A RECORD crowd of 14,000 attended Borderway Agri-Expo at Carlisle on Friday of last week.

The one day event, recognised as one of the major winter livestock events, attracted some of the finest sheep and cattle from across the UK.

The two top titles both went to females. Strawberry Blonde, a Charolais x heifer from Northern Ireland’s Dermot and Gareth Small took the supreme championship while Red Hot Diamond, a Limousin X heifer from Stewart & Lynsey Bett, was reserve.

Judge Alan Veitch said: “You certainly do not find an animal like this every day, a dream mover with a tremendous head and legs and a lovely example, of the type of heifer we all want to breed. The reserve champion was again a lovely animal. Bigger, very well put together and very well balanced. It has been a very hard job to judge today as there are so many fantastic animals and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself.”

Winner Gareth Small said: "This is the second time we have won Borderway Agri-Expo and we are absolutely delighted to win this time, especially with a home-bred animal."

The supreme sheep champion was R Hall & Son of Inglewood Edge, Carlisle, with a pair of Beltex lambs, and reserve was April Skelton with a pair of Beltex lambs.

Judge William McAllister, said: “The Champion pair of lambs were full of meat, very correct, stylish, as a pair of show lambs should be – all in all a very good show of lambs.”

The Baby Beef champion was Queen Bee, a May-2018 born Limousin x heifer from Peredur & Llyr Hughes of Anglesey . Reserve was Pearse McNamee and Blair Dufton with their Limousin, Sassy Lassy.

In the breed society shows North Yorkshire's S&G Currie took the Beef Shorthorn championship title with Beautry Shuna Myrtle, a February born heifer calf, and reserve with an April-born bull calf Beautry Malfoy, both by Poyntington Himself.

The Aberdeen Angus title went to Messrs Graham’s Carruthers Elspeth, a November 2017-born heifer calf. Runner-up was R&C Rettie’s April-2017 born yearling bull, Retties Lord Harvey by Gretnahouse Blackpot.

The Hereford title went to B Birch & G Brindley’s Skyhigh 1 Luscious Lucy, an October-2017 born heifer calf. Reserve was PRJ & LR Vincent’s February-2018 born bull calf Pulham Remitall.

The British Blue champion was Charlotte Alford and Foxhill Nadiya, a January 2018-born heifer. Reserve was Ian McGarva’s Abington Nitro March-born bull calf.

The Simmental title went to Derbyshire’s Storersmith Simmentals’ October-2017 born heifer calf Storersmith Isla. The reserve was Michael and John Barlow's Denizes Eves Beauty, an August-2017 born heifer calf.

The sheep classes again saw a good turnout.

The champion Continental was Cumbria’s R Hall & Son with a pair of Beltex lambs. Reserve went to Young Farmer April Skelton with a pair of Beltex lambs.

Champion Pair of Hill Bred’s went to Langholm’s T N Cavers & Co with a pair of Blackface Lambs. Reserve was Alex Main from Bewcastle with a pair of Cheviot Hill Lambs. The champion bred from a Hill Ewe went to T N Cavers & Co with a pair of Crossbred Lambs. Reserve was M & B Allen of Borrowby Grange, with a pair of Mule Lambs.

Junior cattle handler was Matthew Bentley from Thirsk, while Alice Harrison, of Appleby, took the champion senior cattle handler award. In the sheep classes, champion young handler was April Skelton of Inglewood Edge and Grace Elliot, who won the 11 and under age group was given reserve. Craig Goddard won the over 18 stock judging class, with George Fell first in the under 18 class.

Richard Rankin, recently appointed chief executive of the H&H Group, said: “This is the first time that I have attended Borderway Agri-Expo and I can honestly say that it has been a huge privilege to be part of such a prestigious event. Represented here today are all sectors of the industry, and from talking to people, it is certainly more than evident that this is the show that they want to attend, and of course the show that they want to win.”

David Pritchard, Harrison & Hetherington’s joint managing director of operation, said: “This is a shop window to the world. The standard of animals on display continues to amaze – the numbers grow every year and the quality is absolutely world class, as attested by the opinion of judges. Well done to all of our winners today and thank you to all who attended.”

Now the planning has begun for the 2019 event, which will be on Friday, November 1.