Author: Kerry Buttriss

Melton partnership continues to grow

Melton partnership continues to grow


The East of England Agricultural Society is delighted to welcome Melton Mowbray Market back to the Winter Stock Festival for 2019.

The ongoing partnership, now in its fifth year, places Melton Mowbray Market at the heart of the popular livestock show as official auctioneers and sponsors of the festival

2019 is a particularly special year, as Melton Market celebrates its 150th Anniversary of being situated at its current site as the epicentre of the local agricultural economy.

The market itself is thought to have begun over 1000 years ago in Anglo-Saxon times, and has continued almost without pause since then. In 1869, the local residents of Melton Mowbray became so fed up with scores of cattle, sheep, horses and pigs bringing the town’s streets to a standstill each week that the market was moved to a purpose-built site that was, (at the time) outside of the town, and at which the market still resides today. In the ensuing century-and-a-half, the town has enveloped the site, and hence Melton Mowbray Market is the largest town centre livestock market in the country.

The market is undergoing a period of investment and development for the future. In 2018, it introduced a £5.5 million state of the art cattle building, opened by the Princess Royal. It is fostering the development of a new food and drinks hub for the region, and has recently welcomed award-winning Round Corner Brewery onto site (lagers voted best in the world at the International Brewing Awards 2019) alongside other artisanal food and drink producers.

‘We are delighted to be welcoming back Melton Mowbray Market as auctioneers and sponsors for the fifth consecutive year,’ said Show Director, Kerry Buttriss. ‘The Winter Stock Festival has a great relationship with the team from Melton, and we are excited to work with them to deliver a successful auction of quality livestock at the show’.

The auctioneers swing into action on Friday 29th November with an afternoon of commercial sheep and pig sales.

VIDEO: 2018 Highlights

VIDEO: 2018 Highlights

Are you wondering what to expect from the Winter Stock Festival? Watch our video from 2018 below.

The Winter Stock Festival returns 29th & 30th November 2019 at the East of England showground, Peterborough.


Winter Stock Festival continues to support the future generation      

Winter Stock Festival continues to support the future generation      

Not only does the Winter Stock Festival support and engage with livestock farmers, breeders and businesses, but it runs some of the leading livestock youth competitions across the country.

First up on the Friday is our College Challenge competition. This comprises predominantly of a stock judging competition, with its aims to encourage young agricultural students to connect with and learn about the livestock industry.

Agricultural and land-based Colleges enter teams of 4 students and each team competes against other colleges. Judging is split into 4 areas: a pen of beef cattle, and pen of finished lambs, a pen of gilts and, *new for 2019*, fleece judging.

Judges for this year’s College Challenge are;

  • Beef Cattle section – Tina Russell
  • Lamb section – Julie Stannage
  • Pig section – Charles Bull
  • Fleeces –Colin Jarvis from Central Wool Growers & Harry Bell from British Wool

Next up is the turn of the Young Stock Person of the Year competition, which takes place on the Saturday. Participants have been placed 1st – 4th at one of the many qualifying shows, and this competition is the grand final of qualifiers from young handler classes from all across the UK.

The grand final comprises of a question session and showing skills with the judges awarding points (total 100 points).  This sought-after title is always very popular and is spilt into beef and sheep sections across two age groups 15-17 and 18-21 years old on the first day of the show.

The entrants will have to work hard with this year’s judge’s line-up;

  • Lamb showmanship – Tina Blyth
  • Lamb questions – Gail Sprake
  • Cattle showmanship – Rhys Millichap
  • Cattle questions – Sarah Priestley

Both competitions give the exhibitors and students a chance to develop their public speaking and personal skills competing on the open stage as well as learning from professional livestock exhibitors and judges.

For more information on the College Challenge and the Young Stock Person of the Year, and for more information about the event itself, email or call 01733 363510.

