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Agri-Expo Preview: Judges ready to take centre stage

Judges from all corners of the UK will be taking centre stage at this year’s Agri-Expo. Farmers Guardian finds out more about them.



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With some of the finest livestock in the country due to descend on Borderway Mart on October 30, some of the top beef and sheep judges have been lined up.

Glyn Howatson, Nantglyn, Denbigh, will judge the main cattle classes, while baby beef judge will be farmer and breeder David Macarthur, 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, and the Mule gimmer lamb class will be judged by Philip Dawson, Kentmere, Kendal.

On announcing the judges, David Pritchard, operations director for Harrison and Hetherington, and event organiser for this year’s event, says: “Since we launched this event nine years ago, the standard and geographical spread of livestock exhibitors has developed hugely.

“It is a major show which is recognised highly with some of the most sought after livestock in the country and therefore demands the highest calibre of judges.

“Together these four represent all sectors of the livestock industry and we are very privileged they have agreed to judge this year.”

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David Macarthur

David Macarthur
Well-known Scottish judge David Macarthur farms 101 hectares (250 acres) and a herd of 90 suckler cows in partnership with his father.

He also farms 121ha (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 in his own stock – something with good shape, correctness and a bit of character and show appeal.

Richard Henderson

RICHARD Henderson is a livestock procurement buyer for Woodhead Bros, Turriff.

In his spare time he looks after his small Suffolk flock under the Binhill Farm prefix.

He has judged prime sheep at many shows across the North of England and Scotland, and last year judged the carcase classes at the Scottish Winter Fair.

He says: “It is an honour to be invited 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.
“I will be looking for a carcase that looks good, handles well, with a bit of fat cover.

“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. We need to supply them with this choice. We must not breed our animals too uniform.”

Glyn Howatson 

Glyn Howatson 

Limousin cattle breeder Glyn Howatson, Denbigh, will judge the main cattle classes.

Farming 486 hectares (1,200 acres) in partnership with his father, Mr Howatson runs a suckler herd of 140 head, comprising mainly of Limousin and British Blue cross home-bred cattle, as well as 1,000 North Country Hill Cheviot breeding ewes.

They regularly show their home-bred cattle and in 2006 won the Royal Welsh Winter Fair.

Earlier this year, he judged the North Wales Potential Show, but says the Borderway Agri-Expo is the largest competition he has been invited to.

He says: “Agri-Expo is a tremendous event with quality cattle. It is a huge honour to be asked and I am very much looking forward to it. I will be looking for correctness, and something that is truly showy with a good top line and loin.”

Philip Dawson

Cumbrian judge Philip Dawson farms 1,000 ewes at Kentmere in the Lake District and is a regular seller of Bluefaced Leicester tups and lambs at Borderway Mart.

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.
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