I bought a bull. I had no intention of doing so when I woke up yesterday morning.
It’s the time of year I generally sell stock; so to get an idea of what pedigree stock prices are doing I went to a reduction sale of Red Ruby Devons being held locally at Hatherleigh Market. Andy Lane, the Devon Cattle Breeders’ Society secretary, was the auctioneer, and this alone is reason enough to go. Extremely knowledgeable, entertaining and eloquent, he talks up each and every animal in a flurry of poetic fluency; its provenance, its conformation, its breeding potential and its ancestry through the mists of time; he questions our sanity and ability to survive the future without this or that particular animal in our herds – whereupon he asks for an outrageous opening bid.
Within seconds a bidding rhythm is established by barely discernable nods, infinitesimal catalogues waves and secrets signs. For those members of the inner circle, initiated into the subtle mysteries of the auction ring, there’s an easy familiarity with proceedings – for the uninitiated, total bewilderment.
Walking round checking out the animals before the sale a young bull caught my eye. I read through his pedigree; it was admirable. But I had no intention of buying a bull, had I?
Now the rub. Olly came up ‘Seen that rather smart young bull? We’re selling Mr Big aren’t we?’
The rest is history!