Prize-winning skins

Herning dazzles farmers from Denmark and beyond with prize-winning skins

In the sprawling Hall C at a convention centre located outside the Western Danish market town of Herning, farmers at the Kopenhagen Fur International Skin Exhibition were treated to 85 different exhibitors ranging from automatic cleaning sheds to the latest feed machines.

Farmers flock to Herning to show off the best of the best of their skins.

Judge and grading expert Flemming Ørnø shows off the most decorated bundle of skins, winner of the Judge’s Honour Prize, Jan Rasmussen’s Brown Velvet 2.

“There is an incredible amount of hair on these skins, it’s incredibly massive. It’s almost not possible to separate it,” says Ørnø stroking the mink skins that are sizes 40 and 50.

 Skins are judged on variety of criteria, such as size, quality, and clarity.

“It’s super-purple,” he says. “This is the best mink in the world right now.”

The bundle is exceptional because it is so dense and even along the entire length of the skin.

It is also emblematic of efforts farmers have made in general to listen to customers and increase the quality of the area around the shoulders on skins, so they are dense and covered with guard hair.

“We work close together with the farmers to improve skin quality, and therefore things improve quickly.”

Other skins that have won honour prizes display other aspects that are important for their skin type.

In a Violet Cross bundle from MJT Østergaard, the skins have a pattern that almost looks printed, since it is so even and consistent across the bundle.

“They have gotten the maximum points throughout the patterning category, so it received extra points.”

Farmers who receive prizes can sell bundles of over 50 skins as farmer lots, which are labelled as coming from their specific farm, and can also use it as a sign of quality to sell their breeding animals.

“The showing demonstrates that quality in general has improved, and we see more Purple types in our grading,” Ørnø says.