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16 Mar 2017

A Year of Firsts at Borderway UK Dairy Expo

Borderway UK Dairy Expo held at Carlisle on Saturday 11th March saw a showcase of firsts for this key annual event.  The first time that the same cow has been crowned Champion of Champions more than once, the first year that the show has seen a triple crown winner in any of the breed sections, the first time that a mother and daughter were in the final three of any class, the first time a judge has been invited solely to judge the Champion of Champions, the first time a Dairy Shorthorn as accumulated a double Championship title two years running, the first time that the event has hosted the British Friesian National Show, the first time a mother and daughter Brown Swiss have both received Championship titles and finally, the first time all four home nations have been represented in the Championship line-up.


Carlisle was a hive of activity as thousands of British dairy farmers flocked to the city for this major Dairy exhibition, hosted by Harrison and Hetherington at Borderway Mart on Saturday 11th March.  The event highlighted the remarkable quality of dairy cattle in the UK, and the International line-up of judges, and spectators alike, were thrilled with the impressive calibre of entries.  

Without question, the star of the show was the mature Holstein, Peak Goldwyn Rhapsody exhibited by Yasmin Bradbury of the Derbyshire based Peak herd.  This is the second time that this cow, which is in her sixth lactation, has been awarded the highest accolade at Borderway UK Dairy Expo after being crowned Champion of Champions back in 2014.  Her daughter Milliedale Dusk Rhapsody was also awarded third in the mature Holstein class; the first time that mother and daughter have been in the final three in any class at the event.  

Another star which must not go unmentioned is Jersey Champion Bluegrass Vindications Harp exhibited by the Fleming family, CJ Henning and K Agnew who now has a hat-trick of Championship titles at Borderway UK Dairy Expo.  The five year old cow was also awarded best udder in the Jersey show. 

Commenting afterward the Championship judging, Yasmin Bradbury, who was totally overcome with pride, said:  “This is one of the best days of my life; I am absolutely over the moon.  I would like to thank the entire team who have been involved and made today possible.  She is just the most tremendous cow; she calved 14 months ago and has kept the weight off well.  She is also extremely easy to handle due to her fantastic temperament.”

Following the Champion of Champions, judge, Paul Harrison from Heddon on the Wall, Northumberland said:  “It is a real privilege to be here today.  Judging this class has been extremely difficult due to the tremendous line up of cattle in the Championship, all of which are a credit to the exhibitors and stockmen.  For me, the Holstein cow Peak Goldwyn Rhapsody just tipped the balance.  She has all the qualities I would be looking for in a dairy cow, and even after six calvings has an outstanding udder which she carries high and wide.”

The breed Champions were as follows:

Holstein Champion was Peak Goldwyn Rhapsody, exhibited by Yasmin Bradbury.  Reserve Champion went to Warnelview Winners Silverwings, exhibited by W Stead & S Sutton.

Ayrshire Champion was Changue Martha 49, exhibited by Mungo Bryson & Son.  Reserve Champion went to Holmeswood Elegant Bella, exhibited by Andrew Rimmer.

Jersey Champion was Bluegrass Vindications Harp, exhibited by the Fleming family, CJ Henning & K Agnew.  Reserve Champion was Fourcrosses Anthony Carroza, exhibited by Blythbridge Holsteins.

Dairy Shorthorn Champion was Churchroyd Bronte Wildeyes 39, exhibited by IRG Collins.  Shaun Dixon’s Shaunlea Geri 6 took Reserve Champion.

British Friesian Champion was Oakalby Hilton S Ruth 82, exhibited by E S Burroughs & Son, who also took Reserve Champion with Oakalby Rebel Cherry 115.

Red & White Champion was Wiltor Chipper Rosie Polled Red, exhibited by DW & CE Jones.  Reserve Champion went to Heatherleigh Maryrose Red, exhibited by Riverdane & Heatherleigh Holsteins.

Brown Swiss Champion was Kedar Rhapsody, exhibited by T Lochhead & Sons.  The Lochheads also took Reserve Champion with Pedrini Topti Jet Minogue.

Organised by Harrison and Hetherington, Borderway UK Dairy Expo brings together the very best of British dairy cattle and international dairy genetics.  Alongside the plethora of dairy cattle classes with record entries, the event also welcomed over 6,000 visitors, 50 showmanship entries and 100 trade exhibitors.

Brian Richardson, chief executive of the H&H Group said:  “A key event for the dairy industry, and for us here at H&H, Borderway UK Dairy Expo has once again excelled expectation.  Today’s breeders and exhibitors have demonstrated the excellent quality of the dairy industry here in the UK, as well as faith and confidence as we go forwards into the uncertain times ahead.”

