SOME of the finest cattle and sheep in the UK will compete at the 2017 Borderway Agri Expo in Carlisle on Friday, November 3.

Regarded by many as the UK’s leading winter livestock event, 565 cattle and 360 sheep will compete for a total of £17,000 prize money.

They will take part in 42 livestock classes and six breed society shows including the Aberdeen Angus Winter National Show and Walkers Shortbread Aberdeen Angus Herd of the Year Competition.

The others are the Border British Blue calf show; Beef Shorthorn national calf show; Hereford regional calf show; and Simmental regional calf show.

Many of the breed shows have increased entries with Beef Shorthorn up from 55 head to 72, competing in 11 classes.

A breed society attending for the first time is the Gascon Cattle Society. Pauline Milton, secretary, said: “Borderway Agri Expo attracts a large footfall, and will give us the opportunity to promote the Gascon breed to new and wider audiences. The location of the event is in a renowned cattle producing area, and it provides a great platform to highlight the breed’s traits – easy calving, gentle temperament and a good all-round breed for today’s market and consumers.”

The main cattle classes will be judged by Welsh cattle and sheep breeder Chris Pennie; the baby beef, showmanship and young handler classes by Sarah Wareham from East Sussex; the main sheep classes by Chris Wright, wholesale butcher from Lincolnshire; and the Mule gimmer class by local livestock farmer Martyn Archer from Wark.

There will also be more than 160 trade stands from handling equipment to pharmaceutical, feed companies, pedigree societies and industry bodies.

Young Farmers have always played an important part in Agri Expo. David Pritchard, Harrison & Hetherington’s operations director and event organiser, said: “This year, we have a young generation showing sheep, and it is this next generation that will be the key to the success of the industry. Looking to the future is more important than ever in the pre-Brexit farming industry.”

Andrew Thornber, manufacturing managing director at Morrisons, said: “Agri Expo showcases the best quality cattle and sheep the UK has to offer and has now become one of the largest livestock events in the country, with industry trades demonstrating the latest innovations and farming developments.

“At Morrisons, we strongly believe that events like Agri Expo are key to supporting and encouraging growth and development in British agriculture. We are proud to be mainline sponsors of this event.”

Programme: 8.30am, national suckled calf and primestock cattle classes; national prime sheep classes; Border British Blue Club calf show; Simmental Society and regional calf show and championships; 9am, Baby Beef; 10am, stockjudging competition; 10.30am, Aberdeen Angus winter national show and Beef Shorthorn Society national calf show; 1pm, Hereford regional calf show; 1.30pm best pair of Mule ewe lambs; 4pm, championship awards and presentations.