NORTH Country Cheviot rams met a steady trade from start to finish at Dingwall, last Friday, when 746 rams cashed in to average £499.93, down just £5.26 on the year but for 43 more sold, with a lead price of £4800 paid for the best from the Kelsocleugh flock.

Despite failing to reach last year's highs of £5500, Dingwall and Highland Marts' auctioneer, Paul Spencer, said breeders would have returned home fairly happy with the day's trade.

"We had a good sale here today, with a firm trade which held up right to the very end and a large ringside of buyers from as far north as Shetland and down into the Borders."

Attracting that top price of £4800 was a two-shear from Jim Thomson and son William, who run two flocks to include 1100 hill ewes at Kelsocleugh, Yetholm, and 900 hill and 500 park ewes at Hownam Grange, Kelso.

By Woodside Ned, a sire which was purchased at Dingwall five years ago, out of a home-bred ewe, he sold to Philiphaugh Estate, Selkirk.

Next in the trade stakes at £3800 was a two-shear from Suisgill Estate, Helmsdale, which also produced two other sales at £2100 and £2000.

Brought out by shepherd, David Henderson, dearest here for the 850-ewe flock was a son of Bailenacraobh Model, a tup which was bought for £7000 at Lairg in 2013, out of a home-bred ewe. A half brother to Suisgill's £13,000 sale leader at Lairg this year, this tup was purchased by Messrs Nicholson, Clebrig, Altnaharra.

Selling for £2100 to Messrs McDowall, Habost, Loch Isle, was a similar aged tup, this time a ram bred by GG MacLeod, 185 Migdale, Bonar Bridge, which Suisgill purchased at the same sale last year for £1700. He stood second in his class at the pre-sale show.

Two rams came under the hammer at £3000, with the first from The Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey Trust's Longoe flock, Caithness. The 60-ewe flock, which is run by Sandy and Danny McCarthy, alongside 50 park type ewes, saw their best, a two-shear by Heathmount Patriot, out of a ewe by Longoe K1058 sell to Gillesbie Farms, Borland, Lockerbie. Used as a shearling at home, this big tup was a part of the third prize group of the three in the pre-sale show.

Matching that price and producing a personal best for George Sutherland who runs 550 ewes under his East Clyne flock at Brora, was a similar aged tup backed fully by home-bred genetics. By a home-bred sire which is a son of a Barrygill tup, out of a home-bred ewe, he went home with Suisgill.

Rosemary Cameron, Thistle Croft House, Portskerra, also produced a personal best for her 72-ewe flock when her shearling made £2100 to Floors Farming, Rawburn, Duns. Selling on just her third year at Dingwall, this son of Brackside Smoking Gun, out of a home-bred ewe by Thistle Neilian, stood second in the show.

Standing overall champion in the pre-sale show, judged by C Bradbury, Satchells, Melrose, was a four-shear from JM Elliot and Partners, Woodside, Kelso, which sold for £1000 to ***, while the reserve honours went to a shearling from George Milne's Kinaldy flock, St Andrews, which made £1200 when purchased by ***.

Joyce Campbell's Armadale flock at Thurso, took the highest flock average when she sold seven rams to average £1600.

* On the same day, the firm sold 273 continental rams which peaked at £900 twice for Texel shearlings, from Veltigar, Tankerness, and Clyth Mains, Occumster.

Auctioneers: Dingwall and Highland Marts


North Country Cheviots

Shearlings – 186 Migdale and 185 Migdale, Bonar Bridge £2000; Allanshaws £1900; Rhifail Farms, Newton of Ferintosh £1600, £1300, £1100; Kinaldy £1200; South Balkeith, Tain £1100, £1000.

Two shear – Suisgill £2000; Inkstack £1900; 101-102 Midtown, Lairg £1800; Armadale £1800; Achentoul, Kinbrace, £1800.

Three shear – Allanshaws, £2000; Rannoch, Tain, £1300; Keoldale SSC, Glengolly, £800, Saluscraggie, Helmsdale, £800.

Four shear and aged – Bardnaclavan and Brackside £1800; Woodside Farm, £1000.

Continentals rams – Bel – Overhouse, £800 (x2); Overhouse, Upper Auchenlay £700. Char – £650 Overhouse; Upper Auchenlay £400. BFL – The Arr £600, £550, £520; Whitebog, Fortrose £500; Broomhill Farm £500. Suff – Stonyford Farm £600, £450 (x2); £420, £400, Whitebog £450, £400. Tex – Veltigar, Clyth Mains £900; Clyth Mains £850; Veltigar £700, £680; Woodside, Muir of Tarradale £350; Balmaglaster £600; Scotscalder £600. Cross – Upper Auchenlay £750, £650; The Arr, £500. Lleyn – £150 Todholes, Thurso.

Flock averages

Flock (No) Top 2017 2016

Suisgill (7) 3800 1600.00

Kelsocleugh (7) 4800 1257.00

Allanshaws (5) 2000 1230.00

Armadale (7) 1800 1185.00

Whitefield (2) 1600 1000.00

Balnakeil (3) 1500 983.00

186 Migdale (6) 2000 916.00

185 Migdale (4) 2000 887.50

Hethpool (13) 1600 880.76

Taldale (4) 1500 875.00

Inkstack (10) 1900 790.00

Castle of Mey (9)3000 777.77

Bardnaclavan (4)1800 762.50

Brackside (8) 1800 737.50

Buchtrig (10) 1150 730.00