A full range of classes for four new breed categories will be at the 2024 Devon County Show at Westpoint Arena in May.   

First up is the Red Poll Cattle breed (which is no longer on the rare breeds survival trust watchlist thanks to the hard work of the Breed Society). These multi-purpose cattle will grace the Devon County Show for the first time in the 150 year show’s history. The majority of this docile, low-input breed are used as suckler cows but a number of milking herds still exist with an average yield of 5,000 litres at 4.2% butterfat and 3.5% protein. 

Two new native breeds will be introduced to the sheep section.  The Kerry Hill breed originates from the hills around the small town of Kerry, on the English/Welsh borders. Once extremely numerous, numbers since declined and the Kerry Hill was until recently included on a list of Rare Breeds. However, this sheep with its characteristic black and white face and legs is now making a comeback, thanks mainly to its attractiveness to smallholders.

To enter the livestock competitions at Devon County Show, visit Devon County Show 2024 - Showing Scene.

The Llanwenog is a versatile breed, which produces excellent meat. It is characterised by its lack of horns, a black face and ears and a tuft of fleece on the top of the head.  In temperament, the breed is hardy and docile, making them an economical breed to keep. 

The pig section is inviting entries to a new Kune Kune pig class.  As the smallest domesticated pig, Kune Kune pigs are delightfully placid and friendly in character, thriving on human company.  Their ease of management and ability to live almost entirely from grass, the Kune Kune is now a popular breed for small holders. 

Commenting on the new classes, Becky Hurd, competition co-ordinator said: “Livestock has always been the heart and soul of the Devon County Show since it first started back in 1872 and will continue to remain its principal raison d’etre. 

"Agricultural shows like us have a responsibility to support and celebrate this type of farming, and to recognise the extraordinary effort the farmers put into producing their animals. Equally, we have a responsibility to ensure that breeds which are lower in numbers nationally, are given the opportunity to thrive.

"Casting the spotlight on some of these breeds at the Devon County Show is a positive step towards securing their future."