Gearing up for the Winter Fair

Robert Anderson from Gippsland, Australia will judge the livestock at this year's Royal Ulster Winter Fair taking place on Thursday 12th December 2019 at the Eikon Exhibition Centre, Balmoral Park, Lisbur
Robert Anderson from Gippsland, Australia will judge the livestock at this year's Royal Ulster Winter Fair taking place on Thursday 12th December 2019 at the Eikon Exhibition Centre, Balmoral Park, Lisbur

Preparations are well underway for the 34th Royal Ulster Winter Fair sponsored by Danske Bank.

This year, the 34th Royal Ulster Winter Fair will take place at the Eikon Exhibition Centre at Balmoral Park, Lisburn on Thursday 12th December from 9am to 6pm.

Scottish judge Kate Stephens will also join the 2019 Royal Ulster Winter Fair's judging panel as this year's Trade Stand Judge.

Scottish judge Kate Stephens will also join the 2019 Royal Ulster Winter Fair's judging panel as this year's Trade Stand Judge.

The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) is delighted to welcome Australian Livestock judge, Robert Anderson and Scottish Trade Stand Judge, Kate Stephen.

A fourth generation farmer, Rob has a long standing family association with Jersey cows and at the age of 16, he successfully established his own herd, “King Ville Jerseys”. With over 30 years farming experience, Rob alongside his wife Kerrie and their three daughters, farm 320 grazing acres in Gippsland, Australia for a milking herd of 220 registered Jerseys and 180 replacement heifers.

A seasoned judge with over 25 years’ experience, Rob first entered the judging arena in 1994 winning the National Dairy Cattle Judging Competition at Sydney Royal. This triumph led to Rob becoming a member of the Jersey and Holstein Australian Judging panels and in 2016, he became the first Australian judge to officiate the National Jersey Show at International Dairy Week.

Other judging honours include officiating the New Zealand Dairy Event in 2010, 2011 and 2018 as well as judging numerous major appointments such as Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney & Launceston Royals, All Breeds Youth Show at Melbourne Royal, Shepparton National All Breeds Show, New South Wales Dairy Spectacular and New South Wales State Jersey Show. Rob has also officiated various Jersey and Holstein On Farm Challenges including judging the Semex Holstein Australian On Farm Competition final for Southern Australia in 2012 and the 2014 Great Northern Jersey On Farm Challenge Final.

As a farmer, Rob has an equally impressive list of accolades. In 2013, his jersey herd ‘Kings Ville Jerseys’ received the ‘Australian Bull Breeding Award for Jerseys of the 1990’s’. His success has continued and at present Kings Ville prefixed females are ranked #1, #4, #18 and #38 on the Australian Breeding Values Top genomic list. Other notable achievements include awards from International Dairy Week, On Farm Challenges and the Royal Melbourne not to mention honours from an abundance of local shows.

Joining the 2019 Royal Ulster Winter Fair judging panel is Scottish trade stand Judge Kate Stephen. Kate was born into a well-known Dairy Farming family in the North East of Scotland. The family participated in the Scottish Show Circuit, winning Championships both locally and nationally for example the now defunct Glasgow Dairy Show and the Royal Highland Show.

Kate who obtains a Marketing Degree, began her career as a political spin doctor however her ‘dairy ladies’ have always been close to her heart. After starting a family Kate became the Secretary of the Clydesdale Horse Society and while active within this role, she was headhunted to run the Livestock and Competitions Departments of the Royal Highland Show, a position that she recently left at the end of 2018. In addition to this, Kate has also been a member of the Association of Shows and Agricultural Organisations.

Outside of work, Kate is a seasoned show-goer, as both exhibitor and spectator. Her most recent foray into judging was as Trade Stand Judge at Westmoreland Country Show in September 2019.

To keep up to date with 2019 Winter Fair news check out the website www.winterfair.org.uk, Facebook: Winter Fair or Twitter @ruaswinterfair.

Admission for adults £10, 12-18 years £8, seniors (over 65) £8, under 12’s free when accompanied by an adult. RUAS members enter free of charge. Discounted rates available online at www.winterfair.org.uk