Glyn Howatson, representing Wales, David Macarthur and Richard Henderson, Scotland and Philip Dawson England, comprise the line-up of judges announced for the 2015 Borderway Agri-Expo taking place at Borderway, Carlisle, on Friday 30th October 2015.
With a prize fund of £15,000 and entries increasing year-on-year, this is now the leading winter livestock event in the UK. Over 800 head of the finest animals in the country are expected to be entered which includes sections for pedigree breed society calf shows. Judging them all is always a major challenge and one which is only possible with the highest levels of specialist knowledge and experience.
Harrison and Hetherington have announced that eminent Limousin Cattle Breeder Glyn Howatson of TyNewydd, Nantglyn, Denbigh, will judge the main cattle classes. Baby Beef judge will be farmer and breeder David Macarthur of Mid Fleenas, Nairn. Taking up the roles in the sheep section are Richard Henderson, livestock procurement buyer for Woodheads Bros, Turriff who will judge the main sheep classes, while the mule Gimmer lamb class will be judged by Philip Dawson of Kentmere, Kendal.
On announcing the judges, David Pritchard, Operations Director for Harrison & Hetherington, and Event Organiser for the 2015 Borderway Agri Expo said: “Since we launched this event nine years ago, the standard and geographical spread of livestock exhibitors has developed hugely. This is a major show which is recognised highly with some of the most highly sought after livestock in the country, and it therefore demands the highest calibre of judges. Together these four represent all sectors of the livestock industry and we are very privileged that they have agreed to judge at this year’s Borderway Agri Expo.”
Glyn Howatson, who is judging the main cattle classes, farms 1200 acres in partnership with his father, running a Suckler herd of 140 head of mainly Limousin and British Blue Cross home-bred cattle and a thousand North Country Hill Cheviot breeding ewes. They regularly show their home-bred cattle and won the Welsh Winter Fair in 2006.
Earlier this year, Glyn judged the North Wales Potential, however, Borderway Agri Expo is the largest competition he has been invited to. Describing his reaction, he said: “ Agri Expo is a tremendous event with quality cattle and it is a huge honour to be asked, and one which I am very much looking forward to. In judging I will be looking for correctness, and something that is truly showy with a good top line and loin.”
David Macarthur, who has judged across Scotland, farms 250 acres and a herd of 90 suckler cows in partnership with his father. He also farms 300 acres separately, with a flock of 600 commercial breeding ewes, and arable crops. In judging the baby beef classes he will be practising what he preaches, and looking for something similar to the traits to his own stock, something with good shape, correctness and a bit of character and show appeal.
Working out of the Turriff office, Richard Henderson is livestock procurement buyer for Woodhead Bros. In his spare time he looks after his small flock pedigree Suffolk sheep (Binhill Farm). Richard has judged prime sheep at many shows across the North of England, and Scotland, and last year judged the carcass classes at the Scottish Winter Fair.
“It is an honour to be invited to Borderway by Harrison & Hetherington, to judge the main sheep classes. We are all in food production and know how important it is to have a well-muscled and well-fleshed animal. What I will be looking for is a carcass that looks good, handles well, with a bit of fat cover, as it will eat well,” he said.
“Supermarkets need a range of lamb on the shelves as their customers want a choice. Some prefer their lamb lean, some prefer it with that bit of fat. Some like a small joint and some a larger joint. As an industry we need to supply them with this choice. We must not breed our animals too uniform.”
Cumbrian Judge Philip Dawson farms 1000 ewes at Kentmere in the Lake District. He regularly sells Bluefaced Leicester Tups and Lambs at Borderway. He also sells North of England Mule gimmer lambs at Lazonby from his flock of 600 breeding ewes. In judging the Mule Gimmer ewe lamb class he will be looking for good clean colours, good skins and butchery potential.
Entries are now being taken for all classes. Full details and entry forms for the 2015 Borderway Agri Expo can be found on www.harrisonandhetherington.co.uk or by telephoning 01228 406200.