CUMBRIAN breeders will be out in force for this year's autumn livestock showcase in Carlisle.

In just over a week, livestock farmers from the county and further afield will head to the town's Borderway Mart, for this year's Agri Expo on Friday, October 29.

Over 800 head of sheep and cattle have been entered from across the UK with the north west represented by a strong line-up of livestock breeders, including the noted family-run Simmental herd, Popes, owned by the Wood family of Preston.

The sheep section includes entries from Jack Bland of Clea Hall near Wigton and Jack Whiteford of Tercrosset Farm, near Brampton.

This year there are 54 classes for commercial and pedigree cattle and sheep culminating with the prestigious Supreme Championship Award. There are three classes for young handlers.

In addition, Agri Expo will host five breed society shows; The Aberdeen Angus Winter National Show; The Beef Shorthorn National Calf Show; The Simmental Regional Calf Show; The Border British Blue Club Calf Show; and The Hereford National Calf Show.

With a focus on farming for the future, a series of seminars will see speakers from National Sheep Association, National Beef Association and a Defra Policy Advisor.

New for this year The David Allen Stockperson of the Year Award is aimed at testing the skills, knowledge and capabilities of the progressive livestock farmer. This competition welcomes entries from pairs of Young Farmers Club members with first place taking home £500 plus a special trophy and £250 and £100 going to second and third places respectively.

The David Thomlinson Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented for the very first time this year to mark the legacy of one of the UK’s most noted auctioneers, who spent his lifetime’s career working as part of the Harrison & Hetherington team.

Scott Donaldson, Director for Harrison & Hetherington, said: “Agri Expo has proved itself to be not only a true celebration of British livestock, but an invaluable opportunity for people to learn and share important new innovations and developments, as well as network and meet others within the industry.

“The livestock on show really is incredible and testament to the dedication of our British breeders and producers. The work that goes into Agri Expo, from everyone involved, is incredible and it would not be what it is today without the backing of our livestock exhibitors, trade stands, sponsors and spectators, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support.”