Jersey cow springs surprise at Devon County Show

Simmentals swept the board at last week’s Devon County Show, with Boddington Estates claiming the interbreed championship, group championship and pairs class.

Sterling Viking 2 featured in each of the winning sections, claiming the overall interbreed title with handler Jimmy McMillan. The two-year-old bull, by Sterling Rochester, won a number of male breed championships last year, including at the October Perth bull sales. But having failed to sell he returned to the Cheltenham estate for on-farm semen collection. “It’s done us a favour, as he’s improved since,” said estate manager Ian Moore.

Taking the reserve spot was John and Rosemary Stanbury’s Devon bull Challenge Perfection, by Macbiehill Frederick. At three years old the bull was in his prime, said John Stanbury, who was helped by son Richard and daughter Clare. “It feels fantastic – he’s at the top of his career.” He heads for the Bath & West, Cornwall and Royal Shows next.

Scooping the dairy championship came as a real surprise for Mark Davis, who had not intended to bring his Jersey cow, Poyer Masters Jennifer, to the show. “She’s meant to be drying off, but they were a bit short on entries, so we thought we’d bring her along,” he said. The fifth calver gave almost 6000kg in her last lactation, at 5.8% fat and 3.8% protein. “She’s a tremendous cow and for a cow that’s had this many calves she looks very young,” he added. David and Ian Chave’s Holstein cow Peacehay Fairy 26 claimed the reserve prize for the second year in a row. By Comestar Stormatic, she had her third calf just 10 days before the show, and was already yielding more than 60kg a day.

In the pig ring it was Amanda Thomas and William Edwards’ Saddleback sow Pantysgawen Dinah 9 that was favoured by judge Frances Slade. “She caught my eye the moment she walked into the ring. She’s everything a Saddleback should be,” she said. The two-year-old sow was now heading to the Cornwall, Three Counties and Royal Shows, said Amanda Thomas. “She’s a well-built sow with a lovely straight top line, and she’s very free moving,” she added. Reserve champion was Julian Newth’s Large White boar Prestleigh Prince 3, by Portbredy Prince 1066.

Ross Lawrence’s Suffolk ewe triumphed in the sheep ring, giving him his first interbreed championship. “I knew she was good, but to beat 1400-odd sheep is superb,” he said.

Robert Jordan’s Scotch Black-Faced ram claimed the reserve spot, after winning the overall interbreed title last year. He heads to the Bath & West show next week.



Ross Lawrence’s Suffolk shearling ewe

beef supreme champ

Boddington Estate’s Simmental

sheep reserve champ

Robert Jordan’s Scotch Blackface tup

supreme beef reserve

John and Rosemary Stanbury’s Devon bull