Be part of something great

Be part of something great

Sponsorship and Trade opportunities are now open for this year’s leading livestock event  

Winter Stock Festival trade stand bookings are now open to all and offer tailored packages to suite every businesses needs.

Here are just a few reasons why you should attend this year:

  • One of the leading livestock events in the country
  • Dedicated and specialised event attracting core visitors and exhibitors
  • Pre and post event promotion for your business included in your booking
  • Modern facilities at an easily accessible location
  • Professional event team with a personal and friendly approach

“Trade stand and sponsorship packs have been sent to previous exhibitors in the past couple of weeks and the initial interest has been very encouraging with spaces starting to fill. We are very excited to welcome existing and new businesses, charities, breed societies, farming and agricultural related stands” – Kerry Buttriss, Show Manager.

“We are also delighted to announce the continued partnership with Melton Mowbray Market as our official show auctioneers and partners. Hugh and his team from Melton are very supportive to the Winter Stock Festival and a great help offering a professional and experienced service”.

Expect more announcements from our show sponsors and booked trade businesses soon.

To request a trade stand or sponsorship pack for this years Winter Stock Festival and for more information about the event, email or call 01733 363510.

Cattle entries are now open

Cattle entries are now open


To enter the Winter Stock Festival please view the schedule here and entry forms below;

Commercial cattle entry form (yellow)

Pedigree Calf entry form (orange)

Front page exhibitor form which must be completed (white)



All the commercial cattle classes will be judged by Jason Wareham, of Heathfield, East Sussex, who is no stranger to the show ring and a regular supporter of the Winter Stock Festival. Jason is a well-respected livestock farmer, breeder and haulier, not forgetting his family farm shop, Tottingworth Farm Ltd.

The final cattle class on the Friday is the pedigree heifer sweepstake which was new to the show last year and proved to be really popular.

Opening the show on the Saturday for the cattle is the popular pedigree calf shows, classes and judges are as follows:

  • Aberdeen Angus, judged by Sophie Harvey, Balfron, Glasgow
  • Beef Shorthorn, judged by Caroline Ivinson, Penrith, Cumbria
  • Charolais, judged by Simon Key, Mundham, Norwich
  • Hereford, judged by Sophie Harvey, Balfron, Glasgow
  • Limousin, judged by Paul Walker, Hunnington, West Midlands
  • Lincoln Reds, judged by Richard Burton, Sibthorpe, Newark
  • Simmental, judged by Simon Key, Mundham, Norwich
  • Any Other Native, judged by Richard Burton, Sibthorpe, Newark
  • Any Other Continental judged by Paul Walker, Hunnington, West Midlands

The overall pedigree calf interbreed and group of three, the pinnacle of the show, will be judged by David Thornley, Hartshorne, Swadlincote.

Timeline for cattle;

  • Friday 29th November
    • 9:00am – judging of commercial cattle classes
    • 2:00pm – judging of baby beef cattle classes
    • 6:00pm – judging of pedigree heifer sweepstake
  • Saturday 30th November
    • 8:30am – judging of pedigree calf classes throughout the day
    • 2:30pm – judging of pedigree calf interbreed, followed by group of three

To request a schedule for the cattle classes at this year’s Winter Stock Festival and for more information about the event, email or call 01733 363510.

It’s all about ewe!    

It’s all about ewe!    

It’s day 3 of our official Winter Stock Festival launch week and now is the turn of the sheep.

The sheep section has seen a real boost in numbers over the past few years and we really hope to build on this for the future. Here is what’s on offer:

Friday sees the commercial lamb section which includes classes for novices, untrimmed, pure breeds, cross breeds and the overall lamb championship. We also have a charity lamb class for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I) which is always well supported.

The commercial lamb classes will all come under the watchful eye of judge Andrew Atkinson, from Felliscliffe near Harrogate. Livestock farmer Andrew has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the industry and has the difficult task of finding the champion.

Similar to the pig section, the Friday afternoon leads into the sheep auction from official auctioneers, Melton Mowbray Market.

