Author: Kerry Buttriss

Excitement builds for this year’s Winter Stock Festival

Excitement builds for this year’s Winter Stock Festival

Final preparations are underway and stalls are ready to welcome livestock for this year’s leading primestock event, the East of England Winter Stock Festival at Peterborough on Friday 30th November and Saturday 1st December.

The show has again attracted bumper entries from across the country and is excited to see an increase in the commercial lamb classes whilst maintaining numbers across the rest of the pig and pedigree calf classes which covers over 10 different breeds.

The first day sees the judging and sale of the commercial cattle, lambs and pigs plus the judging of the lamb carcasses. Friday also welcomes the inter-college stock judging competition, the College Challenge which is always hotly contested.

Saturday sees the turn of the baby beef commercial classes then the pedigree stock with the ever popular calf shows. Over in the sheep rings the breeding ewe class takes place during the morning and is always a spectacle to watch. The Young Stock Person of the Year also takes place throughout the Saturday with the presentation and awards taking place just after lunch.

With the livestock pavilion packed with a wide range of trade stands offering visitors the chance to view the latest machinery, animal health, livestock equipment and associated stands this dedicated livestock event is one not to miss.

Ideally situated in the UK the Winter Stock Festival is FREE to enter and FREE to park all within the professional and purpose built facilities at the East of England Arena & Events Centre, Peterborough. 

Bumper entries make Young Stock Person of the Year the toughest yet!

Bumper entries make Young Stock Person of the Year the toughest yet!

The 2018 East of England Winter Stock Festival taking place on the 30th November and the 1st December looks set to host one of the most hotly contested youth competitions in the UK with over 45 budding young exhibitors heading to the Grand Final.

Sponsored by Dunbia, the Young Stock Person of the Year is a competition designed to encourage and recognize potential stock handlers from around the country. Split into two age groups intermediates aged 15- 17 years and seniors aged 18 – 21 years and with categories of beef or sheep.

Qualifying shows have already taken place throughout the summer at county and local level with qualified competitors being invited to the Grand Final.

Pic cap, 2017 Young Stock Winners 

Entrants this year will come under the watchful eye of Judges: lamb showmanship, Tom Hill; lamb questions, Ruby Wright; cattle showmanship, Helen Morgan; and finally cattle questions, Richard Burton. Their points from the stockmanship, handling skills and questions give the overall results placing and champion winners.

“We are really excited to be welcoming the YSPOTY competitors to this year’s Winter Stock Festival and can’t wait to find out who will be crowned as the 2018 champions. Our youth competitions are one of the most important parts of our event, with this and the College Challenge we enjoy engaging and educating the future of the industry” said William Haire, Festival Director

The Young Stock Person of the Year Final will take place on Saturday 1st December, with the final result presentation taking place after the sale of breeding ewe lambs and baby beef in the main ring.

Entries open for this year’s leading primestock show

Entries open for this year’s leading primestock show

Hot off the press the livestock schedule is OUT NOW for this year’s leading primestock show the Winter Stock Festival. Schedules can be downloaded here or contact the show office for one to be posted.

Taking place on Friday 30th November and Saturday 1st December at the East of England Showground, Peterborough the show offers competitive classes across the two days for the following:


  • Pure bred beef
  • Cross bred beef
  • *Pedigree sweepstake
  • Baby beef
  • Pedigree calf show


*New for 2018



  • Novice class
  • Untrimmed class
  • Pure bred
  • RABI class
  • Cross bred
  • Breeding ewe
  • Lamb carcass
  • Young handlers



  • Pure bred modern
  • Pure bred traditional
  • Cross bred
  • Young handlers


Now in its 11th year the show is firmly established in the winter livestock show calendar and is well known for its relaxed atmosphere with friendly staff and stewards.

Official auctioneers Melton Mowbray Livestock Market will be conducting the sale and will be onsite to deal with all your animal movement processes and requirements.

The show as always offers catering for all exhibitors and guests alike and the onsite bar and evening entertainment is always a night to remember. So make sure you get your entries in soon.

Entries for this year’s show close on the Friday 26th October.

Buyers wishing to find out more please contact the official auctioneers Melton Mowbray Market

New prize pot for supreme cattle champion

New prize pot for supreme cattle champion

The East of England Winter Stock Festival is excited to announce a new incentive for the supreme cattle champion at this year’s show taking place on the 30th November & 1st December.

An extra £500.00 has been generously awarded from the shows main line sponsor and official auctioneers, Melton Mowbray Livestock Market. Total prize money for the supreme cattle champion now stands at a grand £1000.00!

