With record entries, strong support from breed societies and sponsors and major organisations taking trade stands, Borderway Agri-Expo is cementing its position as one of the leading winter livestock shows.
Now in its seventh year, this showcase for agriculture has grown rapidly, from the inaugural Borderway Agri-Expo staged by Harrison & Hetherington at Carlisle’s Borderway Exhibition Centre in 2007.
About 750 pedigree and commercial livestock entries from around the UK are expected this year, more than four times the number entered for the first show.
In addition, more than 10,000 visitors, around 165 trade stands and the cream of cattle and sheep breed societies are due at the expo, on Friday, November 1, making this a red-letter day in the winter farming calendar.
It promises a great farming and family day out with elements to appeal to pedigree breeders and commercial farmers, to those involved in advances in new technology and the next generation through the annual Young Farmers classes. There will be the opportunity to catch up with friends from across the UK, get up to speed with industry developments and view some of the finest livestock in the country.
David Pritchard, Harrison & Hetherington operations director and Borderway Agri-Expo co-ordinator, said: “Advances and small changes are happening all the time in the industry and Borderway Agri-Expo provides farmers with the opportunity to see some of the finest livestock in the UK and talk face to face with experts in their field.
“A huge number of both farmers and professionals attend and it has become an important forum to discuss developments, whether they are in breeding genetics or new equipment. Our aim is to provide the information people need to plan the future of their farming enterprises.”
With a total prize fund standing at £12,000, the sheep and cattle classes are as always, at the heart of Borderway Agri-Expo.
Four experienced judges will be overseeing the proceedings.
Charlie Anderson, who buys store and finishing cattle and farms in Dumfriesshire, is responsible for the main cattle classes; Hugh Dunlop from Ayrshire, will judge the baby beef classes; Andrew Finch, livestock manager of Dunbia (Preston) Ltd, will judge the main sheep classes; and Cumbrian farmer and noted stockman from Bewcastle, Harry Gass will oversee the special mule ewe lamb class.
New classes for 2013 include Best Charolais-sired heifer or steer - initiated by the British Charolais Cattle Society, the class is for animals that have been shown in one of the preview classes on the schedule; and Best pair of Cheviot Hill Lambs, with the winner being presented with an engraved tankard by the Cheviot Hill Sheep Society.
Borderway Agri-Expo’s position as the leading winter show event is underlined by the strength of animals expected.
There are 26 classes in the National Suckled Calf and Primestock Show and 19 Continental and traditional breed classes in the National Prime Sheep Show.
The owner of the Overall Champion Animal will receive £500 and the Robert Scott Memorial Perpetual Challenge Trophy.
There is also a Special H&H Award for the champion exhibitor who purchased their winning animal through the sale ring at one of the H&H Auction Marts or if it was home-bred and subsequently sold through an H&H centre.
Awards in the sheep section:
The Champion pair of lambs wins the Borderway Agri-Expo Perpetual Challenge Trophy.
The Beltex Sheep Society will present £200 if the overall Champion pair of lambs are sired by a registered Beltex ram and £100 if the Reserve Overall Champion pair of lambs are sired by a registered Beltex Ram.
The British Texel Sheep Society will present £250 if the Overall Champion pair of lambs is sired by a registered Texel ram and £125 of the Reserve Overall Champion pair of lambs is sired by a registered Texel ram.
The special breed society show classes in the Cattle section include the Aberdeen Angus Winter National Show, incorporating the Walkers Shortbread Aberdeen Angus Show Herd of the Year Competition 2013; the Border British Blue Calf Show; the Beef Shorthorn National Calf Show; the Hereford Regional Calf Show; and the Simmental Regional Calf Show.
The champion’s award will be presented to the best animal from the 26 cattle classes, which include baby beef, continental and native-bred cattle.
The importance of Borderway Agri-Expo as a venue for sharing information is demonstrated by the huge number of agricultural trade stands coming to Carlisle for the day, from feed companies to equipment manufacturers.
There has been stiff competition for space and the Agri-Expo first timers this year include the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB).
Gareth Jones, BWMB communications manager, said: “‘The BW?MB is very proud to be sponsors and attending Borderway Agri-Expo for the very first time this year.
“We recognise what an important event this is in the farming calendar and look forward to updating our producers on prices and the BWMB’s activities.
“The Carlisle area has a strong tradition and heritage in sheep farming.”
Borderway Agri-Expo has been committed to supporting the younger generation from the outset and this year is no exception.
The Young Farmers classes have always been a highlight and this year’s Young Farmers Club Competitions include a class for the Best Pair of Lambs (any breed and weight), with the winning pair earning a place in the appropriate breed Championship and the Young Farmer Stockman of The Year.
Mainline sponsors of the day include Carrs Billington, Morrison’s, Norbrook Laboratories, Lloyds TSB, Cogent Breeding and Farmers Guardian.
Borderway Agri-Expo takes place on Friday, November 1, at the Borderway Exhibition Centre, Carlisle. Admission and parking is free.
The day’s events start with National Suckled Calf & Primestock Cattle Classes at 8.30am, running through to 4pm whenthe Championship awards and presentations are made.