experts in their field.”

Programme of Events – 2017

08:30   National Suckled Calf and Primestock Cattle Classes (22 classes plus Championship)
08:30   National Prime Sheep Classes (20 classes plus Championship)
08:30   Border British Blue Club Calf Show (8 classes plus Championship)
08:30   Simmental Society and Regional Calf Show (8 classes plus Championships)
09:00   Baby Beef (6 classes plus Championship)
10:00   Stockjudging Competition – Agri-Expo Stocks Person of the Year
10:30   Aberdeen Angus Winter National Show (12 classes plus Championships)
10.30   Beef Shorthorn Society National Calf Show (8 classes plus Championships)

13.00   Hereford Regional Calf Show (7 classes plus Championships)
13:30   Best Pair of Mule Ewe Lambs
16:00   Championship Awards and Presentations