Judging the judges

JUDGES will be putting their skills to the test at the weekend.

Glendale Agricultural Society’s 2011 Stock Judging competition will take place at East Wrangham Farm, just north of Wooler, on Sunday.

This year the event is being hosted by Fred and Ian Murray, who will showcase commercial and pedigree classes suitable for all ages and all abilities.

This is a most appropriate venue as Ian won the Texel championship at last year’s Glendale Show with a home-bred ewe.

Judging the cattle classes will be Jim Ford, cattle procurement for AK Stoddart, Scotland’s leading beef processor. The sheep classes judge will be Chris Armstrong, auctioneer for Hexham and Northern.

The Society is very keen to retain stock judging as a skill and to encourage the younger generation to get involved. This is very much a family event and is one of the foremost stock judging platforms in Northumberland.

Wrangham East Farm is home to over 100 head of cattle and a herd of pedigree Texel Sheep. The Murray family are renowned for breeding the finest of stock and sell their Texel rams every year at Kelso Tup Sales. This week Ian is showing Texel at the Royal Highland Show.

All of the stock being judged is home-bred from Wrangham East Farm.

The pedigree sheep to be judged will include a class of Texel shearling tups, a class of Texel gimmers and a class of Texel ewes and lambs. There will be a store cattle class of Charolais heifers and two cow and calf classes – Limousin cows with Limousin calves and Limousin cows and Charolais calves.

In addition to the open classes, there will be a Leading Lady Class, Young Farmer Class and Best Junior Class.

Ian is delighted that they are hosting this year’s event and hopes that it will be well supported.

He said: “The Glendale Agricultural Society are totally committed to ensuring that rural skills are maintained and that stock judging is recognised as one of these skills.

“This is an excellent way to promote the livestock in the Glendale area so we hope to see a good attendance from both the experts and the novices. I know that as always it will be a fun, light-hearted and informative afternoon.”

Sponsored by Swales Yorkshire Dales Farmhouse Ice Cream, the afternoon starts at 1pm for 1.30 pm start. Catering and bar facilities will also be available. Tickets are £2 for adults, children free.

Further details are available from the Glendale Agricultural Society office on 01668 283868, www.glendaleshow.com, email info@glendaleshow.com