NEWTON Abbot farmer Josh Quant took home first place in the Young Farmers’ metalworking competition at this year's Devon County Show with his striking stag sculpture. 

‘They nearly disqualified it,’ said Josh, ‘because it’s supposed to be a certain size and I didn’t realise that. They said it was too tall because they counted the base as well, but then they decided to count only the sculpture which was a relief!’

Josh, of Redlands Farm, began his foray into sculpture several years ago after seeing his brother making a model with old agricultural scrap metal from their farm.

After some practice in the barn, Josh’s first major project was a life-size ram, which fetched £1,500 at a charity auction. 

Since then, he’s completed a variety of projects, such as horses and cockerels.

The process of making the sculptures isn’t easy. Josh must first source hundreds of used horseshoes, from local farmers and others through the YFC.

Then, each shoe must be cleaned, sanded and de-nailed before it can be put into the forge, a slow and laborious process.

Before, Josh would simply weld the shoes together, but now, with the help of his farrier forge, he can pursue more complex designs such as the stag. 

Josh added: ‘There were lots of good entries so in the back of my mind I thought it would have to be something really good to win, so it’s nice to get it recognised.’