Moving into Saturday, the popular breeding ewe classes are first on the agenda, with classes for pure, cross, continentals and natives, which are to be judged by pedigree Charollais breeder Charles Marwood. A renowned award-winning farmer, Charles runs his Foulrice flock at Whenby, York which comprises of 500+ pedigree Charollais ewes and commercial ram sales business.

The breeding ewe classes then move onto the North of England Mule (NEMSA) single and pairs classes these are judged by experienced and balanced sheep breeder Graham Taylor from Appleby, Cumbria.

“The breeding ewe section has become really popular – especially the NEMSA classes. We have some more exciting announcements on this, with extra support and funds for exhibitors.” – Show Manager Kerry Buttriss.

Timeline for sheep

  • Friday 29th November
    • 9:30 am – judging of commercial lamb classes
    • 3 pm – sale of commercial pigs followed by sheep auction
  • Saturday 30th November
    • 9 am – judging of breeding ewe classes

To request a schedule for the sheep classes at this year’s Winter Stock Festival and for more information about the event, email or call 01733 363510.

Its all about the Pigs!

Its all about the Pigs!

To kick off our second day of the Winter Stock Festival launch week, we take a look at the pig section.

As an established event in the livestock calendar, the commercial pig classes at the Winter Stock Festival are a go-to point for breeders, exhibitors and buyers.

Taking place on the Friday of the show, there are a range of butcher’s classes including modern, traditional, and cross bred sections for both singles and pairs. Championships and Supreme Championships follow the individual classes, with an award to the stockperson of the Champion pig being presented afterwards.
Pig young handler classes also take place on the Friday with judging covering handling, presentation and knowledge skills of the animal. Classes are for handlers aged less than 15 years and handlers aged 15-21 years on the day of the show.

The hotly contested commercial pig classes will this year be judged by Richard Taylor from Derbyshire. Richard, the Managing Director of Award-winning catering and retail butchers Owen Taylor & Sons Ltd Butchers has a wealth of experience, and looks forward to joining us this November.

Leading catering butcher Owen Taylor & Sons have been butchers since 1922 and are proud to supply both retail and catering customers across the East Midlands. Owen Taylor is a family owned business which strives to provide our valued customers with the finest quality produce, locally sourced, wherever possible.

Once the judging has been completed and the champions have been picked, our official show partners and auctioneers Melton Mowbray Market will sell the commercial pigs at 3pm. This is a great opportunity to purchase quality stock in preparation for the Christmas market.

• Friday 29th November
o 9.30 am – judging of commercial pig classes
o Followed by – pig young handler classes
o 3.00 pm – sale of commercial pigs

To request a schedule for the pig classes at this year’s Winter Stock Festival and for more information about the event, email, or call 01733 363510.

Official launch for leading livestock event   

Official launch for leading livestock event   

The summer may only just be getting started, however the organisers of the annual Winter Stock Festival are already looking ahead to winter.

Exciting new plans and details are set to be announced for this year’s premier Eastern livestock show. The two-day event will take place at the East of England Arena & Events Centre on Friday 29th & Saturday 30th November 2019.

The schedule will feature a range of competitive livestock classes for commercial and pedigree cattle, classes for sheep and pigs, as well as stock handler and inter-college competitions for younger entrants.

Throughout launch week, news releases will be posted on both Facebook and Twitter with information on the following:

  • Judge announcements for cattle, sheep and pigs
  • Sponsor partnerships
  • Trade Stand packages
  • College Challenge information
  • Young Stock Person of the Year information

Now in its 12th year, the Winter Stock Festival has established itself as one of the leading livestock events in the country with exhibitors in attendance from across the UK.

The show is a fantastic celebration of livestock: Exhibitors are afforded the chance to showcase the very best of their stock in hot competition, young people are given a glimpse into the world of agriculture in a professional show setting, and fellow farmers and visitors are able to enjoy a dedicated livestock event that is open to all and free to attend.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming everyone to the showground in November, and can’t wait to launch this year’s show,” said Show Manager, Kerry Buttriss. “The line-up of judges is very strong, and we have also had a lot of interest for trade stand bookings with some places still available”.

