The cows are coming home, as the South Devon national show is to be held at this year's Devon County Show.

South Devon cattle are an inherent feature of the South Devon landscape.

A native breed, originally founded 400 years ago in South Hams, the South Devon is now a national phenomenon with some 25,000 at the most recent count dotting the British countryside.

The South Devon Herd Book Society which represents the breed is, however, firmly rooted in Devon.

Although the society holds their national shows at various agricultural events throughout the UK, it is fitting that this year's will be held at the Devon County Show.

Caroline Poultney, breed society secretary, said: "We have now had to miss two national shows, 2019 because of lockdown and 2020 simply because it wasn’t viable to pull it together in time.

"We’re desperate to get back out there, as are the breeders, many of whom travel hundreds of miles to compete.

"We’ve had a fantastic reception thus far and hope that we will be back up to our normal levels of 100 entries when the show comes around."


This year’s judge of the breed classes, Lionel Pascoe from Hayle in Cornwall, has many years’ experience of breeding and judging South Devons.

He said: "A good South Devon bull should have a strong presence and stand out in a herd of South Devon cows.

"He should have a nice straight top line, good bone, a fine shoulder and a nice square back end, with good temperament and finally not too dark in colour.”

"In the show ring, we are looking for some specific features from the female cows.

“The ideal South Devon dam should be of good temperament, and she should show presence with good breed characteristics.

"She should have a nice feminine head - not too long - and good body width and good size not over done with muscle.

"She should walk freely, have a good milky udder which is not too big with medium size teats.”

The grand final of the South Devon National Show takes place on Thursday, June 30.