This new incentive will only be awarded on production of the kill sheet for the champion animal within 8 weeks after the event. The primary aim of this is to encourage the exhibitor of the champion beast to sell it for beef, but we hope it will also give confidence to our butcher buyers that they can secure the champion for their discerning customers to enjoy over the Christmas period.

One of the main objectives of the Winter Stock Festival is to offer an outlet for primestock cattle lamb and pig producers to promote and sell their stock to the premium Christmas market. Local butchers and buyers are encouraged to attend and take the opportunity of purchasing some of the highest quality stock available anywhere in the country.

Festival Director William Haire said: “We are very grateful to Melton Mowbray Livestock Market for offering this prize and hope it will ensure the champion animal is not only offered for sale but is also purchased by a butcher and is enjoyed by diners over the Christmas period.

“To be able to strengthen the heart of our show with a good honest sale is what we believe is right and we are keen to engage with exhibitors and buyers who feel the same.”

Exhibitors that have attended in the past 3 years, will shortly receive the schedule and entry forms in the post.

Buyers wishing to find out more please contact the official auctioneers Melton Mowbray Market

Judges announced for commercial classes

Judges announced for commercial classes

As part of our official launch week we are delighted to be able to announce some of our key judges for this year’s show. Here are our commercial judges;

Starting with the pigs we look forward to welcoming Robert Bowring from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Robert who is a fourth generation and award winning farmer and butcher has vast experience judging and is well respected in his field.

Over in the sheep lines the commercial classes will see the arrival of our first guest judge from Wales. Steve Gibbons a Blue Texel breeder from Brecon, Powys is no stranger the winter show scene and looks forward to taking on our popular range of classes.

Finally and our second judge heading from Wales is familiar face, livestock farmer and breeder Robin Roberts from Llanfairpwll, Anglesey. Robin will take on the hotly contested commercial cattle classes and will have a difficult decision to make. Being the first ever Winter Stock Festival commercial cattle champion winner with Charolais heifer Smarty Pants Robin has a wealth of experience and we can’t wait to see who his champion will be.

All the other judges will be announced shortly.

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

Official launch for Winter Stock Festival

Official launch for Winter Stock Festival

Despite being in spring and only now starting to see the sun shining organisers of the annual Winter Stock Festival are keen to announce exciting new plans and details for this year’s show.

Taking place at the East of England Arena & Events Centre on Friday 30th November & Saturday 1st December 2018. The event hosts a range of competitive livestock classes for commercial and pedigree cattle, sheep and pigs as well as stock handler and inter-college competitions.

Throughout the launch week there will be news releases on both Facebook and Twitter detailing the following;
• Extra prize money
• New classes
• New layout
• Judge announcement
• Sponsor partnerships

There is also the release of the promotional video from the 2017 event which is a great view.

“We are very excited about this year’s event and can’t wait to tell people about it. It is hard to think about a winter event now, but if you are a livestock exhibitor you would now be starting to think about your show team and if you are a business or organisation thinking about booking a stand or sponsoring one of our classes spaces are filling fast, so please do get in touch.” says William Haire, Festival Show Director.

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

Trade Stand Bookings now OPEN

Trade Stand Bookings now OPEN

Offering tailored packages to suite every businesses need’s, the Winter Stock Festival trade stand bookings are now open to all.

This year sees a new layout in the livestock pavilion with the main cattle ring located in the centre of the hall giving stands better visibility and opportunities to connect with visitors.

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 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” says William Haire, Festival Show Director.

To view the floor plan please click here and to download the application forms please click here. Email or call 01733 363510 for a pack to be posted.

Partnership deal secured with leading livestock market

Partnership deal secured with leading livestock market

The East of England Winter Stock Festival has this week secured its partnership with leading livestock auctioneers Melton Mowbray Market.

Now in its 4th year the partnership sees Melton Mowbray Market as the official auctioneers for the livestock sale and key sponsors of the cattle championships.

Melton Market is the largest town centre livestock market in the country and has been in existence for 1,000 years, predating the Domesday Book. The main market has been held on a Tuesday since at least 1324 when it was granted a charter by King Edward II. Recently the market welcomed Princess Royal to open their new £5.5m state of the art cattle building.

“We are delighted to continue our support for the Winter Stock Festival, providing sales and hospitality to so many existing and new customers and their fantastic animals” says Hugh Brown CEO of Melton Mowbray Market

As the relationship has grown between the market and the show there has been encouraging interest from new and existing buyers and exhibitors and I’m delighted that the team from Melton Market will be joining us again. We have built a great association with them and we are already planning the operations and delivery of the sale is handled in a smooth friendly and professional manner.” says William Haire Festival Director.