For more information about the event, please email, or call 01733 363510.

Newcomers and top quality lead the way at this year’s Winter Stock Festival

Newcomers and top quality lead the way at this year’s Winter Stock Festival

This year our East of England Winter Stock Festival, Peterborough, which took place on the 30th November and the 1st December, really did have it all.

There was quality stock across the cattle, sheep and pig sections with experienced judges making some tough decisions over the two days. To top it off buyers prepared to dig deep with Melton Mowbray Livestock Auctioneers to ensure they have some of the best produce on their shop counters this Christmas.

Supreme commercial cattle champion didn’t have far to travel, Phil and Sharon Sellers from Lincolnshire were tapped out first with their Limousin heifer Fancy That, which then went on to sell for £5,500 to Kitson Butchers, North Yorkshire.

Staying with the prime cattle the Baby Beef Champion which took place on the Saturday went to Alice Harrison aged only 16 with her Limousin cross Bootilicious. This was a fantastic achievement and it was her first ever visit to the Winter Stock Festival.

Leading the way with the commercial lamb classes and for the second year running the supreme champion went to Robert Garth and Sarah Priestley, North Yorkshire with their cross bred Beltex. Beltex then lead again with the lamb carcass championship going to the Geary Family. The hotly contested breeding ewe championship went to Graham Jackson, Bentham.

Over in the pig section under the watchful eye of judge Robert Bowring the modern pairs went to Kim Arden with their Landrace and Charles Bull taking reserve and supreme traditional pairs with his Berkshires. The crossbred and supreme pairs then went to Mark Wilson and his Pietrain/Saddleback.

Charles Bull with his Berkshire pair

Finally in the ever popular pedigree calf show we saw the interbreed title go to Judy and Bridget Borlase, Herefordshire with their Simmental calf Perrywood Jasmine. Then the group of three being handed to a team of British Blues from Kevin Ludgate, The Geary Family and Barwood and Padfield.

Alongside the busy livestock rings the tension was building for the youth competitions, Fridays College Challenge saw the first and second place go to Newton Rigg College, Cumbria and third place to Hartpury, Gloucestershire.

The grand final of the Young Stock Person of the Year in the beef section went to Norfolk based Anabelle Howell aged 17 and the sheep section to 15 year old Ryan Lee from Carmarthenshire.

Overall the event was a great success with traders, sponsors visitors and competitors all enjoying and embracing one of the final shows of the year. Full results can be found here

The 2019 event will take place on Friday 29th & Saturday 30th November.

Everything you need to know for attending WSF 18

Everything you need to know for attending WSF 18

Find the answers to our FAQs below.

How much is entry to WSF 18?

FREE! Admission & parking are both free for this event.

Do I need a ticket to enter the show?

No. As admission is FREE we do not issue any tickets. So whether you are an exhibitor, press or a visitor you will not require a ticket to enter the event.

Do I need to bring proof of TB testing?

If you are coming from a 1 year or 6 month TB testing area then you MUST bring proof of negative TB results with you. If you are coming from a 4 year TB test are you are not required to bring proof of TB testing.

How do I change an incorrect ear tag number?

Please visit us at the Show Office during the event and we will be able to change an incorrect ear tag number.

Pedigree Calf Class

If you are entered into the Pedigree Calf class on Saturday 1st please be ready to show for 8.30am prompt.

Novice Class

This class is to be shown as pairs

Is there a timetable for the event?

Yes, please find a timetable available to download below.


If you have any further questions that have not been answered here, please get in touch by email or phone 01733 363516. Please note due to the busy set up period of this event we may not be able to pick up emails straight away.

We look forward to welcoming you to Winter Stock Festival 2018 & we hope you enjoy the event!