Royal Three Counties Show, 16th-18th June 2023
Returning to Malvern after 11 years the weather conditions for this year’s National Show could not have been more different. In 2012 we were faced with seemingly continuous rain, and the mud was almost knee deep in places in the show ring. This time the weather was fine, even too warm for some, and the South Devon coats gleamed in the bright light.
It was a fine show of quality South Devon cattle right across all the classes. Watching over the ring was our breed marquee offering shade and refreshments. Thank you to the organisers at the Royal Three Counties, particularly Henry Oakes, Alan Lyons and Samantha Jones who worked with us to put together the detail of the show and provided a very warm welcome.
Judge for the day was Mr Roger Rundle from Newquay whose Kestle breeding has been widely used across the South Devon population.
Beginning with the nine youngest heifers born in 2022, Roger picked his first class winner as N & E Bunkum’s Tregarrick Montana by Trewint Invincible. The best heifer born in 2021 in a class of ten was C J Page’s Lumbylaw Avril 193, acquired at Robert Lee’s herd dispersal sale in July 2022. This heifer went on to win the Female Championship, with M R & R J Rowe’s Tregondale Ninon 107 as Reserve.
In the two cow classes, the judge again selected his winners from the Tregarrick herd, Tregarrick Katkins also by Trewint Invincible, and Tregarrck Genie by Langham’s Louis 2. Best calf was Tim Eustice’s Trevowah Hyacinth 3, by Trevean Arranz and out of Trevowah Hyacinth 2.
In the male section of the judging, a very strong class of twelve was won by Reuben Saunders’ Boakley Tiberius, a March-’22 born son of award-winning Grove Brutus 151. Tiberius also won the Performance and Inspection class, with reserve going to E G & S M Hawkins’ Cutsey Tiberius. Both bulls demonstrated their excellent record of performance figures carrying through to their conformation.
The intermediate bull class was won by N & E Bunkum’s Tregarrick Lydford born in January 2021 who was to go on to become Reserve Breed Champion.
The highest accolade of the breed judging was awarded to West Prawle Farm’s AI Z Providence Dr Octopus who showed himself beautifully to impress the judge, spectators and fellow exhibitors. He scooped the Male Championship and then the Breed Championship. As the pin-up promotional bull used by the Devon County Show in 2022 this was a very fitting win, and with his breeding going back across the world to John Harvey’s Torr Down Hermes Marvel 3, it made good sense that Dr Octopus should also win Best Polled Animal, receiving the Harvey Torr Down Perpetual Trophy.
The Awards Dinner was held in the evening of the first day, and South Devon beef produced by Hadley Farms was very much enjoyed by all. The following day saw the staging of the Young Handler Competition for 11-15 year olds which this time was won by Oliver from Arncliffe Farms in Yorkshire, with runners-up Peter and Rhys from Bredon School.
The biggest success for the breed came on the final day when the Interbreed Group of Three comprising two heifers, Tregondale Ninon 107 and Tregondale Dewdrop 187, and two year old bull Tregarrick Lydford were awarded the Best Native Group Championship, and Best Overall Group Championship beating all other breeds. It was a moment of great excitement, satisfaction and pride for all who watched. How fitting that they should then lead the final Grand Parade in the main ring!