Category: News

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.