Memorial trophies are a fitting tribute to Norwich Livestock Market auctioneer David Ball

Penelope Lucas with one of the David Ball memorial trophies and Robbie Moore, winner of the challeng

Penelope Lucas with one of the David Ball memorial trophies and Robbie Moore, winner of the challenge plate for native junior bulls.Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Two trophies sponsored in memory of a respected Norfolk livestock auctioneer have been awarded to champion bulls for the first time at the Royal Norfolk Show.

David Ball, who died in January at the age of 60 following a 20-year cancer battle, was the operations director of Norwich Livestock Market on Hall Road, and the driving force behind its resurgence following the 2001 foot and mouth disease crisis.

He was also well known for showing cattle and stock judging on the county show circuit so his partner, Penelope Lucas, said it was entirely appropriate that trophies should be awarded in the cattle competitions in his memory.

She said: 'It is a very emotional day. David is greatly missed in the livestock community, but his spirit will live on through these trophies.

'We held David's wake at the Norfolk Showground and I approached the show committee and suggested I sponsor some classes in David's memory, which was universally supported.

'The junior bull championships were the most appropriate. They were the only two classes that didn't have trophies. One is a native class and one is a continental class, but both are for beef and David was an expert in commercial beef.'

The David Ball Perpetual Challenge Plate, for the best native junior bull, was won by Fenland My Prize, a 16-month-old Aberdeen Angus bull owned by 14-year-old Robbie Moore, from Pott Row near King's Lynn. His father Rodger Moore said: 'It is very pleasing to know that something is being done in David's memory, and nice to know that the trophy is staying in the county.'

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The David Ball Perpetual Challenge Goblet, for the best continental junior bull was won by an 18 month old Simmental named Heathbrow Freddie Starr, owned by Hertfordshire-based breeder David Sapsed.

Mr Ball's farming career began in Gloucestershire and took him to Somerset and Hertfordshire before he moved to Reydon in Suffolk as livestock manager for Adnams Brewery in 1993.

In 1995, Mr Ball was diagnosed with cancer, but he carried on working throughout his chemotherapy treatment. He enjoyed a successful cattle-showing career, firstly for Adnams and then in his own name, travelling to most of the county shows, winning many championships and awards. He became operations director of Norwich Livestock Market in 2002.