A family has been left devastated after their new ram was stolen – just three weeks after bringing it home, reports Ruth Wills.
The pedigree Texel ram was stolen from a padlocked field in St Neot, Cornwall.
The ram - Kingspark Balboa (Billy) - was stolen from rented land at Wenmouth Cross on 17 September.
The owners, Kim and Malcolm Coumbe of Housey Farm, Liskeard, bought him from the Texel Society’s national show and sale on 28 August.
His sire - Plasucha Aberfeldy - was second at the Royal Highland Show 2018, and his full brothers sold for 4000gns and 2000gns this season.
“He had a lovely figure and strong Texel features – nice new blood for our flock,” said Mrs Coumbe.
But the ram was more than just a stock ram for the family.
“Our children Emma and Amy are very keen young handlers and helped choose him,” she added. “They both saved up and invested their money in him. We were really disappointed to have to tell them when they came home from school that day.”
The ram was in a field of ewes at the time, none of which were stolen.
"He is insured but it’s not the monetary value that’s the main issue - it’s what he was going to bring us in progeny,” said Mrs Coumbe.
“We do quite a lot of local shows which gives us a window to promote ourselves and that’s what we were hoping for from his progeny.”
The farm also sells pedigree rams and females, achieving the top priced shearling ram at the 2017 NSA South West Sheep event, at 1500gns.
“We were excited to buy Billy – all the breeding behind him was uniform and he really stood out,” said Mr Coumbe.
The family are offering a reward for any information relating to the stolen ram, whose ear tag read VFK1801509 UK301349.
“It’s heartless – it’s ruined our girls’ showing hopes.”