A cracking sale for the Devon Cattle Breeders Society produced a top price of 7200gns at Taunton Livestock Centre, where established breeders competed with new buyers keen to secure foundation stock.

Auctioneer Derek Biss said the breed’s influence was growing in the midlands and Wales.

“We had a great sale with new faces taking on the established buyers.

The popularity of the breed and the quality of Red Ruby beef is spreading far beyond the south west.”

But the best stayed in the west when Margaret Elliot, who runs the Cutcombe herd on Exmoor, made the top bid of 7200gns to secure Challenge Brigadier 4th.

Consigned by Somerset breeder John Gilson of Wellington, this April 2004-bred bull has the stretch and shape of the modern type.

He is from a family of winners and is full brother to the bull that topped this sale last spring at 7600gns.

Vicky Jones from Highbridge, Somerset, took the championship with Knoll Majesty, a son of Champson Chieftain, champion at this fixture in 2003.

He made 6700gns to Derek Ridler for his Poleshill herd at Wellington.

Six bulls made over 2000gns including the reserve champion Stonegrove Firecracker from Stonegrove Livestock of Worcester.

By Thorndale Assirati, he had a 400-day weight of 517kg and made 2800gns to Mike Yeandle of Dorchester.

Other leading bull bids included 2700gns from Peter Boyles, Barnstaple, to take Whitefield Descartes from Messrs Hurd, Heywood and Hurd from Taunton, while Ian Dimond paid 2600gns for Oxon-based vendor E Loudon’s bull Pusey Nimrod.

A maiden heifer from Lord Clinton’s Heanton herd at Okehampton led the females at 1400gns, with a cow and calf from the supplementary register section matching the bid for Peter Cave, Okehampton. Buyer was P Hughes, Wiveliscombe.

There were three other females at 1350gns including a 2002-bred cow bred in the Cloverhayes herd, but consigned by Kytton Barton Farm, Wellington, and a maiden heifer from the Yeomadon herd of Mr & Mrs T Benneworth, Holsworthy.

Averages: 18 bulls 2900.

(Greenslade Taylor Hunt)

jh@jeremyhuntassociates.com