This year’s sale of livestock will takes place on Friday 30th with the prime animals then carcasses, breeding lambs, gilts and baby beef on Saturday 1st December. For more information and how to enter please contact the livestock office or phone 01733 234451

Qualifiers extended for National Young Handlers Competition

Qualifiers extended for National Young Handlers Competition

The East of England Winter Stock Festival is excited to announce new qualifiers for its coveted title the Young Stock Person of The Year.

Covering a range of regions across the UK the competition has now added Surrey County, Royal Bath & West, Royal Three Counties and Westmorland to the existing list of 16 regional and county shows.

With sections for both beef and sheep young handlers the competition is open to handlers aged between 15 years and 21 years on the day of the qualifying show.

Once qualified, competitors are then invited to participate in the Grand Final at the East of England Winter Stock Festival on the 1st December 2018, East of England Showground, Peterborough. This prestigious Grand Final showcases the fantastic talents of the Young Stock Handlers and gives them an opportunity to show their skills in the main ring.

The whole day is designed to give young people knowledge and insight in the livestock industry but it also gives them the chance to gain experience from the other stockmen and women and to engage with the events primestock competitions, auction and activities which takes places over the 2 days.

“The Young Stock Person competition it’s one of our favourite events, it touches on our core objectives of education and its brilliant to see the handlers in the show ring gaining experience for the future.”

“Securing the new qualifiers this year is great and we are grateful to all the show societies who are able to host these for us. It’s a fun and friendly way to meet new people and expand your knowledge in the industry,” says William Haire Festival Show Director.

This year’s qualifiers start on the 12th May with both Nottingham County Show and Ayr County Show taking place, more information of all the other dates and further information on the competition can be found here.

Winter Stock Festival tenth anniversary triumph

Winter Stock Festival tenth anniversary triumph

A fantastic couple of days have been enjoyed by exhibitors and visitors of the tenth annual Winter Stock Festival which was held on the 1st and 2nd December at the East of England Showground, Peterborough.

Both days attracted an excellent crowd, with top quality commercial and pedigree cattle and sheep on show, as well as pigs, which were introduced to the event this year.

In addition to its popular livestock classes, the festival has become renowned for youth competitions and once again welcomed many enthusiastic young individuals for the hotly contested College Challenge and Young Stockperson of the Year final.

Pic cap: College Challenge Students

Commenting on this year’s event, show director William Haire said it had been a great success. “The quality of commercial and pedigree stock presented was superb and the pig classes were an excellent addition to our tenth anniversary festival. “The youth competitions were once again a major highlight, and the enthusiasm, knowledge and skill demonstrated by so many young individuals, fills me with confidence that our industry will be in safe hands in the future.”

Leading the way in the commercial cattle, was Beth and Luke Wilkinson and John Smith Jackson who took the supreme championship with Garned Model, a 14-month-old Limousin heifer. Reserve commercial champion went to Andrew Bishop with his home-bred British Blue cross heifer, Might Bite.

John Smith Jackson was also in the prizes on day two, and won the baby beef champion with home-bred Limousin heifer Dancing Queen, with Judy and Richard Fountain taking reserve with Jazzy Girl.

The top prize in the sheep section went to Robert Garth with a Beltex pair of lambs, with reserve going to Andrew Bishop.

Pic cap: Robert Garth

Reigning supreme in the newly introduced pig section was K and B Arden from Peterborough, who took home both the supreme champion pair and supreme champion single pig.

The final of Young Stock Person of the Year took centre stage on day two, with some of the country’s top young handlers going head-to-head.

Winning the Young Stock Person of the Year beef section was Thomas Martin from Norfolk, and Chelsea Bennett from Stafford took first place in the lamb competition.

Day two also saw an impressive display of pedigree stock take to the ring in the pedigree calf show. The interbreed pedigree calf championship was awarded to Meadowbrook Flossie, an Aberdeen Angus heifer from Mark Haistead, Norwich. In the interbreed group of three, it was the Lincoln Red’s that caught the judges eye and were awarded the prestigious Duke of Gloucester trophy.

Pic cap: Mark Haistead and family plus sponsor Charles Horrell and judge Dan Bull

“We would like to thank this year’s exhibitors and sponsors for their support and look forward to seeing them again at next year’s festival, which will be held on Friday 30th November and Saturday 1st December 2018,” concludes William.