Arguably the highlight of the Beef Expo, the National Spring Spectacular Show (NSSS) has received a record-breaking entry this year.
Some 152 head of cattle will be on display at York Auction Centre, shown by 65 different exhibitors.
With 15 classes and an overall prize fund of £5,000, this year’s NSSS boasts 27 new exhibitors from across UK, from north Scotland to Somerset and South Wales.
York Auction Centre chairman Richard Tasker says: “The number of livestock entries we have received this year is testament to the popularity of this major beef industry event growing year on year, and the hard work of show organiser Julie Sedgewick and her team.
“NBA Beef Expo is now recognised as a truly important networking experience in the industry to both attend and show animals.”
The event has two leading Scottish beef breeders from Perthshire judging this year’s competition. Wilson Peters will judge the native, continental and supreme championship, and Craig Robertson will cast his expert eye over the baby beef championships and young handlers classes.
NSSS co-ordinator Julie Sedgewick says: “It has been great to see so much support from local farmers in the Yorkshire area, many of whom are entering for the first time."
This year’s Auctioneers’ Challenge will test the competitors’ ability to show the stock they would normally sell under the hammer.
Held at the end of the National Spring Spectacular Show (NSSS) classes, competitors must be working for an auction company in an auctioneering capacity.
All entrants must do is borrow an animal already being shown by an exhibitor in the earlier classes – they do not have to enter an animal of their own – and turn up with a white coat.
Although intended to be one of the more light-hearted events, the competition does have a serious purpose – to raise money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance – while seeing if the men and women with the gavel can show the stock.
Julie Sedgewick says: “The aim of this challenge is to add an extra dimension to the auctioneer’s skills and to see if they can show an animal which they would normally sell in a salering.
“The competition is open to auctioneers from across the UK and we hope it will be a light-hearted conclusion to the National Spring Spectacular Show and I already have auctioneers’ knocking on my door to enter.
“However, we are keen to hear from as many industry professionals as possible who would like to take this challenge and raise money for an important cause at the same time.”
Already entered in to this year’s competition is Trevor Simpson, senior auctioneer at Hexham Mart. He will be taking to the ring with Julie and Gordon Sedgewick’s heifer, Priceless, which was baby champion at this year’s LiveScot.
Mr Simpson, who has been an auctioneer at Hexham for 40 years, also entered last year’s Ready Steady Cook Auctioneer’s Challenge.
He says: "I am looking forward to the competition and think farmers will enjoy watching us auctioneers in the ring. It is also for a good cause; you never know when you might need the air ambulance."
"I am sure it will be a lively end to a superb show of cattle, and it is something a bit different for people to look at.”
Chris Dodds, executive secretary of the Livestock Auctioneers Association, says: “This is an interesting concept as we know auctioneers are used to selling livestock, so I am looking forward to them putting their best foot forward and demonstrating their showing skills.”