The recent on-farm Dispersal Sale of the Hay Lane herd of South Devons on behalf of Ernie Hemmings, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, brought buyers from right across the country and also from Northern Ireland. Mr Hemmings had taken the decision to come out of farming, and was selling a range of machinery as well as all his cattle.
The South Devon cattle were an excellent demonstration of the breed, and included genetics carefully selected by Mr Hemmings when he established the Hay Lane herd. In particular, bloodlines from the Trevassack, Juniper and Goffe Cave herds were in strong demand, having bred to Highgate, Goffe Cave and Grove male lines.
37 pedigree cows with growthy calves at foot averaged £2,153, and topped at 3,000 guineas for Trevassack Pride 330 with her heifer calf, with breeding going back to Besowsa Trusty 3. Close behind were two Goffe Cave cows with calves, selling to a new buyer for 2,750 guineas each.
A smart bunch of 20 heifers, all in calf to AI sire Edmeston Homer 1 were keenly sought after, averaging £1,851. Top price of 2,400 guineas went for Hay Lane Angelica, an April 2013 born heifer by Wydbury Sansom, and with Grove, Brettles, Bury and Ashdown breeding, selling to Mr C T Land from Ashbourne, Derbyshire. Two other heifers each sold for 2,000 guineas to Mr A Musgrave, Taunton, Somerset, and to Mr J Andrew, Barnstaple, Devon.
Ten well-grown maiden heifers averaged £1,414, topping at 1,550 for Hay Lane Beryl by stock bull Highgate Elgar 4, and selling to a local buyer.
Three stock bulls were headed by Grove Claudius 100, a January 2011 born bull by AI Woodbastwick Joe Louis 4, out of Grove Celandine 95, who Mr Hemmings had acquired for 10,000 guineas at a Society Sale in 2013. The bull sold this time for 4,500 guineas to Mr I Kendle, from Dereham, Norfolk, who also bought heifers and cows.
Heading to Northern Ireland was a consignment of ten cows and three in-calf heifers. A similar sized consignment was bought by pedigree breeder Mells Park Trust from Frome, Somerset. Other buyers came from Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Lancashire, Carmarthenshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Monmouthshire, Leicestershire, and Derbyshire.