Borderway UK Dairy Expo cemented its position as the key spring showcase for the industry, attracting 350 livestock entries and in the region of 7000 visitors to this year’s event on March 7 and 8.
Held at Borderway Exhibition Centre, this Harrison & Hetherington event, which is now in its third year, brought together the cream of show cows from breeders across the UK and a team of internationally-renowned judges. Industry developments were shared across the 130 trade stands and the Expo’s first forum, focused on maximizing profits via larger herds, was a major success with farmers keen to find out more.
From the Sterndale Herd from breeders Yasmin Bradbury and Bill Nadin of Derbyshire, Peak Goldwyn Rhapsody, a fourth calver, giving 45kgs daily was crowned senior champion before taking the 2014 Borderway UK Dairy Expo Champion of Champions. She was chosen from 350 entries in the final line up of the champions from the seven breeds competing.
Holstein Judge Mark Rueth from Wisconsin, America commenting after the event said: “This really is an exceptional Holstein show. It is 15 years since I have judged in the UK and the quality I am seeing is exceptional. These UK dairy farmers are breeding excellent modern milking cows which move extremely well and have great feet and legs.”
The high profile of Dairy Expo was reflected in the quality of the world-class judges. Responsible for judging the coloured breeds was Callum McKinven from Quebec.
The Champion of Champions judging topped off two days of high-quality competition across 59 classes, which started with the International Dairy Youth Championships and Heifer classes on Friday and culminated with the best in show chosen on Saturday. The Dairy Youth Championships, which are designed for the next generation to hone their skills in a competitive environment, were judged by Erica Rijneveld, an international authority in preparing dairy cattle for the show ring who is based in the Netherlands.
With more entries than ever, the showmanship competitions were hugely competitive. The overall championship was awarded Becky Channing from Cheshire.
Erica said: “The standard of the entries was very high, which both makes it a pleasure and a difficult job to judge.”
The heifer junior champions were:
Ayrshire Junior Champion – Sandyford Perfek Bunty from Messrs Tomlinson & Sons, Loughborough.
Brown Swiss Junior Champion – Kedar SGB Cinderella from T Lochhead & Sons, Dumfries.
Shorthorn Junior Champion – Shaunlea Geri 2nd from Shaun Dixon, Co.Durham.
Holstein Junior Champion – Holmland Gold Chip Alanya from A Jackson, P Halhead both from Lancs & M/s Harrison, Cumbria.
Jersey Junior Champion – TLC Vintage Tequila from Tom Lomas, Derbyshire.
Red & White Junior Champion – Parkend Director Starlet Red from Brian Weathrup & Ptrs, Fife.
The breed champions were:
Ayrshire Breed Champion – Sandyford Diamond 45 from Messrs Tomlinson & Son, Loughborough
British Friesian Breed Champion – Lismulligan Priscilla 41 from B Lawson & Sons Fife
Brown Swiss Breed Champion – Kedar TD Reia from T Lochhead & Son, Dumfries
Shorthorn Breed Champion – Marleycote Princess Jill 31 from McLean Family, Co.Antrim, N.Ireland
Holstein Breed Champion – Peak Goldwyn Rhapsody from Yasmin Bradbury, Derbyshire
Jersey Breed Champion – Erie Baywatch Grove from EM & E & Iwan Morgan, Carmarthen
Red & White Breed Champion – Sterndale Talent Jodie Red from WJ Nadin & Co, Derbyshire
Dairy Expo was also proud to present the prestigious John Dennison Lifetime Achievement Award, awarded in memory of the renowned Cumbrian dairy farmer, for a second year. This year’s winner was John Gribbon a key figure in the Holstein success story throughout the UK, who was presented with the accolade in recognition of his achievements and status as a role model in dairy breeding/exhibiting.
John was speechless when he heard he had received the 2014 award: “I am totally overcome. The Dennison family are a tremendous family and John Dennison was a tremendous stockman and a role model for the industry. I am so proud to accept this award, it is a complete surprise and definitely one the best things that I have ever won.”
The Beyond 400: Expanding the Dairy Herd seminar, sponsored by Elanco, attracted audiences to listed dairy sector leaders, vets and farmers’ opinions on why expanding the herd to more than 400 cows is so key to efficiency and profitability.
Commenting after the show, Borderway UK Dairy Expo organiser and Harrison and Hetherington’s Operations Director, David Pritchard said:
“Once again Borderway UK Dairy Expo has topped our expectations, both in the terms of the quality of the animals on show and the number of visitors who attended. Our location in Carlisle and the excellent facilities at Borderway Exhibition Centre puts us in the perfect position to attract the very best competitors from the UK’s main dairy producing areas. As a result the calibre of entries in all classes was second to none and I would like to congratulate all of the winners, and to thank everyone who took part in the competitions.
Dairy Expo may only be in its third year, but it has really established itself as the industry’s major spring showcase for cattle, new developments, knowledge-sharing and networking.”
This year’s event was supported by key industry sponsors including Holstein UK, Farmers Guardian, CIS, Norbrook and Clydesdale Bank.