A TEXEL gimmer from Graham Morrison paved the way at the pedigree sale of sheep at the Christmas Classic, at Thainstone, on Monday, when it sold for the lead price of 3500gns – 1000gns short of last year's centre record price.

Sale leader from Mr Morrison’s Deveronvale flock at Inchbruich, Cornhill, was a daughter of the 1200gns Knap Yard Master, out of a ewe by Strathbogie Terminator. A maternal sister to the 1900gns Deveronvale Warrior, she changed hands due with twins by the Strathbogie Yes Sir-sired, Deveronvale Aftershock, to Bert and Elma Alexander, Auchenbreddie, Insch.

The flock sold another gimmer for 2200gns to Highfield Farming, The Knock, Duns. A daughter of the £60,000 Strathbogie Yes Sir, she is out of one of the best Strathbogie Terminator ewes in the flock and also sold due with twins by Deveronvale Aftershock.

Next at 3000gns, was another gimmer by Knap Yardmaster, this time from the Hunter family, at West Cairnhill, Culsalmond, Insch. Reserve champion at Fettercairn Show, she is out of a Strathbogie Stud daughter, the flock’s foundation ewe and sold scanned with twins by Craig Douglas Blackjack, to S Ferris, Dromore, Northern Ireland.

Two Texels made 2000gns including the pre-sale champion from Kenny Pratt’s Hilltop flock from Old Town Farm, Peterculter. Selling to J Foster, Castlederg, Co Tyrone, was a gimmer by the 32,000gns Arkle Ying Yang in lamb to the Knock Yardsman son, Garngour Alabama.

The reserve champion from Robbie Wilson’s 50-ewe Milnbank flock, North Dorlaithers, Turriff, made the same when selling to Caithness breeder, Douglas Webster, Lower Reiss, Wick. This Strathbogie Yes Sir daughter is due with triplets by Auldhouseburn Billy The Kid.

Leading the Suffolk section at 2400gns was the pre-sale champion from George and Melvin Stuart’s Birness flock, Milton of Birness, Ellon. This was a ewe lamb by Limestone Legend, a tup which sired the reserve champion here last year, bred out of a home-bred ewe by Ballynacannon Commander. She sold to Louise MacAullay, Easter Coxton, Elgin.

Minutes before, the Stuarts received 2100gns for a ewe lamb by the jointly purchased Limestone Legacy, a son of Strathbogie A Kind of Magic, whose first three sons averaged £21,000. Second in its class and out of another Ballynacannon Commander ewe, she was snapped up by Finn Christie, Newton of Balquhain, Pitcaple, Inverurie.

The same home topped the Suffolk gimmers at 2000gns with a Limestone Legend daughter, bred out of a Ardlea Champion ewe. Scanned with a single by Limestone Legacy, she was knocked down to R McLaughlin, Malin Stables, Malin Town, County Donegal.

Heading up the Beltex at 2300gns was Stuart Wood’s champion from Woolhillock, Skene, Westhill. Woodies Cobwebb, an ET bred from the imported ewe Madona Du Bouchi, and sired by Woodies Thug, was bought by the pre-sale judge, Gordon Carroll, Edindiack, Huntly, carrying twins by the 7000gns Aviemore Casinova.

The Hunters were back in the money with Blue Texels when they sold the gimmer, Hunters Bunty for 1000gns to Anside Pedigree, Braehead, Drummuir, Keith. She is in-lamb to Sams Chancer.

Thomas Smith, Netherton, Whitehouse, Alford, forked out the same money for Sash Moyes’ Saltire Blue Bell, a gimmer from her flock at Woolhillock, Skene. A daughter of the 3300gns Hackey Your Joking, she is in lamb to Saltire Awesome which stood second at the Highland in 2017.

averages: Beltex – six ewe lambs, £169.75 (-£70.25 for four less); 17 gimmers, £576.26 (+£62.84 for two less). Suffolk – seven ewe lambs, £1237.50 (+£778.93 for the same); nine ewes, £431.67 (+£55 for three more); 32 gimmers, £732.38 (+£260.44 for four more). Texel – six ewe lambs, £306.25; 60 gimmers, £705.08 (-£154.71 for four less).

Auctioneers: Aberdeen and Northern Marts