These may be changing and uncertain times for the industry, but there was certainly nothing uncertain about Borderway Agri–Expo held on Friday 2nd November.
For this one of UK’s leading winter agricultural events, the sun shone, and it attracted a record crowd and some of the finest sheep and cattle from across the length and breadth of the UK. It highlighted the vitality of the livestock industry and demonstrated what a crowd puller, a tense championship competition can be.
Representatives from many of the British Sheep and Cattle Breed societies were in attendance, with livestock representing the best of their breeds. Chief Executive of the H&H Group, Richard Rankin, commented:
“This is the first time that I have attended Borderway Agri-Expo and I can honestly say that it has been a huge privilege to be part of such a prestigious event. Represented here today are all sectors of the industry, and from talking to people, it is certainly more than evident that this is THE show that they want to attend, and of course THE show that they want to win. Thank you to everyone who has exhibited and supported us.”
In terms of results, 2018 Borderway Agri-Expo proved to be a year for the ladies, with Northern Ireland’s Dermot and Gareth Small’s Charolais x Heifer Strawberry Blonde achieving the overall Borderway Agri-Expo 2018 Supreme Champion. The Reserve Supreme Champion title was lifted by Stewart & Lynsey Bett, with their Limousin X Heifer Red Hot Diamond.
On announcing the 2018 Supreme Cattle Champion, Judge, Alan Veitch from Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, said: “You certainly do not find an animal like this every day, a dream mover with a tremendous head and legs and a lovely example, of the type of heifer we all want to breed.
“The Reserve Champion was again a lovely animal. Bigger, very well put together and very well balanced. It has been a very hard job to judge today as there are so many fantastic animals and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself.”
On scooping the Supreme Champion, Gareth Small said: “This is the second time that we have won Borderway Agri- Expo, and we are absolutely delighted to win it this time especially with a home-bred animal.”
In the sheep classes, Supreme Champion Sheep winners were R Hall & Son of Inglewood Edge Carlisle, with a pair of Beltex lambs, and the Reserve winner was April Skelton with her pair of Beltex lambs.
Judge William McAllister, from Kells in Northern Ireland, said: “I’m very privileged to be asked to come along and judge the lambs at Agri-Expo today. The Champion pair of lambs were full of meat, very correct, stylish, as a pair of show lambs should be – all in all a very good show of lambs.”
Baby Beef Champion was Queen Bee, a May-2018 born Limousin x heifer from Peredur & Llyr Hughes of Anglesey . Reserve Champion went to Pearse McNamee & Blair Dufton for their Limousin Sassy Lassy.
This is an event from everyone wants to take home a rosette and a share of the £14,000 prize fund. The livestock presented throughout the day was second to none, and for the exhibitors it was highly competitive, with the competition to become one of Borderway Agri-Expo’s annual Champions was strongly contested.
David Pritchard, Harrison & Hetherington’s Joint Managing Director of operations said: “This is a shop window to the world. The standard of animals on display continues to amaze – the numbers grow every year and the quality is absolutely world class, as attested by the opinion of judges. Well done to all of our winners today and thank you to all who attended.”
The sheep classes again saw tremendous numbers across all the classes. Champion Continental went to Cumbria’s R Hall & Son with a pair of Beltex lambs. Reserve went to Young Farmer April Skelton with a pair of Beltex lambs.
Champion Pair of Hill Bred’s went to Langholm’s T N Cavers & Co with a pair of Blackface Lambs, and Reserve Champion was Alex Main, Byers Farm Bewcastle, with a pair of Cheviot Hill Lambs.
Champion Bred from a Hill Ewe went to T N Cavers & Co with a pair of Crossbred Lambs, whilst Reserve Champion went to M & B Allen of Borrowby Grange, with a pair of Mule Lambs.
The next generation of livestock show professionals demonstrated their phenomenal skills across the cattle and sheep young handlers’ classes. Junior Cattle Handler was Matthew Bentley from Thirsk, whilst Alice Harrison of Appleby took the Champion Senior Cattle Handler award.
In the sheep classes, Champion Young Handler was awarded to April Skelton of Inglewood Edge and Grace Elliot, who won the 11 and under age group was given Reserve. Craig Goddard was the winner of the over 18 Stock Judging Class, with George Fell taking 1st prize in the under 18 class.
The Breed Societies were well represented both through their shows and trade stands.
Beef Shorthorn Champion and Reserve Champion went to North Yorkshire’s S & G Currie. Beautry Shuna Myrtle, a February-born heifer calf by Poyntington Himself scooped Champion, whilst Reserve was given to an April-born bull calf, Beautry Malfoy also by Poyntington Himself.
This information has already been mentioned above.Aberdeen Angus Champion was Messrs Graham’s Carruthers Elspeth, a November 2017-born heifer calf by Halbeath Kitemark. R&C Rettie’s April-2017 born yearling bull, Retties Lord Harvey by Gretnahouse Blackpot, was Reserve Champion.
Hereford Supreme Champion was awarded to B Birch & G Brindley’s Skyhigh 1 Luscious Lucy, an October-2017 born Hefier Calf by SMH King Size 87KA1. Reserve Champion was won by PRJ & LR Vincent’s February-2018 born bull calf Pulham Remitall, by Romany 1 Machine.
British Blue Overall Champion went to Charlotte Alford’s Foxhill Nadiya, a January 2018-born heifer by Park Daimler. Reserve Champion was given to Ian McGarva’s Abington Nitro March-born bull calf, by Corrandulla Finton ET.
Simmental Overall Champion was Derbyshire’s Storersmith Simmentals’ October-2017 born heifer calf Storersmith Isla, a daughter of Lisglass Barnabus. Reserve Champion was handed to Michael and John Barlow’s Denizes Eves Beauty, an August-2017 born heifer calf by Denizes Fantastic.
Although the Borderway Agri-Expo delights in show-casing British livestock, it has now become an increasingly important industry event and provides a platform for farmers to meet manufacturers, sector retailers, vets and training providers to discuss current issues and products. The trade stands, outside and in, proved to be exceptionally busy with a wealth of information and ideas exchanging hands.
An indication of the show’s importance is the choice of Agri-Expo by International manufacturer Valtra, which attended the show with its new main dealer Johnston’s Tractors. Martin Atkinson, Sales Manager for Valtra Corporation, added: “We’re here to support our dealer, Johnston’s Tractors, because we consider this to be one of the top shows in the whole of the North of the UK.”
Industry loyalty to Agri-Expo was also illustrated by Andrew Naylor, Managing Director of the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation and the Head of Agriculture for Lloyds Bank. He said: “The reason we are here today, and continue to come back, is to support the North West and our agricultural customers in helping them prosper.”
Winner of the 2018 breed society stand was the British Charolais Cattle Society, indoor trade stand was awarded to Harbro Ltd and outdoor trade stand was awarded to Eden Farm Supplies.
David Pritchard said: “The success of this year’s Agri-Expo shows how much this industry remains positive about the challenges ahead. It is incredibly encouraging to see so many people engaged in discussion with our exhibitors, with young people joining the discussions and wanting to be involved in the direction of this industry. Whatever the future, our industry is determined to thrive.
We are enormously grateful for the support from our sponsors and exhibitors, many who have been our partners for the full 12 years of our existence – and also to the thousands of people who come to see the competition and take part in the farming conversation.
The H&H team would just like to thank everyone involved for making our 2018 event a marvellous success. Our sponsors, trade stand exhibitors and all the livestock exhibitors, we couldn’t do the Expo without you.
Now the planning starts all over again for 2019 and we look forward to seeing everyone on Friday 1st November next year.”