There is an impressive line-up of judges ready to take centre stage at Agri Expo.
Judging the main cattle classes is cattle and sheep breeder Chris Pennie, from Gwern Yr Ychain, Montgomery in Wales. Farming alongside his father, Glynn and brother Nigel, Mr Pennie runs a herd of about 200 suckler cows which includes pedigree Limousins, a small herd of Charolais and British Blue cross Limousins, as well as 1,000 breeding ewes. His judging highlights include Balmoral Show, Tullamore Show and Royal Highland Show, as well as the Carlisle Limousin bull sale.
Mr Pennie says: “The calibre of entries is always outstanding and I feel I will have to make some difficult decisions on the day. I will be looking for animals with style and show presence, as well as natural width and excellent conformation throughout; the perfect beast ideally!”
Judging the baby beef and showmanship classes is Sarah Wareham, of Little Tottingworth Farm, near Heathfield in East Sussex. Born and brought up on a family livestock farm, Mrs Wareham has a lifetime of experience in farming, and as well as judging she is also a regular face in the showring exhibiting her own cattle and has been a very regular exhibitor at Borderway-Agri Expo since its inception.
In judging the baby beef classes, Mrs Wareham will be looking for a stylish animal with plenty of potential. It also, of course, has to have real show quality and appeal. She will also be judging the young handler classes, which she believes are extremely important in encouraging and educating the next generation.
She says: “For many, the young handler classes are very much part of the overall family showing. They set the foundations for a future in showing livestock.”
The main sheep classes will this year be judged by Chris Wright, a wholesale butcher at the family run A. Wright and Son, in Boston, Lincolnshire. The business, which has been in the family for more than 100 years, operates an abattoir and butchery and is passionate about promoting local produce, as well as their speciality brand the ‘Hungry Stockman’.
Mr Wright also manages a flock of 40 pedigree Beltex ewes and is involved in some embryo transfer work. Although he has only begun showing his pedigree Beltex this year, he is a regular on the judging circuit having judged sheep and cattle at several Christmas fatstock shows, the English Winter Fair and Lincolnshire Show, as well as many local summer shows.
Northumberland livestock farmer Martyn Archer, from Low Carry House, Wark, near Hexham, will judge the Mule gimmer class. Farming in partnership with his father Robin, they run a flock of 600 Blackface, 35 Bluefaced Leicester and 80 North of England Mule ewes. All Blackface ewes are crossed with a Bluefaced Leicester to produce North of England Mule lambs.
In addition, Martyn also manages 45 Limousin cross British Blue suckler cows from which he breeds show-type cattle to sell.
08:30 National suckled calf and primestock cattle classes (22 classes plus championship)
08:30 National prime sheep classes (20 classes plus championship)
08:30 Border British Blue Club calf show (eight classes plus championship)
08:30 Simmental Society and regional calf show (eight classes plus championships)
09:00 Baby beef (six classes plus championship)
10:00 Stockjudging competition – Agri-Expo Stocks Person of the Year
10:30 Aberdeen-Angus winter national show (12 classes plus championships)
10.30 Beef Shorthorn Society national calf show (eight classes plus championships)
13.00 Hereford regional calf show (seven classes plus championships)
13:30 Best pair of Mule ewe lambs
16:00 Championship awards and presentations