Cumbria Crack

Borderway Agri-Expo Judges Announced

L-R: Martyn Archer, Sarah Wareham, Chris Wright and Chris Pennie

[F]or leading livestock auctioneers, Harrison & Hetherington, plans are in full swing for the 2017 Borderway Agri-Expo as they today announce the line-up of judges.

The cattle judges are Welsh cattle breeder Chris Pennie and livestock farmer Sarah Wareham.  Lincolnshire wholesale butcher and farmer, Chris Wright, will judge the main sheep classes and the Mule Gimmer lamb class will be judged by Northumberland farmer Martyn Archer.

Attracting over 900 livestock entries across the sheep and cattle classes, and thousands of visitors, last year marked the 10th anniversary of what has now become the UK’s leading autumn livestock show.  Taking place at Borderway Mart, Carlisle, on Friday 3rd November and with a total prize fund of over £17,000 this year’s event is expected to once again attract the crème de la crème of livestock entries from the length and breadth of the UK.

On announcing details of the judges, David Pritchard, Harrison & Hetherington’s Operations Director and Event Organiser said: “Each year the quality of livestock being shown at Borderway Agri-Expo astounds us all, and as such selecting judges is of the upmost importance and is integral to the event.  Judging is a huge commitment and there is absolutely no doubt that that this year’s judges are exceptionally well qualified for the job; it will be a privilege to welcome them to Carlisle in November.”

Judging the main cattle classes this year is cattle and sheep breeder, Chris Pennie, from Gwern Yr Ychain, Montgomery in Wales.  Farming alongside his father Glynn and brother Nigel, Chris runs a herd of approximately 200 suckler cows, some pedigree Limousins, a small herd of Charolais and the remainder British Blue cross Limousins, as well as 1000 breeding ewes.  Well renowned on the circuit, his judging highlights include the Balmoral Show, Tullamore Show and Royal Highland Show, as well as the Carlisle Limousin bull sale.

Commenting ahead of his first judging role at Borderway Agri-Expo, Chris said:  “I am thrilled to have been invited to judge the cattle classes at Borderway Agri-Expo this year.  The calibre of entries is always outstanding and I feel I will have to make some difficult decisions on the day.  I will be looking for animals with style and show presence, as well as natural width and excellent conformation throughout; the perfect beast ideally!”

Judging the baby beef and showmanship classes is Sarah Wareham of Little Tottingworth Farm, near Heathfield in East Sussex.   Born and brought up on a family livestock farm, Sarah has a lifetime of experience in farming, and as well as judging she is also a regular face in the show ring exhibiting her own cattle.  Sarah has been a very regular exhibitor at Borderway-Agri Expo since its inception

“Being offered the opportunity to judge at Agri-Expo really is an honour as it is now one of the best shows in the UK,” says Sarah.  In judging the Baby Beef classes, Sarah will be looking for a stylish animal with plenty potential. It also of course has to have real show quality and appeal.”

Additionally, Sarah will also be judging the Young Handler classes which she believes are extremely important in encouraging and educating the next generation.  “For many, the Young Handler classes are very much part of the overall family showing.  They set the foundations for a future in showing livestock,” adds Sarah.

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.  The business, which has been in the family for over 100 years, operates an abattoir and butchery and is passionate about promoting local produce, as well as their speciality brand the ‘Hungry Stockman’.  In addition, Chris manages a flock of 40 pedigree Beltex ewes and is involved in some embryo transfer work.  Although Chris has only begun showing his pedigree Beltex this year, he is a regular on the judging circuit having judged sheep and cattle at several Christmas fatstock shows, the English winter fair and Lincolnshire show, as well as many local summer shows.

Commenting ahead of his debut at Borderway Agri-Expo, Chris said:  “I am very much looking forward to seeing the quality of sheep in the ring at Agri-Expo, and the diversity of the different breeds.  On the whole, I will be looking for a well fleshed animal with nice fat cover and plenty conformation.”

Northumberland livestock farmer Martyn Archer, from Low Carry House, Wark, near Hexham will judge the Mule Gimmer class.  Farming in partnership with his father, Robin, they run a flock of 600 Blackface, 35 Bluefaced Leicester and 80 North of England Mule ewes.  All Blackface ewes are crossed with a Bluefaced Leicester to produce North of England Mule lambs.  In addition, Martyn also manages 45 Limousin x British Blue suckler cows from which he breeds show-type cattle to sell.

Judging at Borderway Agri-Expo for the first time, Martyn, who is the immediate past chairman of the North of England Mule Sheep Association, commented: “I have previously judged North of England Mules at shows in northern England and southern Scotland, however Borderway Agri-Expo is most definitely the highlight.”

Entries are now being taken for all classes at the 2017 Borderway Agri-Expo.  Full details and entry forms can be found at or telephone 01228 406200.

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