A date has been set for the UK’s leading winter livestock event, which will this year be judged by high profile figures representing England, Scotland and Wales.
The 2015 Borderway Agri-Expo will take place in Carlisle on October 30, and will feature a prize fund of £15,000.
Over 800 head of the finest animals in the country are expected to be entered into the event, which includes sections for pedigree breed society calf shows.
Harrison and Hetherington, which runs Borderway Mart, has announced that eminent Limousin cattle breeder Glyn Howatson, of Denbigh, will judge the main cattle classes.
The Baby Beef judge, meanwhile, will be farmer and breeder David Macarthur of Mid Fleenas in Nairn.
In the sheep section, Richard Henderson, a livestock procurement buyer for Woodheads Bros, Turriff, will judge the main classes, while Philip Dawson, of Kentmere, Kendal, will oversee the mule Gimmer lamb class.
Event organiser and Harrison and Hetherington operations director David Pritchard 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.”
Mr Howatson farms 1,200 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.
The pair regularly show their home-bred cattle and, in 2006, won the Welsh Winter Fair. Earlier this year, Mr Howatson judged the North Wales Potential.
However, Borderway Agri Expo is the largest competition he has been invited to so far.
“Agri Expo is a tremendous event with quality cattle and one which I am very much looking forward to; it is a huge honour to be asked,” he said.
“In judging I will be looking for correctness, and something that is truly showy with a good top line and loin.”
Mr 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 as well as arable crops.
In judging the baby beef classes, he says, he will be looking for something similar to the traits to his own stock - good shape and correctness combined with character and show appeal.
Mr Henderson, meanwhile, looks after a small flock pedigree Suffolk sheep and has judged prime sheep at many shows across the North of England and Scotland.
Last year, he 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,” he said.
“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.
“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 1,000 ewes at Kentmere in the Lake District, and 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 says, 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 can be found at www.harrisonandhetherington.co.uk . Alternatively, call 01228 406200.