The 124th Devon County Show took place at Westpoint, Exeter on 16th, 17th & 18th May. Anthony Mosley provides this report and pictures.
Sandwiched between the wilds of Dartmoor, the cathedral city of Exeter and the Gulf Stream influenced riviera of Torbay, it’s safe to say that food, farming and livestock play a very important role in the region’s economy and this event is its shop window. Like any agricultural show, its great attraction is the livestock exhibits, which again proved to be of the very highest standard, including a National Show for the Devon breed of cattle.
The Supreme Championship in the Pedigree Beef Classes was won by Foxhillfarm Naomi, a homebred Limousin heifer from Michael and Melanie Alford of Cullompton. Reserve went to the Dorrell family, who made the journey from Worcester, for their Devon heifer Stonegrove Snowdrop 26th, which was Champion in the Devon National Show. The Alford family also took Commercial Champion with its 12-month old Limousin heifer Insufficient Funds.
For the fourth year running, Chris Creeper of Tri-Star Genetics, Axminster took Ayrshire Breed Champion with Gargus Jemima 3rd and this time around, Interbreed Dairy Judge Robert Adams from Derbyshire rewarded this fine animal with the Supreme Dairy Championship of the show. Reserve went to the Davis family from Tiverton for their Jersey cow Rivermead Genominator Sonic Black, which also won Champion Local Dairy Animal and Champion Channel Islander.
Sheep and pig entries
An excellent entry of sheep, with all the well-known breeds, as well as some lesser known local varieties, saw the Supreme Interbreed Championship go to Gerald Burrough from Honiton for his Charollais ram, with the Reserve spot taken by A&C Brown from Tiverton with its Southdown ram.
Pigs, always a great spectacle at Devon County, included all the major breeds – and for the first time, a demonstration of a Mangalitza sow with her piglets. Well known Cornish judge Julian Collings chose a lovely Welsh gilt as the Supreme Interbreed Champion, shown by Gussie Harmer from the stable of Wakeham Dawson & Harmer, who had travelled all the way from East Sussex and also took Champion Pair of pigs, again with the Welsh breed.
Although primarily a livestock region, it was good to see such a varied range of agricultural equipment and machinery on the trade stands. Interestingly, more and more companies are now offering a multitude of different ways to help farmers diversify and adopt new techniques to farm in a more environmentally friendly manner.