Shropshire Star

Moo-ving moments as cow sale unexpectedly sees £7,000 raised for cancer charity

An impromptu auction raised thousands for charity after a community rallied round to show support for a young farmer with cancer.

Robert Pugh with Kelly and Poppy the cow

Kelly Millington-Preece, 25, from Chetton, near Bridgnorth had decided to put her herd of 10 cows up for auction because of her concerns that she will not be able to look after them while she undergoes treatment for cancer.

After mentioning the sale to Nock Deighton auctioneer Mark Burgoyne, he suggested that they hold a special auction for one of the herd, with the proceeds going to Cancer Relief.

The plan was for Mr Burgoyne to 'buy' the cow for £500, then he would re-auction it for Nock Deighton to 'buy' it for £1,000, raising a total of £1,500 for charity, before performing the actual sale.

In an emotional turn of events the auction saw those present bidding again and again on the British Blue cross Friesian Heifer called Poppy, until they had raised £7,000 for Cancer Relief.

The final twist saw Kelly's boss, Robert Pugh, buying the cow for his own farm, where she will still be able to see her in future and have her back once her treatment has finished.

Kelly said she had been taken aback by the response to the auction which had provided a heart warming boost on what was a sad day as she had to sell off her beloved cows.

She said: "It was wonderful and a bit of a shock but the nicest thing was the last buyer turned out to be my boss.


"It means I can see her pretty much every day while I am working here."

Kelly added: "Thank you to everyone that supported myself and the charity. It was a very upsetting day having to downsize the herd, as they were some really friendly, kind ladies that I’d reared from calves.

"I really can’t thank people enough for the kind words and help. A huge thank you to Mark Burgoyne for the help and arranging the fundraising and R.H. Pugh and Sons for being a brilliant and supportive family. I’m extremely privileged to be working for them and the kind gesture of purchasing my heifer at the end of the sale was the best surprise I could have had.”

Mr Burgoyne, who said the cause is one which is close to his family's hearts, added that it was a fantastic effort and showed the caring nature of the farming community.

He said: "I bid on it myself, then Nock Deighton bid and then it sold seven times for £7,000, which considering there was no advertising or social media ahead of the event was amazing.

"It was just the people that happened to be there on the day and the generosity of them was absolutely first class.

"We gave Kelly a round of applause and she came to see me after, I was quite emotional about it. It was a fantastic effort.

"That is what the market is all about, people coming together. It is like-minded people talking about business and agriculture and then something like this comes along and we are all the same ilk, we just want to do what we can to give them a bit of help."

Extra donations since the auction have now pushed to total towards £10,000.

Nock Deighton added: "We would like to thank the most generous support of the farming community and wish Kelly all the strength and good luck for the future. We all look forward to seeing her with her calf in Bridgnorth when she is able."