On Friday 28th October 2011, an estimated 10,000 people visited the 5th annual Borderway Agri-Expo in Carlisle along with a host of the country leading livestock breeders. The guest of honour was the Minister for Agriculture, the Rt. Hon Jim Paice MP. A cattle farmer himself he spent a considerable amount of time at what has become one of the country’s leading livestock events.
Supreme Sheep Champions and Reserve Champions both shown by Andrew and Becky Bishop of Gloucester.
Pictures Stuart Walker
Now in its fifth year, this year’s event run by Harrison & Hetherington was bigger than ever. There were 658 livestock entries (over 800 head), over 160 trade exhibitor stands and 18 breed society exhibits. The livestock entries in the main cattle and sheep sections battled it out for the main prize fund of £10,000 and a selection of prestigious trophies. Overall sheep champion was won by Andrew & Becky Bishop from Gloucester with a pair of home bred Beltex ewe lambs weighing 87 kgs. The overall cattle champion was awarded to Tecwyn Jones from Llanwrst, Conwy with his 15 month old Limousin cross steer 'Jager Bomb' .
Now recognised as a key showcase for the cream of the UK’s livestock, visitors, breeders and farmers came from all over the country to show some of the best quality cattle and breeding sheep. And the show’s reputation is spreading, during the day it was also attended by several Finnish farmers as part of a study programme of the UK. During the day Jim Paice who has his own herd of Highland cattle took the opportunity to meet some of the nation’s foremost livestock breeders, as well as exhibitors, young farmers and sponsors before awarding the main prizes and trophies. Commenting on the event he said: “Agri-Expo today shows the great depth of livestock breeding ability here in the UK and it shows huge potential for expanding our food industry and exports based on some of the finest stock in the world.”
David Pritchard, Operations Director at Harrison & Hetherington and overall co-ordinator of the event said: “This year’s Borderway Agri-Expo was a tremendous success and I would like to thank everyone who supported the event including the livestock breeders, the judges, the sponsors and exhibitors and the many thousands of visitors. They should be hugely proud of the contribution they have made in allowing us to stage this wonderful spectacle in the North of England. We were delighted that the Rt. Hon. Jim Paice MP, the Minister for Agriculture could attend what has now become one of the leading events of its kind in the country.”
Each year the event continues to develop and audiences and breeders were particularly keen to see the new Simmental Regional Calf Show, The Rough Fell Lamb Class and the Baby Beef Class.
The programme for the day included:
- National Suckled Calf and Primestock Cattle Classes -180 entries (20 classes plus Championships)
- National Prime Sheep Classes – 154 entries (16 classes plus Championship)
- Hereford Regional Calf Show – 39 entries (8 classes plus Championships)
- Aberdeen Angus Winter National Show – 80 entries (10 classes plus Championships)
- Baby Beef – 65 entries (4 classes plus Championships)
- Beef Shorthorn Society Calf Show – 37 entries (8 classes plus Championships)
- Best Pair of Mule Ewe Lambs - 7 entries
- Simmental Regional Calf Show – 30 entries
- Border British Blue Club Calf Show – 66 entries (8 classes plus Championships)
Baby Beef Overall Champion 'Poker Mon' a Limousin cross shown by Charlotte Alford of Collumpton, Devon.Scott Donaldson, Harrison & Hetherington’s Sales Director explains: “Once again the Borderway Agri-Expo proved to be the event to showcase cattle and sheep – the standard of the livestock entries is now so high that this has become the one to win. Livestock farming is definitely on a high at the moment and the confidence in the industry could be seen at the event and is highlighted by the number of people taking part.”
Pictures Stuart Walker
The expert judging was done by Archie MacGregor, of Allanfauld Farm, Kilsyth near Glasgow who oversaw the Main Cattle Classes. John Robertson of Newton of Logierait, Ballinluig, Pitlochry judged the new Baby Beef Class which was requested by breeders to look at the future potential of animals. Andrew Atkinson of Croft House Farm near Harrogate judged the main Sheep Classes with Mike Allen from Hallgate Farm near Saltburn who judged the North of England Mule Classes.
As a company, Harrison & Hetherington is keen to encourage the next generation of farmers. In a hard fought competition organised by Craig Brough, the Chairman of Cumbria Young Farmers and a Land Agent at sister company H&H Bowe, Elaine Gill Pattinson from Wigton won the senior section of the Stockman of the Year competition and Joanne Ridley from Caldbeck won the Junior contest.
The exhibitions and demonstrations are always a highlight and this year there are more trade stands and exhibits than ever. Eighteen breed societies were also on hand to answer questions about cattle and sheep from Aberdeen Angus to Simmental Cattle. There was also a wide range of supporting services and machinery shows including demonstrations of bale choppers for the first time. And aptly for a company which is dealing with many renewable energy projects across Cumbria and the Scottish Borders, the H&H Group themselves were giving every visitor to their stand a complimentary tree to offset their carbon footprint.
Borderway Agri-Expo is sponsored by Carrs Billington, Morrisons, Norbrook, Lloyds TSB Agriculture and Farmers Guardian. There were also 27 sponsors of the class competitions.
The event supported two charities, The British Heart Foundation and Hospice at Home through a Charity Raffle.
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