We are excited to finally be able to announce the line-up of judges for this year’s Borderway Agri Expo. Judging the main Cattle Classes is farmer James Crichton from Cumbria; the Baby Beef & Cattle Young Handler Judge will be Argyllshire farmer Duncan Semple; and responsible for main Sheep Classes is noted sheep farmer and breeder Stuart Wood.
Due to be held on October 29th, and with a prize fund of £15,000, Borderway Agri Expo is a showcase featuring some of the finest livestock from across the UK. Each of the judges have been chosen for their expertise and knowledge. Across the commercial cattle, sheep and baby beef sections, each will have the challenge of selecting the 2021 winners from what is guaranteed to be a tremendous exhibition.
This will be the first Agri Expo since the pandemic and it is expected to attract in the region of 800 head of the highest calibre of cattle including sections for pedigree breed society calf shows, and sheep. On announcing details of the judges, Scott Donaldson, Managing Director of Harrison & Hetherington, said: “It is a huge privilege for us to host such an important winter livestock event here in Carlisle, however it would absolutely not be possible without the support of our judges. The geographical spread of the livestock exhibitors and standard of sheep and cattle to be showcased will be outstanding and as such, Borderway Agri Expo really does demand the highest calibre of judges.
“These three judges are experts in their fields, and we are very fortunate that they have agreed to judge this year. I know all of them will take their positions incredibly seriously and I would like to thank them personally for giving up their time.”
Main Cattle Judge
James Crichton runs the 130-acre Loughrigg Farm at Egremont and focusses primarily on buying cattle to fatten for local butchers. Each year, he fattens roughly 500 Limousin and Charolais cross cattle, as well as lambing 180 ewes from his closed flock of Beltex crosses. Over the decades, he has accumulated a wealth of experience and knowledge in the market which he is looking forward to putting to use at the event.
Commenting on his appointment, James said: “Being asked to judge at the Borderway Agri Expo is a great honour. I’ve been involved with livestock and agriculture all my life and have been fattening cattle since I was 15 so I’m excited to bring the knowledge and experience I’ve gained to the event. As always, I’m expecting to see some of the best cattle in the country. In terms of winners, I will be looking for a beast with a good top line and good cover, stylish, with presence and something that is eye catching.”
Baby Beef and Young Handler Judge
Judging these classes this year is Duncan Semple, of Dippen Farm near Carradale in Argyll. Across 1200 acres of mixed farm, Duncan runs 80 suckler cows and 350 ewes. His cattle are primarily bought from Stirling or are otherwise home bred, and at present he has 15 pure Charolais and the rest are black Limousin cross cows. Despite not having attended Borderway Agri Expo in person, Duncan has had numerous calves show at the event, some of which have achieved success in the ring. Duncan has considerable judging experience and is looking forward to seeing what he knows will be a tremendous line up of young cattle.
Discussing his role, Duncan said: “I’m extremely honoured to have been invited to judge. It will be my first time in Carlisle – I’m probably one of the very few in the industry who has never attended Agri Expo – and so I’m very excited to be taking part. When judging, I’ll be looking for an animal which is presented correctly, walks correctly, and has a showy head. I am not looking for extremities: it is correctness that matters to me. I want to see a proper loin, and well fleshed calves must walk correctly.”
Commercial Sheep Judge
Full-time fireman Stuart Wood is a renowned sheep breeder and former Auctioneer from Aberdeenshire. Farming just in the region of 350 acres, Stuart along with Partner Stasa and Children Chloe and Murray have a flock of approximately 1200 sheep consisting of pedigree flocks of Pure Beltex, Blue Texel, Badgerface, Dutch Texel and Dutch Spotted, alongside a commercial MV flock of Mules and Suffolk cross ewes. As a noted breeder and exhibitor, Stuart is also a highly experienced judge having judged at The Great Yorkshire Show and the Irish National.
In accepting the role of Commercial Sheep Judge at the 2021 Borderway Agri Expo, he said: It’s a great honour to be asked to judge this year and it’s an event I have never been to before so I am delighted and really looking forward to it.
“Borderway Agri Expo is such a substantial event in the agricultural calendar and in judging the pairs of lambs I will be looking for a perfect mating pair, with great tops and loins and with attributes relevant to their class, sector and breed”.