A SCOTTISH Borders sheep breeder is amongst the top flight being asked to judge at this year’s Balmoral Show, which takes place at Balmoral Park, near Lisburn, from May 15-18.

With close to 3500 entries across 712 classes, the organisers, the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society, has selected judges from across Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales to place the top quality livestock competing at the show.

In the sheep section, the inter-breed championship will be judged by Roderick Runciman, from Allanshaws, Galashiels, who is a well-known breeder of Cheviot sheep, having previously been a winner of the overall title at the Royal Highland Show.

RHASS chairman, Jimmy Warnock, will be in action too, placing the inter-breed pairs of ewe and ram lambs, gimmers and rams.

The dairy cattle inter-breeds will see Meurig James, from Telford, put his experience as the head classifier for Holstein UK to good use, while the task of selecting the overall beef champion will be in the hands of Danny Wyllie, from Staffordshire, who will also place the junior championships.

Judging the goats will be Terry Hanna, from Co Down, while Jeremy Barber, from Somerset, will oversee the pigs this year.

There will be 27 horse and pony sections in 2019 and within the Connemara section there is a qualifier class for the Clifden High Performance Final as selected by Gill Glynn, from Dublin, and Tony Ennis, from Co Offaly.

Scottish judges are scattered throughout the breeds, too, with two of the show’s biggest sections, for Limousin cattle and Texel sheep, featuring judges from across the water. Dougie McBeath, from Stirling, will choose the Limousins while Robbie Wilson, from Turriff, will select the top Texels.

Other Scottish judges: Clydesdales, Peter Keron, Perthshire; Blue Texel, David Alexander, Galston, Ayrshire; Bluefaced Leicester and Mules, Clark Lamont, Crocketford, Dumfries; Border Leicester, Alex Watson, Muthill, Crieff; Lanark-type Blackface, Alan Blackwood, Auldhouseburn, Muirkirk, Ayrshire; Perth-type Blackface and Greyface, John Shearer, Hillhead of Morinsh, Glenlivet; Charolais, Matthew Milne, Lhanbryde, Elgin; commercial cattle, Mark Robertson, Fodderletter, Tomintoul; Salers, Patrick Boyd, Drumaglea, Isle of Tiree; Ayrshire, Robin Templeton, Ayrshire.