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.