A notable line up of judges for the Borderway Agri Expo showcase this year has some of the finest stock from across the UK. Wilson Peters, an exhibitor who himself scooped reserve Champion with Honey-Dime, a Charolais X Limousin at Agri Expo in 2016, will judge the main Cattle classes, the Baby Beef classes are being judged under the watchful eye of Shropshire’s Paul Tippets. Gregor Ingram from Aberdeenshire will judge the main Sheep classes.
Attracting thousands of visitors UK Borderway Agri Expo is one of the leading livestock events in the UK and is a major platform for highlighting the livestock trends, equipment and technology.
On announcing details of the judges, David Pritchard, Joint Managing Director of Harrison & Hetherington and Event Organiser, said: “The calibre of judges who have supported us over the years has been absolutely tremendous and we always feel so very privileged when they agree to play such an integral part towards the success of this event.
“The classes are highly contested, and the judging is without a doubt a challenging role which takes a great amount of stamina and knowledge. The judges are crucial to Agri Expo, and not only are they experts in their own individual fields, they are also willing to share their knowledge and reasonings with both exhibitors and spectators.”
Throughout the day, Wilson Peters be at the forefront of this showcase judging the main Cattle classes, and the overall Champion of Champions. 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 a herd of Pedigree Limousin Cattle along with cross bred cows and a sheep flock, 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.”
Each year, in the region of 140 trade stands exhibit at Agri Expo and showcase their management systems, livestock handling and machinery and equipment whilst offering their specialist advice on a number of topics.
Entries are now being taken for all classes at the 2019 Borderway Agri Expo. Full details and entry forms can be found at www.harrisonandhetherington.co.uk or telephone 01228 406230.