David Pritchard, joint managing director of Harrison and Hetherington, will be taking 'a step back' from the business as the year turns.

On making this announcement, H and H chief executive Richard Rankin said: “With the farmstock business currently placed in the best possible position for the next decade, David feels the time has come to hand over the leadership and operational matters of the business to the next generation.

"Recognising the importance of succession planning David believes that now is the ideal time for them to take forward their future plans and new ideas. David will remain on hand for a further six months to ensure a smooth transition and handover of responsibilities and roles.”

“David’s knowledge and expertise has been a tremendous asset to both H and H and the wider livestock trading sector. This, together with his high levels of integrity, has hugely contributed to H and H enjoying its well-deserved reputation and standing within the market. David’s dedication and commitment are without question and something we all aspire to. I want to thank him for everything he has brought to the business and to the industry. l very much look forward to working with David and the team over the following six months, making this handover period as effective as possible.”

Mr Pritchard was born and brought up on a hill farm in Herefordshire, and has worked in the auctioneering industry all his life, starting his career just over 48 years ago with a Welsh auctioneering company at Abergavenny as a junior clerk, when he left school. In 1977 he moved north to join H and H as an auctioneer at Lockerbie Auction Mart and since then has progressed through the company. He was promoted to general manager of the farmstock business in 1999, operations director in 2001, and latterly joint managing director in 2018.

Joint managing director of H and H, Scott Donaldson, who has worked closely with Mr Pritchard for over ten years, said: “David has had a huge influence on the business and the staff in his considered and steadying manner for many years. We have considerable talent and experience within the team and as a market leader, I know that H and H is well placed to continue to evolve and progress for the next generation of customers and staff.”

A former president of the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland, Mr Pritchard himself commented: “It has been an immense privilege to lead and be involved with such an incredible business. Harrison and Hetherington is a company which continues to grow from strength to strength and our aim has always been to provide a vital service to our farming community, together with industry partners from across the UK and further afield. I feel very proud to have worked with the H and H team and our customers for so many years, I know that the business will continue to thrive.”