Despite a top bid of £18,000 and another two at five-figures, ram lamb averages slipped on the year at the Bluefaced Leicester association sale at Carlisle, which attracted an entry of 1268 registered sheep to include sections for traditional and crossing types.

In saying that, an average in excess of £900 for crossing type ram lambs, is still pretty impressive, while shearling rams from the same section improved on the year.

It was a great day for Hexham breeders John and Mandy Smith-Jackson who own the Shafthill flock too, when they sold the £18,000 sale leader. This was the pen leader, a son of the G30 Midlock, a £3500 purchase at Longtown, which in turn was sired by Midlock Mustang. Bred from the best ewe in the flock, by the home-bred C2 Shafthill which goes back to Z4 Hundith, his dam is also a full sister to the Shafthill F2 Greentag – the flock's best crossing sire. The lamb sold in a two-way split to Kirkby Stephen-based, Richard Hutchinson, who attends to the Kirkby Redgate flock and Jack Lawson, Hundith, Aspatria, Wigton.

More than financing that transaction, Kirkby Redgate received £15,000 for their first lamb, a son of the J1 Sealhouses bought at Hawes last year, out of a ewe by D17 Hewgill, nicknamed 'stork' for the length of his legs. Northern Ireland breeders, Lee Beacom, Lakeview and Paul O’Conner, Drumgooland, each shelled out £7500 apiece to take this tup across the Irish Sea.

Welsh breeder, Michael James, was also in the money when his number two lamb was selected pre-sale champion by the judge, Neil Allan, and went on to sell for £10,000.

A son of the home-bred H45 Duhonw, out of a ewe by D8 Hundith, he was knocked down to Fred and Ruth Prescott of the Harkerside flock, from Reeth, Richmond.

Martyn Archer's Carry House flock from Hexham was another in the money, taking £7000 for a son of the £14,000 Carry House Jackpot. He is out of a ewe by the D15 Smearsett whose mother was bred at Kilnstown, going back to Y1 Midlock, and sold to Colin Dick, Hamildean, Stobo, Peebles, and Allan McArthur, Cretlevane, Balfron.

Other top prices saw K and HA Ridley, Allenshields, Consett, sell the best from their Shaw Head flock at £5500 for the first time selling at an association sale, on the back of their Mule ewe lamb sale at Lazonby which peaked at £178. Half the lambs in that pen were by G17 Gragareth, a two shear bought at Hawes last year and the sire of their £5500 lamb. He was bought by T Carrick and Son, High Crossgill, Garrigill, Alston and JP Lee, Morley Hill, Whitfield, Hexham.

Just behind, on £5000, Allan Wight and son Ben, Midlock, Crawford, sold another Midlock Mustang son out of a daughter of C2 Hewgill that has already bred sons to £12,000 and £8000, to JH Critchlow, buying for the Paddhen flock from Ashbourne, Derbyshire and Messrs Brood, Cottage Farm, Callow Hill, Reddith.

Traditional Blues were also back on the year, however, more ram lambs were sold in this section, which was led by a £5100 sale for MC Roberts' Myfyrian flock from Gaerwen, Anglesey. A son of the £7000 G2 Street bought out of Carlisle a couple of years back and out of a six-year-old ewe by Z1 Espley, he was second in his class to the reserve champion, in the performance related class, and sold to Tudor Harris of the Bonvilston flock, Cardiff.

The champion, from veteran breeder Frank Johnson of the Ashes flock from West Shipley, Bishop Auckland, made £4800. A son of the J1 Carrog, out of a good breeding ewe by the B1 Addingham, he was knocked down to Derek Henderson, Burndale, Allendale, Hexham.

Alan McClymont's Kirkstead flock from Yarrow, enjoyed a canny trade ably assisted by sons, Sam and Oliver, selling to a top of £3200 for the first prize winner at the Highland that went on to stand reserve male. He is by the G1 Burndale, which stood champion at the 2016 Highland Show, while his dam is an old show ewe, by the A1 Carry House. The Grays from Game Keepers Cottage, Espley, Morpeth, were the final bidders.

The Burndale tup was also the sire of Kirkstead's number three, which went on to make £3100. This lamb is out of a ewe by F3 Myfrian and was bought by Dewi Williams from the Elian flock in North Wales.

Two lambs made £3000gns to include an entry from Robert Neill's Rossiebank flock from Dunning, purchased by JEG Shand, Street House and R Murdoch, 19 Springfields, both Wigton. He is by a home-bred ram retained fro breeding that goes back to a Lowes Fell sire.

The second at £3000 came late in the sale when Derek Henderson, sold the second lamb from his Burndale flock to DL Jones, Ddole, Llandindrod Wells. He is by the H3 Lower Down, a £3900 purchase out of Builth a few years back.


Crossing type – Ram lambs – £4000 – WC Porter and Son, Riddings, by a J2 Carry House Jackpot, to J Herdman, Newtown, Edlingham, Alnwick, WH Sharp and Son, Newbigging Walls, Lauder, C Campbell, Easter Happrew, Peebles and W Hedley, No 1 Corsbie Cottages, Earlston.

Aged rams – £3600 – JRF Pattinson, Hott Bank, by a G4 Crow Hall, to J Herdman, Newtown, Edlingham, WH Sharp and Son, Newbigging Walls, C Campbell, Easter Happrew, and W Hedley, No 1 Corsbie Cottages.


Crossing type

Shearling rams

Flock (No) Average (£)

Gapshield (7) 1735.00

Duhonw (3) 1433.00

Kilnstown (9) 1283.00

Quarry House (6) 1233.00

Hott Bank (5) 1080.00

Hanging Wells (3) 1033.00

Sewing Shields (3) 883.00

Nunscleugh (12) 850.00

Scrogton (5) 820.00

Kirkton (4) 812.00

Ram lambs

Kirkby Redgate (4) 5250.00

Shafthill (6) 4233.00

Midlock (4) 2800.00

Duhonw (7) 2400.00

Riddings (3) 2200.00

Blarnavaid (5) 2160.00

Carry House (11) 1731.00

Marriforth (3) 1633.00

Cretlevane (6) 1533.00

Dawyck (6) 1175.00

Yore House (5) 1060.00

Hassiewells (4) 1050.00

Lunesdale (3) 1033.00

Traditional type

Shearling rams

Braegarrie (3) 550.00

Cassington (4) 492.00

Elian (4) 445.00

Ram lambs

Kirkstead (4) 2600.00

Myfyrian (4) 1610.00

Ashes (6) 1425.00

Whinny Hall (8) 1168.00

Rossiebank (10) 1111.00

Burndale (10) 868.00

Auchry (9) 761.00

Middle Dukesfield (5) 740.00

Crai Yr Orsedd (3) 540.00

Lakeview (7) 518.00

Averages: Crossing type – 311 ram lambs, £909.82 (-£12.15 for 35 fewer); 156 shearling rams, £718.08 (+£25.84 for four more); 42 females, £329.76. Traditional type – 202 ram lambs, £590.10 (-£47.47 for 29 more sold); 48 shearling rams, £408.96 (-£142.20 for 98 fewer); 43 females, £446.74.