A TOP livestock judge has declared the Westmorland County Show the best UK show of the year.

Andrew Ewing, of Annan, cast his expert eye over cattle fighting for the prestigious title of inter breed champion. He gave the award to a Limousin shown by Thomas Illingworth of Lockerbie.

Mr Ewing has judged four shows around the country this year and said the standard today was the highest he had experienced. In the sheep classes Richard Batty, of Selside, scored a show first by scooping both the overall lowland and the upland championship prizes.

The 49-year-old said: "Achieving this is a first for me and for the show and I am absolutely delighted.

"I have been showing all my life. I used to come to the show with my father, Roy, who is here today judging dairy herds."

Thousands flocked to the event this morning which started with fine weather. Their enthusiasm was still maintained despite the rain which began this afternoon.

Westmorland County Agricultural Show Society chief executive Christine Knipe hailed the show as a 'great success'.

"Given the summer we've had with all the rain, to have such a day with only a shower in the afternoon - I couldn't have been happier," she said.