Average prices for all breeds were up on last year at Aberdeen and Northern Marts’ annual multi-breed ram show and sale at Thainstone Centre, Inverurie.
There were no high-flyers with all breeds meeting a steady trade and a top price of 2,200gn for a Border Leicester which compares with last year’s record 5,000gn for a Texel.
“We had a good ringside of buyers and sellers were more than happy with trade,” said auctioneer Colin Slessor, the mart’s sheep manager. “Trade held up for good sheep right to the end.”
Texels sold to a top of 1,600gn twice for the first prize lamb, which was champion of the show, from Robbie Wilson’s Milnbank flock at North Dorlaithers, Turriff, and the first-prize shearling from Willie Knox and sons, Graeme and Andrew, of Mid Haddo, Fyvie.
The champion, by the 60,000gn Strathbogie Yes Sir out of a ewe by Strathbogie Untouchable, sold to Mrs Elma Alexander, Auchenbreddie, Insch.
The Knoxs’ shearling topper, Haddo Yorker, by Tophill Wall St and out of a ewe by Strathbogie Smokey Blue, was bought by S. and Y. Finnie, Newseat, Balthangie, Cuminestown.
The Strathbogie flock of James Innes and Sons, Dunscroft, Huntly, also enjoyed a strong trade selling to a top of 1,200gn for a shearling by Millar’s Windbrook to Ballintomb Farms, Dulnain Bridge, Grantown on Spey, and 1,000gn for one by Aman Vyrnwy Dya to Guise Farm Partnership.
Guise also paid 1000gns for another by Millar’s Windbrook from Strathbogie shepherd, Michael Leggat, who has his own small flock of five ewes at Cairnton Farm, Forgue.
Jemma Green’s successful show shearling from Corskie, Garmouth, sired by Glenside Valhalla and first at four shows during the summer and male champion at Echt, sold for 950gn to C Williamson, Kerkira, Ollaberry, Shetland.
Veteran breeder, Sandy Lee, Feurdies, Memsie, Fraserburgh, received the joint second highest price for ram lambs, selling a Stainton You Bet son at 1,400gn to near neighbour, Jimmy Douglas, Woodhead, Cairness, Fraserburgh.
Mr Leggat’s reserve champion, by the £5,000 Strathbogie Yes Big Boy, also made a four-figure price, realising 1,050gn to Guise while Steven Smith, The Byre, Sunnyhill Croft, Turriff, sold a son of Strathbogie Yes Sir at 1,000gn to Alan Rae, Mains of Orchardtown, Udny.
Another by the same sire from Graham Morrison, Inchbruich, Cornhill, Banff, sold for 950gn to George and Melvin Stuart, Milltown of Birness, Ellon, and another from the same flock by Knap Yard Master made 850gn to M Georgeson, Mailland, Sand, Bixter, Shetland.
Suffolks met a very steady trade selling to a top of 850gn for the champion, a January-born ram lamb by the 2016 Royal Highland Show champion, Irongray Ironman, from Mrs Judith Lorimer, Cadgerford, Kingswells, and her son, Stuart, and 15 year old granddaughter Hannah, who presented the winner in the showring. The lamb was being shown for the first time and sold to A Williams, Wales.
The reserve champion from Milltown of Birness by Middlemuir Maserati realised 650gn to Isla Jamieson, Roadside, North Roe, Shetland.
The top price of the sale of 2,200gn was paid by Bruce Mair, buying on behalf of Christine Williams and Paul Tippets, Shifnal, Shropshire, for the Border Leicester champion from Jimmy Douglas who is convinced the breed is making a come-back with 40 new breeders joining the breed society over the past three years. His winner was sired by Muirmonth Mustang, bred by Sandy Haggart, Muirmouth, Crieff, who is working to see the breed survive and prosper.
Mr Douglas bought the ram from him as something of a favour last year and was pleased to see another son win the championship at the recent Lanark sale. Mr Douglas also sold another son at 1,500gn to D M Walker, Laigh Alticane, Girvan, Ayrshire.
Bluefaced Leicester ram lambs sold to a top of 950gn paid by Eric Mutch, Burnside of Whitefield, Forglen, for the champion from M. Seed and Son, Home Farm of Auchry, Cuminestown, and Charollais shearlings sold to 1,400gn for a son of Wedrnfawr OMG from Howard and Andrew Davies, Hillhead of Cannahars, Whitecairns.
Both the champion and reserve Charollais came from Eilidh and Erin Duncan, Barnyards, Clola, Mintlaw, who sold their champion, sired by Lowerye Nevis, at 650gns to Emslie Livestock, Kinknockie, Mintlaw.
Champion in the Beltex section was a ram lamb from Stuart Wood’s Woodies flock at Woodhillock, Skene, which sold for 1,050gn to A. W. Mackintosh, Tombreckachie, Glenlivet.
Another from Rory Machray, Bilboa, Daviot, Inverurie, by Drumchapel Replay, realised the same price to Mrs Nancy Fraser, Auchnarrow, Glenlivet.
Champion other pure-bred was a Blue Texel shearling ram from W J and M Hunter, West Cairnhill, Culslamond, which sold for £1,000 to D J Scott, Burnside, Marypark, Ballindalloch.