SOUND advice to those looking for a career in auctioneering includes the need to be a comedian, to be able to stand up and entertain, and to dismiss hopes of making lots of money.

After more than 60 years in the business, 76-year-old Terry Court who is probably Herefordshire's best-known auctioneer, will be banging the hammer for the last time next month.

"I have enjoyed every second," says Terry, who will remain a director at Leominster-based auctioneers and valuers, Brightwells. "I've never needed a holiday, I love the job so much."

Married to Diane, the couple have between them five children and 18 grandchildren. "People say, how do you remember all their birthdays, I say I have a job remembering their names!" says Terry.

The son of a Ross-on-Wye butcher, he could have carved out a career as a professional cricketer. But with a recommendation from his Uncle Tubby - the late Hereford Times agricultural chief T.J.C. Court - that he was "bumptious" and and had plenty to say for himself, his training with the former Russell, Baldwin & Bright business began at a cost to his father of £100 per year.

"We started off with microphones so my voice had a good airing at first," he remembers. Selling livestock every day of the week in Hereford market, Terry's baptism of fire came when his boss, the late Michael Wyatt, came down with mumps. "I was on my own on the rostrum from 9.30 in the morning until 6.30 and never stopped. I was a little hoarse by the end of the night!" he laughs.

He remembers his first Fayre Oaks pony sale in 1955 at Hereford market. "We made a little ring with bales beside the dairy lairage and had about 150 people," says Terry.

Now the biggest event of its kind in the world and held at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, the 2016 catalogue included just under 500 ponies with crowds of more than 4,000. To mark his last pony sale, Terry, wearing a white tuxedo, admits being "rather emotional" due to a special section entitled 'Court's Last Stand'. On Sunday October 23, he will take to the rostrum for the last time for the epic Autumn Cob Sale, the largest in the world.

"It will be highly amazing for me, we shall be having 30 of the best cobs I have ever offered in my life," says Terry who expects to break a world record in cob sales.

Over the years he has sold "millions" of cattle, sheep and ponies, and has become one of the county's best-known figures. He was deeply honoured to be made president of the Welsh Pony and Cob Society. "The biggest society in the world!" he insists. Terry took to the rostrum all over the country during his career, once selling to Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood when he handled the sale of Paolo Gucci's Arab horses at Guildford. He even bought a part-share in a racehorse, Dixton House, named after his schooldays in Monmouth.

Terry intends to stay on for a while at Brightwells, where his stepson, Richard Binnersley is now joint managing director.

"I think I'll stay on for a bit, make sure they're on the right track," he says.