By Jeremy Hunt

A BUMPER CROWD from 12 counties competed to produce a top price of 3300gns at the South Devon Herd Book Society”s spring show and sale at Exeter.

Auctioneer John Wakeham, of Kivells, said: “It”s been a long time since we”ve sold 25 bulls at this sale. Fewer bulls were taken for crossing but there was a really keen demand from pedigree breeders.

 “We had a good entry and I think that has served to pull in the buyers. People will make an effort to come to a sale if they know there”s a good selection of bulls to choose from,” said Mr Wakeham.

 The Trewint herd of Cornwall breeder Peter Rowe found favour with judge Joanne Richards from Truro. She awarded both the championship to Trewint Hugo and the reserve spot to Trewint Topper.

 Earning the day”s highest price of 3300gns was another top-drawer bull from Douglas Scott”s Grove herd at Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos.

Grove Claudius 63rd is by Waddeton Centurion 6th and out of a cow by Grove Charlemagne 5th. He took the reserve breed title at last year”s Devon County Show, the reserve male ticket at the Royal Bath and West and the junior male championship at the Royal Cornwall Show.

Claudius had a beef value of 30 – a top 10% breed ranking on performance – and a 400-day weight of 659kg. Buying for its pedigree herd based at Beaconsfield, Bucks, was the Portman Burtley Estate Co.

There were two calls at 3100gns. The first came for Devon breeder Richard Harvey”s Sexton Supreme 3rd, bought by SA Bennett, of Loddiswell, Devon.

This bull is by Sexton Conqueror 49th and is a grandson of Sexton Hermes 2nd who won the Royal Show breed championship three years running.

Also at 3100gns was Sir Simon Day”s Keaton Spartacus from his herd at Ivybridge. This son of Keaton Futuristic has a beef value of 23 and was bought by Sutton Estates, Newbury, Berks.

Peter Rowe”s champion was unsold but his reserve champion, a Trevassack Trooper 13th son, made 2000gns to I Forrest, Lamerton, Devon.

Females sold to 1550gns for Richard Harvey”s female champion, a heifer from the Snowdrop family taken by E Hawkins of Taunton. Averages: 35 bulls 1982 and 21 heifers 905 (Kivells).

jh@jeremyhuntassociates.com