Champion Red Ruby Devon Bull Elmford Discretion
Red Ruby – Devon’s native cattle breed
Sire: Tilbrook Voyager. Dam: Elmford Dainty 2.
Breed Champion – Devon County Show 2008
Another local breed that I was keen to sculpt was the Red Ruby Devon. There is always a large entry of Rubys at the Devon County Show, where I first saw Elmford Discretion. He was a lovely young bull – far better than the competition, and deserved his win. Red Ruby Devons are famous for the quality of their meat, being a common sight all over Devon; they are hardy grazers, needing nothing but grass to put on those quality pounds. The wonderful sight of a herd of Red Rubys grazing a lush Devon meadow is not soon forgotten!Read more...
They are not a large breed, but very solidly built, with a beautiful short curly, almost Claret red coat, with a blonde tip to the tail. They are often polled, but can grow short horns; are long-lived, with good resistance to disease, have an easy-going nature, and are good mothers.
Elmford Discretion’s owners, David and Sally Martin were happy to let me sculpt him, and I arranged to come and photograph him that month. My original intention was to sculpt Discretion in his entirety, but later decided to produce a bas relief head study instead. The reason being, that as a young bull with a lot of growing still to do, he didn’t carry the impressive muscle bulk of a more mature animal. A four or five year old Ruby bull is an entirely different animal to a two year old. I have included a full sculpture of a mature Red Ruby Devon Bull [Yeomadon Ferdinand] in my British Champion Animals collection. But I enjoyed sculpting the wax bas relief, being in a sense, graphic as well as sculptural; I was able to devote more time to rendering the subtleties of his curly red coat than would otherwise have been feasible – great fun!
The patina was an easy choice – it had to be that glorious, plum red of the Ruby’s coat.