WHILE ram lambs proved the main attraction and achieved many of the top prices, shearlings met a strong trade throughout and also held up well on the year with eight selling at or above the £10,000 barrier. 

What was more impressive was the fact trade remained strong right to the end of the sale, no doubt buoyed by several of the big names near the end of the ballot.

Having led the trade in the tup lamb ring, the Dalchirla flock also landed the top price among the shearlings when Billy MacFarlane, Drumgrange, paid £30,000 for a shearling. Used as a lamb last year, this fella is by the £10,000 Nunnerie lamb that bred the £12,000 Dalchirla ewe hogg sold earlier in the year, while his dam is by a home-bred son of the £30,000 Aitkenhead. 

Close behind with a final bid of £25,000 was the number one from Elmscleugh which was snapped up by Midlock. His mother, by the £90,000 Dalchirla, produced a shearling sold at Lanark for £8000 last year, while his sire is a home-bred tup that sold for £11,000 as a shearling. 

One of the first shearling sons of the £160,000 Dalchirla, whose lambs reached £25,000 last year for Elmscleugh, sold to Muirfoot, for £16,000. He is out of a ewe by a retained son of a £22,000 Nunnerie. 

An Elmscleugh son of the £5500 Loughash, which also sired last year’s £6500 lamb sold at Fort William, then sold to Troloss and Nunnerie for £6000. His mother is by a different £11,000 Elmscleugh to the previous lamb.

Next in the trade stakes when knocked down to Dalchirla and Midlock for £22,000 was the number one Lurg shearling from Ewen Macmillan. Out of a ewe by the same £50,000 Pole which has bred rams to £24,000, this shearling is among the first crop of sons to sell by the £4200 Connachan bought at Lanark.

He was used at home last year as was the next Lurg shearling, which was bred the same way as the £22,000 shearling and sold to Troloss and Nunnerie for a combined total of £6000.

Contract farmers, Ben Cluckie and Dawn McEwan, doubled their previous best for the High Croach flock and brought in a further £14,000 for two sons of a home-bred ram known as Irn Bru, which is in turn by a £1900 Upper Cleugh. The former, at £20,000, which is out of a £1500 Dalchirla daughter, sold to Alastair and David McArthur, Nunnerie, and David Ferguson, of Drannandow and Markdhu, while the latter, out of a £2000 Pole-bred ewe, sold to Drannandow and Markdhu. 

Sticking with the five-figure sales, two made £10,000 including the first from Mary McCall Smith, Connachan, and shepherd, Scott Macaulay. This ET-bred son of a £4000 Gass, out of a £1200 Lurg-sired ewe, has a full brother retained at Connachan and sold back to Gass and Craignell. 

Also at £10,000 was a shearling son of the £62,000 Dalchirla from Malcolm Couborough, Whelphill, which sold to Michael Ketch, Ballintlea, Eire. His mother is by a loaned Crossflatt sire. 

Father and son team, Alastair and David Macarthur, Nunnerie, sold their best at £9000 to Neil Manning, Tweedshaws. That was a shearling son of the £12,000 Aitkenhead, which has bred Midlock rams to £36,000, while the mother is by a home-bred son of a £24,000 Elmscleugh. 

Elmscleugh then forked out £6000 for another Nunnerie shearling, with this one being by the aforementioned £36,000 Midlock, while the mother is also by the £24,000 Elmscleugh. 

The Macphersons from Balliemeanoch peaked at £7000 for one of the first shearling sons to sell by the £9000 Midlock. Bred out of an £18,000 Crossflatt-sired ewe and used last year, he sold to Michael Wood, Shawesknowe. 

The Kays, of Gass, saw their best sell for £6500 to Gerard Maginn, Chirmorrie; A McCullough, Castlewellan Road, and F McCullough, Drumnaquoilard, both Northern Ireland, and retained a share. He is out of a £4000 Midlock mother, and by a home-bred son of a £12,000 Crossflatt.