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History of the Brettles Herd

South Devons were chosen by Margie and Mark in 1981 because they were the UK’s largest native breed, were capable of growing fast off grass and because their docile nature made them easy to manage.

They have lived up to their reputation.

Two heifers were originally purchased from the Englbourne herd after a visit to several Devon breeders accompanied by John Pappin the Secretary of the South Devon Herd Book Society. One of them, Englebourne Gypsy 26, is in the breeding of many of today’s cows.

A purchase of three heifers was made from the South Crossland Herd which also proved to be valuable foundation stock. Heifers were also purchased from the Grove, Roskymer, Northope, Waddeton, Woodgreen and Cholwells herds with varying degrees of success.

When the herd moved to Brettles from Warwickshire in 1984 a stock bull, Torr Down Rebel 13 was purchased and further bulls were purchased every 4 years or so. Most significant of these were Juniper Quercus, a well muscled son of Juniper King Lear and Oxey Reddish 3.

Quercus gave some great females and these clicked with Oxey Reddish 3 to give some of the best bulls Brettles has produced. These bulls have been working in several well known herds throughout the country.

In 2002 the Brettles Herd won the Cecil Harvey Shield for the Best Herd of cows in the National Herd Competition and were also winners of the Best Herd of Cows Competition in the Midland Club. Brettles were overall winners of the Midland Club Herd Competition in 2003.

Brettles SAS Fusilier


The herd joined the SAS Breeding Group in 2001 and in 2005 used Z Eyton SAS Illya as one of the linkage bulls. He produced Brettles SAS Fusilier who was used in 2006 and 2007, siring fast growing calves with no calving difficulties.

The Brettles Herd had the honour of being chosen as one of the herds to be visited on the South Devon World Congress Tour in June 2005.

In 2008 we purchased X Haughton SAS Joe Louis 4.

This young bull was bred and shown by Bill Sandford a fellow SAS member.

He had good figures and was accepted as a SAS Linkage Bull. In the Brettles Herd he produced a number of fast growing polled cattle. One of his son's, Z Brettles SAS Intrepid selling for 5,200 guineas.


X Haughton SAS Joe Louis 4