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Birness leads Scottish national Suffolk sale at 43,000gn

The Birness ram lamb that sold for 43,000gn.
The Birness ram lamb that sold for 43,000gn.

Aberdeenshire breeders led the charge at the Scottish area show and sale of Suffolks in Stirling yesterday.

A top price of 43,000gn was paid for a ram lamb from the Stuart family – George and his son Melvin, along with Melvin’s children Murray and Gemma – at Milltown of Birness, Ellon.

Achieving their best price yet for their 160-ewe Birness flock, was the Scottish champion from the pre-sale show. This was a late December-2018 born lamb, by the 6,500gn Ballynacannon Noah, out of a home-bred ewe by the 6,500gn Cavangrove Catalyst.

She sold to Northern Ireland breeders Mark Priestley, who runs the Limestone flock, and Dennis Taylor, who runs the Ballynacanon flock.

Birness also made 10,000gn for a late December-2018 born ram lamb by the 9,500gn Limestone Legacy, and 8,000gn selling a January-born ram lamb by Crewelands Megastar.

Next best at 30,000gn was a January-born entry from Philip Poole’s Salopian flock, based at Beaconsfield Farm, Upper Battlefield, Shrewsbury.

By the 26,000gn Solwaybank Rock Solid and out of a dam by Cloontagh Chieftain, he sold in a three-way split to the Stuart family’s Birness flock, Fife breeder Stewart Craft for his Lakeview flock at Little Balquhormie, Leslie, and Messrs Delves in Powys, Wales.

Thereafter, the overall champion sold for 26,000gn.

This was a January-born son of the 30,000gn Birness Playboy from Stephen Sufferin’s Crewelands flock, based in Maghera, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Out of a Ballynacanon Taylor Made-sired dam, he sold to the judge, Iain Barbour for the Solwaybank flock in Annan, and a Portguese consortium.

The reserve champion – a January-born son of the 40,000gn Limestone Aston Martin from Mark Priestley – sold for 23,000gn to Irish breeder Seamus Brane for his Errigal flock in County Donegal.

Meanwhile, Irish breeder Andrew Wilson, who runs the Castleisle flock at Shannagh, Co Donegal, made 21,000gn, 20,000gn and 16,000gn selling January-born sons of Limestone Aston Martin. The dearest sold to Christopher Holmes, Rookery, Broadway, the 20,000gn one sold to Arthur, Patrick and Susan O’Keefe’s Mallow flock, and 16,000gn sold jointly to the Stuart family’s Birness flock and Huntly breeder Jim Innes’ Strathbogie flock.

In total 139 ram lambs sold to average £2,926.10 – up £84.23 on the year – and to a clearance rate of 64%.

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