[T]he UK’s leading Winter Livestock event, hosted by Harrison and Hetherington, has today announced an impressive line-up of judges for the 2018 Borderway Agri-Expo.
The judges will travel across the sea from Ireland and Fife in Scotland to this now highly anticipated annual industry event. The cattle classes will be the responsibility of Alan Veitch, from Drumlone, in Co Fermanagh, in Northern Ireland; Baby Beef Classes will be judged by Craig Malone, from Fife, and William McAllister, from Ballymena in Co Antrim will be in charge of the sheep classes.
This year’s event, which is now in its 12th year, will see almost 1000 livestock entries across the sheep and cattle classes, and around 13,000 visitors, descend on Borderway Mart, in Carlisle, on Friday 2 November. A large number of trade stands will also be in attendance to offer visitors advice and information on every aspect of farm management, making this a valuable opportunity, not only see a showcase of outstanding animals, but also to gain ideas for future farm business strategies.
Commenting on the judging line-up David Pritchard, Harrison & Hetherington’s Joint Managing Director and Event Organiser said: “The support for Borderway Agri-Expo is incredible and it’s such an honour to welcome a group of exceptional judges to the event to oversee the world class animals on show. This event is now one of the leading livestock events in the UK, an established fixture in the farming calendar and the calibre of judges reflects the prestigious status of the Expo within the industry.
It is also fantastic to see young people represented in the Judges line up, and as a company Harrison and Hetherington have placed a great importance of opening up opportunities for young people to showcase their skills and enthusiasm for our industry.”
Alan Veitch, from Drumlone, will join the Agri-Expo as the main cattle classes judge this year. He farms 300 acres with his father in Co. Fermanagh and runs a 120-cow dairy herd, as well as breeding pedigree beef breeds; Charolais, Simmental and British Blue and some commercial animals for breeding show calves.
Alan is a prolific judge, particularly in Northern Ireland, where he has judged the Irish Winter Fair, the Irish Commercial Winter Fair and more recently the Pedigree British Blues at Tullamore Show. He also has a record breaker title to his list of achievements, having sold the highest priced calf for £8,000 at the Stars of the Future sale earlier this year. The cross bred Limousin heifer calf, aged eight months old and weighing 350kg, made the overall record price ever achieved in Ireland.
Commenting ahead of his first judging role at Borderway Agri-Expo, Alan said, “I have attended Agri Expo for many years and it’s the Show that everyone wants to win. I never thought I would be coming across to judge it. It’s an exciting challenge and an absolute honour to be asked to judge what I know will be a tremendous showcase of cattle. The winner will be the animal that I personally would most like to take home, so I am looking for correctness, walks well and it has to have an easy temperament.”
Judging the baby beef and showmanship classes is Craig Malone from Fife who, as a new entrant into farming eight years ago, has made quite an impression on the beef world, having won the Highland Show overall Champion twice with commercial cattle in 2010 and 2011, as well as judging major shows throughout Scotland.
Craig buys Limousin cross British Blue heifers and sells them with calves at foot. The farm carries around 150 head and Craig sells about 70 a year with calves at foot. He trades through marts from Carlisle to Aberdeen, and has seen some outstanding prices, with this year selling to a top price of £7100 in May – a UK Record for a heifer with calf at foot.
“I was very pleased to be asked to judge something as prestigious and big as the Agri Expo,” said Craig when asked about his role at this year’s event. “I have been there a few times so in terms of what to expect I know there will be plenty of quality stock and I will be looking for a good sweet correct calf with plenty of potential and of course character.”
The sheep classes will this year be judged by William McAllister, from Co Antrim, who farms with his parents and sister near Ballymena and breeds pedigree Charolais, Shorthorns and Limousins, in addition to 150 Pedigree Beltex, Charollais Texel’s and Bleu du Maine as well as managing 200 commercial breeding sheep.
William, who is widely known for his expertise and judging skills throughout the world, has been a regular on the judging circuit in recent years, not only in Ireland but also in Scotland where he has judged the Beltex and Charollais at the Royal Highland Show, and in Wales at the Royal Welsh Show where he judged both Charolais Cattle and Charollais sheep. He has also judged Charolais Cattle at the Royal Ulster Balmoral Show, illustrating his passion and good eye for world class livestock.
In addition to his judging resume, William also has an amazing track record in the ring, having won the Beltex Champion at the Royal Highland in 2006 and in more recent times won the interbreed at Balmoral in 2013 and 2014 with the home bred Charollais Gimmers and Mule Gimmer Lamb Classes, and in 2013, at the Balmoral show, won the Junior Champion in Charolais, Shorthorns and Limousin as well as the Junior Interbreed, also winning the sheep interbreed Champion.
“I haven’t judged at the Agri-Expo before and am honoured to be asked. Agri Expo has a tremendous reputation and I know that in previous years there has been a fantastic showing of sheep across all breeds.
“When judging, a pair they must be a pair, they must have the same good tops, ends and correctness. I like character.”
With such an outstanding line up the 2018 Agri-Expo promises to be the best yet and attendance is recommended.
Entries are now being taken for all classes at the 2018 Borderway Agri-Expo. Full details and entry forms can be found at https://harrisonandhetherington.co.uk or telephone 01228 406230