IT was an emotional moment when the winner of the inaugural David Thomlinson Lifetime Achievement Award was announced at this year's Borderway Agri Expo in Carlisle.

This new accolade was established to commemorate David Thomlinson's life and achievements following the world-renowned auctioneer and livestock farmer's sad and untimely death as a result of a tragic accident on his farm.

The award went to Nottinghamshire farmer, John Gent, who runs 150 acres in Moorhouse near Newark, which he has been farming himself for nearly 20 years after taking over from his father. He runs a herd of around 150 Limousin and Limousin cross cattle, as well as being an active member of the auctioneer team at Melton Mowbray Market.

The judging panel, consisting of David Thomlinson’s wife, Sheila Thomlinson, his neighbour and close friend David McRea, and former colleague and friend David Pritchard, who said of the winner: “With such a considerable number of entries, it was an incredibly difficult job to pick just one winner, however we felt John epitomised what David stood for, showing an outstanding dedication to auctioneering and the livestock industry.

“John has a phenomenal amount of experience and knowledge but what stood out to us on the judging panel is that he is always looking to share and pass on his knowledge for the benefit of the industry he is passionate about.

“He is the epitome of a superb cattle farmer, his passion for the industry is limitless. He is affectionately known throughout the cattle world as “Mr Newark” due to his work at Newark Cattle Market for 40 years until it’s sad premature demise in 2020.”