Red Ruby Devon exceeds expectations at Somerset breed sale

Quality prevailed over quantity at the Devon Cattle Breeders’ Society Fall Exhibition and Sale, held earlier this month at the Sedgemoor Auction Center in Somerset.

Although a smaller entry than in previous years, there was some purebred excellence on the way on Thursday, October 3, attracting an admirable trade – much better than expected in these uncertain times.

Breed Secretary Mary Holt said: “It was great to see so many new faces for sale, with new members of the Devon Cattle Breeders’ Society and new buyers in attendance.

Men’s champion Forde Abbey Taurus (left) and Reserve Bollowal Perfection 1 (right) after the awards show

“The quality of the animals in this sale provided a perfect opportunity to build new herds with fantastic cattle from well-known prefixes such as Forde Abbey, Bollowal, Ashway, Dittisham, Colleton, Bagnell, Hillside and Efford Down.

Henry Dart, of the Champson herd, was a judge at the Somerset market and started his work in the hens, where he found his champion in the form of the superb Ashway Joan 4th of George Vellacott, winner of the heifer in calf rank.

Two classes of virgin heifers followed, both with an exceptional standard in show. Ms ED Roper’s 151st Forde Abbey Beauty, of Colesden Maximillian, led the first class and went on to win the reserve female champion. His herd mate, Forde Abbey Plum 58th, took second place, followed by the local breed of Simon and Grania Phillip, Colleton Zita 10th.

The second class of virgin heifers proved to be just as difficult for Mr. Dart to judge, but was ultimately dominated by another Forde Abbey heifer, Plum 61st, with Sue Fildes’ show heifer, Dittisham Daisy 3rd, coming very close to second. Mr. and Mrs. Phillips’ heifer of the Colleton herd, Colleton Mary 19th, came in for third place.

Bollowal Perfection 1, bred and owned by Jeff Thomas, was named Reserve Male Champion
Bollowal Perfection 1, bred and owned by Jeff Thomas, was named Reserve Male Champion

Bulls sold at 2,500 guineas for Ms Roper’s much admired male champion Forde Abbey Taurus, a son born in February 2018 to Colesden Maximilian and grandson of Yeomadon Ferdinand – of the Jaca lineage. After being featured this summer, he now joins the Backstone herd of DJ & S Cocks, based in Rackenford.

Another spectacular sire, Bollowal Perfection 1, also successfully presented this season by St Just breeder Jeff Thomas, won the Reserve Male Champion title.

The show’s female champion, Ashway Joan 4th, aptly dominated women the day she sold 1600 guineas to Powys. It was sold in January to Ashway Daimler.

The best trade of the day turned out to be full heifers, with Philip and Caroline Gay selling two daughters of Bagnell Javelin expected in January for 1,220 and 1,100 guineas, respectively.

Champion Ashway Joan 4th (left) and Reserve Forde Abbey Beauty 151st (right) received their awards at the pre-sale show
Champion Ashway Joan 4th (left) and Reserve Forde Abbey Beauty 151st (right) received their awards at the pre-sale show

Virgin heifers sold for 950 guineas for Dittisham Daisy 3rd, while others of the same age from the Forde Abbey herd sold for 800 guineas for members of the Plum and Beauty families.

They joined five others bought the same day to found a new herd for the Thomas family of Washaway, near Bodmin.

There was also good demand for the day’s four steers, reaching 680 guineas for a June 2018 born to David Barker’s respected Efford Down herd.

Ms Holt added: “The Devon Cattle Breeders’ Society would like to thank Judge Henry Dart and all of the Society Stewards and Volunteers involved that day, as well as auctioneers Greenslade Taylor Hunt for their continued support to sales of our company. “

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