This year the Devon County Show is proud to host two national cattle shows – the South Devons and Dexters.
Pictured above is South Devon bull Sexton Marius, owned by Richard Harvey, breed champion at Devon County in 2012.
Also pictured is the 2012 National Dexter Show Champion, Apple Coda M5218, owned by W H Robinson and Sons from Rutland.
A highlight of the County Show is the Grand Parade of Livestock on Friday and Saturday afternoons in the Mole Valley Farmers Main Arena where the Supreme Beef and Dairy Champions lead out a line-up of prize-winning livestock.
Visit the Cattle Hall to some of the best livestock in the area, if not the country, at close quarters. It's inspirational to see the care and preparation undertaken by herdsmen who use clippers, shampoo, hair-dryers and brushes to get their magnificent animals ready for the Show ring.
We are looking forward to welcoming sheep in great numbers as in previous years. There are usually so many that we have to erect lots of special marquees to accommodate the many breeds.
Look out for our native breeds including Greyface Dartmoor, White Face Dartmoor, Devon Closewool, Devon & Cornwall Longwool, Dorset Down, Dorset Horn, Poll Dorset and Exmoor Horn. There will also be the important commercial breeds including Texels.
A roll call of favourite old breeds we hope to see at the Show include British Lop, Gloucestershire Old Spot, British Saddlebacks, Berkshires and Oxford Sandy Blacks.
They'll compete with other British breeds including Large Blacks, Welsh Landrace, Large White or Middle White. Plus, there will be classes for more exotic breeds including Kune Kunes.
On Friday afternoon look out for 'Piggy Pranks' when pigs and their handlers negotiate a small obstacle course.
Dairy and angora goats
Goats are kept commercially and by people with a taste for the good life. A dairy goat needs less space than a cow and can keep a family in dairy products. And, of course, delicious goats' cheese is hugely popular.
Meanwhile, angora goats are prized for their luxurious fleeces which are sheared twice a year. They can produce up to 25 per cent of their own body weight in fleece annually, making them the most efficient fibre producing animals in the world.
There are thousands of alpcas in in the UK, with many hundreds in Devon. They are reared for their fine wool and are described by owners as much easier to look after than sheep.
These gentle animals respond so well to kindness and care. We hold competitive classes which include best condition and turnout through to long-reigning and best young handler.
Roll up, roll up if you like hens, ducks, geese and turkeys. Do you know the difference between a Brahma and the blue egg laying Araucana chicken? Or are you quackers about ducks and want to find out more about Aylesburys? Then a visit to this marquee is a must.
Fur & Feather
And don’t forget the gently cooing pigeons, cute guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits and chinchillas; there are plenty of enthusiasts on hand to give advice about caring, grooming and feeding.