Hampshire Down sheep met a disappointing trade for the breed's first premier sale at Shrewsbury Auction Mart, last weekend, where averages slipped in both the male and the female sections.

The sale which moved from its previous location at Stratford, was topped at 1350gns by ram lamb from new breeders, Matthew Jones and Rebecca Smith, of the Birchfield flock from Telford, Shropshire. A son of Yarcombe Flashman, out of a Ballycreelly-bred ewe by Ballycreelly What the Devil, he sold in a two-way split to D and D Middleditch and Son, Sudbury, Suffolk and Harry Elsden, Hertford.

Yarcombe Flashman was also behind the second top priced lamb at 1200gns, from KP and AE McCarthy's Ballycreelly flock from Co Down, purchased by James Dickson, buying for his Jamrin flock from Carmarthen. He stood first in his class at the Irish National earlier in the year and also won top honours in the ram lamb class at the UK National show, the previous day.

Flying the flag for Scotland, Richard Brand, East Fortune, North Berwick, sold his Highland Show champion, a ram lamb for 820gns, and another at 850gns. The dearest, by East Fortune Balfour a Westland Domino son, was knocked down to Lewis Knight of the Westland flock, Chippenham, while the 820gns sale came for a son of East Fortune Eros, and was bought by Julie Young, Pembrokeshire.

Topping the female trade at 660gns was a gimmer from Graham and Judith Galbraith's Graylen flock from Kendal. She is by Kelsey Icon and headed home with new breeders Messrs Meaden, Shropshire.

Averages: Shearling rams, £546 (-£157); ram lambs, £650 (-£3); 28 gimmers, £439.25 (-£89.75); ewe lambs, £394.33 (-£26.67).

Auctioneers: Halls. Shrewsbury.