Liberator takes Red Ruby Devon championship before moving home
A record number of inquiries in the lead-up to the Devon Cattle Breeders' Spring Show & Sale was reported by auctioneers Greenslade Taylor Hunt.
This was evident with a strong turnout ringside and steady trade throughout for over 70 pedigree Red Ruby Devons, including 22 bulls.
The judge, Jeff Thomas, of Bollowal Farm, St Just-in-Penwith, had a challenging task to pick his winners from three very competitive bull classes of consistently good quality.
His Breed Champion was Phillip Gay's well-grown bull Bagnell Liberator. The Bagnell Herd is well known on the show circuit and is an accredited Elite Health Herd. Liberator sold to Phillip Payne of Old Sarum, Wiltshire, for 4,600gns, to work in his large herd of Devons.
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But the Champion was pipped to the post for the Highest-Priced Bull Sash by John Stanbury's Reserve Champion, Knowstone Major. Sired by the influential bull Thorndale Fitzroy 4th, this was a strong, clean-lined bull. Following keen bidding, the bull was sold to Phillip and Caroline Gay to take back to their Bagnell Herd in Somerset for 5,200gns.
But this was not just a Westcountry affair; buyers were in evidence from across the country.
Peter Butler, of Stockshill Farm, Hampshire, took one of May Farming Partnership's Clannaborough bulls home for 2,600gns. Commercial beef producer Robin Gray, from Stafford, purchased Heywood & Hurd's Whitefield Limited Edition for 3,000gns.
Although numbers were limited, trade for females was keen. Once again George Vellacott took Female Champion for the second year running with his Exmoor born and bred heifer Ashway Angel 1st . This smart in-calf two-year-old went to M J Stevens of Exeter for 1,500gns.
Reserve went to another Ashway heifer, Ashway Hebe 2nd, but top-priced female was Ashway Kitty 1st, sold for 2,250gns to Peter Edwards of Devizes.
Angus and Joy Cottey's yearling heifer Garradon Fleur 7th sold well to Lesley Ellis of Kent for 1,250gns.
Averages:Bulls, 2,660gns; in-calf heifers, 1,270gns; maiden heifers, 1,010gns.