As always, a true highlight of the event is the John Dennison award which was presented to renowned Holstein breeder, Mark Nutsford, of Riverdane Holsteins, Cheshire.  Now in its fifth year, this prestigious award is presented in memory of the highly regarded breeder of Denmire Holsteins, John Dennison of Scales Park Farm, Ulverston.  
On announcing details of this year’s winner, Blaise Tomlinson of Sandyford Ayrshires, a member of the judging panel said:  “Mark is hugely well respected within the dairy industry and his passion for breeding the highest quality milking cattle is extraordinary.”

Commenting on receiving his award from the Dennison family, Mark commented:  “I have had many wins in the showring, however this is, without a doubt, the best thing I have ever been awarded.  John Dennison was a true family friend and mentor and I am honoured to have been presented with this award in his memory.”

The highly anticipated British Friesian National Show attracted 30 entries from the length and breadth of the UK.  Speaking after judging the Show, Meurig James from Pembrokeshire said:  “I was very honoured to be invited to judge here in Carlisle today.  This was the biggest show of British Friesians I have ever judged and the top cows were of extremely high quality.  They all would have stood out on their own anywhere in the country.  The Champion cow had a super udder and overall presence and dairy quality.”

Judging the Coloured Breed classes was Canadian Holstein breeder, Blair Weeks from Prince Edward Island.  This was Blair’s first visit to the UK, and was undoubtedly memorable:  “I was delighted to be invited to the UK to judge at UK Dairy Expo.  It has been a great experience and the quality of cattle in all classes has been second to none; any of these cows could go on to compete anywhere in the world.  I would also like to thank Harrison and Hetherington for their hospitality and providing such a great atmosphere.”

The International Youth Dairy Championship attracted both UK and International entries and was judged by Michael Halliwell, development manager for World Wide Sires UK.

 With over 50 entries across four classes, the competition demonstrated the knowledge, skill and commitment of the future generation of the industry.  Overall Champion was 22 year old Laura Cornthwaite of Ledgermore Farm, Great Gaddesden, Hertfordshire.  Reserve Champion went to Cumbrian competitor, 19 year old Will Horsley from Woodhouse Farm, Penrith.

Holstein UK also presented their Master Breeder Award to renowned Cumbrian breeders, Stephen and Ann Morley of Petteril Bank Farm.  The award aims to recognise Holstein members whose herds achieve a consistently high standard across both classification and production. The award focuses on animals holding the Breeder’s prefix within the herd with points allocated on an ascending scale.

On being presented with this award, Ann Morley commented:  “This really is a great honour to have been awarded the Master Breeders Award.  This is one thing we have continuously strived to achieve and is another fantastic milestone for our herd.”  

Borderway UK Dairy Expo is now very much a commercial dairy show and a major draw for many of the international crowd is the trade stands which showcased the latest developments in dairy practices, breeding, genetics and equipment and technology.  This year there were over 100 trade stands including a number of new exhibitors including: Bonanza Calf Nutrition, Cows & Co Group, E Pearson & Co Ltd, Herdwatch, JP Payrolls, McVeigh & Parker, De Boer Housing Systems, Agri-Fab and Stamford Agricultural Services.

Jill Hetherington of JP Payrolls commented:  “UK Dairy Expo has been a great networking event.  I have met many farmers and other business owners and it really is all about getting involved, getting your name out there and making contacts and this is an ideal event to do so.”

Alongside their trade exhibitions stands, Cogent Breeding Ltd and Alltech KEENAN carried out a number of demonstrations at the event.  Cogent Breeding Ltd demonstrated their new MooMonitor+ collars, as well as precision REPRO and precision DIY.  Alltech KEENAN demonstrated their InTouch feeding management technology, their new vertical feeder and the latest developments in the Alltech KEENAN mixer range.

Since its inception in 2011, Borderway UK Dairy Expo has developed an international reputation which was no exception this year.  The success of the event is highlighted by the continued support of seven mainline sponsors: Norbrook, Holstein UK, CIS, Clydesdale Bank, Farmers Guardian, Carrs Billington and H&H Group.

David Pritchard, operations director for Harrison and Hetherington and event organiser said:  “Borderway UK Dairy Expo has once again completely exceeded our expectations.

The quality of animals on show has been incredible and the event has offered a fantastic networking opportunity for trade exhibitors.  Testament to the excellent reputation of the event is the exhibitors which have travelled from all over the UK and Ireland, as well as a number of international visitors.”