Despite the doom and gloom surrounding the industry as a No Deal Brexit appears to be fast approaching,


sheep breeders enjoyed a cracking trade at their breed sale at Carlisle, where averages held up amazingly well – without last year's 65,000gns record bid.

Instead, a much more modest lead – less than half that of the 2018 sale – coupled with a further five shearling sales at or above the 10,000gns mark and another eight selling at 5000gns or more, resulted in sale averages falling just £60 on the year for 21 fewer.

Ram lambs also met a sound trade, with prices peaking at 12,000gns with the 192 changing hands cashing in at £1202, down just £54 for nine more sold compared than the same sale in 2018.

"It was a really good sale from start to finish, and far better than many anticipated with so much uncertainty surrounding the industry," said breed chairman, John Harbinson.

"For averages to hold up as well as they did without a record price is a fantastic result and shows a huge vote of confidence in the Beltex breed from both commercial and pedigree producers."

He added that the veterinary inspection – introduced for the first time here and to be implemented at the main breed sales – also went down well with only 29 tups rejected prior to the sale. This figure is up marginally on the year with the aim being to gradually tighten up on mouths, locomotion and testicles over the next few years. Only six gimmers failed the inspection.

And while some 196 entries were not forward, overall clearance rates also held up well with 86% of the shearling rams finding new homes; 74% of the ram lambs changing hands; 91% of the aged rams selling and 76% of the gimmers forward being cashed.

It was a particularly good couple of days for the Buckles boys – Kevin and sons Jack and Tom – from Buckles Farm, Kirkby Stephen, as they not only topped the tup lamb sale the previous night at 12,000gns, but also produced the lead priced shearling ram at 30,000gns when their best, Buckles Dark Dawn sold to the Taylor family of the 40-ewe Heatheryhall flock from Lanark.

"He is everything we have been looking for in a good stock tup," said Alfie Taylor. "He's got the size, shape and carcase which combined is difficult to get in an animal, but he's also correct throughout and shows great presence and breediness."

For his money he gets one of the best bred animals in the catalogue – an ET bred from a flush from Buckles Annie Power – a former champion winner at the English National Show as a gimmer and daughter of Ardstewart Super Mario, out of Whatmore Ruby ET a former female champion here purchased for 10,000gns. The sire is Ardstewart Armani, an 8000gns buy here in 2016 in partnership with Harry Wood that has bred sons to 6500gns and daughters to 5000gns. Unshown at the pre-sale show, Dark Dawn stood first in his class at Cumberland Show.

Buckles also sold the third top priced shearling, Buckles Dark Intentions at 11,000gns to Angus Mutch, buying for his Heathholm flock from New Yatt, Witney, Oxfordshire. Another bred from previous noted show and sale topping genetics, this entry is the result of a frozen embryo bred from a flush from the Ardstewart Lord Almighty-sired Woodies Natasha, and by the 3600gns Glantre Norris. A full brother to the 6800gns former Scottish National champion, Woodies Rice Crispie, Woodies Ringleader and Woodies Ray of Hope, Dark Intentions was unshown at the pre-sale show but made his mark at last month's Great Yorkshire Show where he stood breed champion. Not surprisingly, Buckles produced the lead flock average, selling nine shearling rams at £5903.

While the Buckles rams were sold relatively early in the day, the second top price of 15,000gns came for one of the last lots sold and in the second ring. This was paid for Alasdair Maclean's No 2, Tiree Donegal – another with an impressive pedigree all the way from the Scottish island. A full brother to previous top breeding rams selling at 8000gns, 4000gns and 2800gns and Tiree Clover, the reserve champion at the Highland in 2018, this big ET is bred from the Woodies Ringleader daughter, Tiree Spice and sired by the 13,000gns Callacrag Wise Crack.

Producing a personal best for this 35-ewe flock, Donegal sold in a three-way split to Lanarkshire breeders, Robert Hamilton who owns the Shawtonhill flock from Strathaven, son James' Mid Shawtonhill flock and Alistair Meikle of the Whindyke flock, who were buying the tup for his size, shape and gigots. He stood sixth in his class at the pre-sale show.

Mr Maclean's pen leader, Tiree Dynamic, another ET, this time bred from a flush from the Corstane Waitangi daughter, Tiree Annette and by Wise Crack, made 5000gns selling to Jim Buchan, Torrax, Lintrathen, Glamis. Dynamic is also a full brother to the 7000gns Tiree Captain sold here last year.

Three shearling came under the hammer for 10,000gns to include Gethin Mathias' second prize winner, Gyffin Dexter, from Tynwern, Ffarmers, Carmarthenshire. Bred by Edward Lewis and bought last year at Ruthin, Dexter is by Smart Ass Buster – another tup bred from a flush from Woodies Rice Crispie – and out of the 3200gns Artnagullion Buttercup, again by Artstewart Armani. Mr Mathias who owns 30 ewes in his Buarth flock retained semen for his own use, with the tup selling to Andrew Morton, Lochend, Denny, Stirling.

It took a team of five to buy the best from Bryan Ryder's 100-strong Ryder ewe flock from Moffat, when Ryder DIY ET made 10,000gns selling to Grant Anderson of the Topflite flock from Dumfries; Grant Maxwell, Faughhill, Bowden, Melrose; Aberdeenshire breeders, Alan Miller, Lurg, Midmar, Inverurie and Stuart Wood, Woolhillock, Skene and Richard Wood of the Kingledores flock from Broughton, Biggar. Their purchase, brought out with assistance of free-lance stockman, Les Charlton, also boasts Glantre Norris in his pedigree as the sire of the dam, Ryder Weetabix ET which goes back to Woodies Panzy. The sire is the 1000gns Rathbone Beckham, a Buckles Whizz Kid son bought in 2017.

First time shearling consignors, Gordon and Lynsey Carroll, who run 30 ewes in their Aberdeenshire-based Edendiack flock from Gartly, Huntly, had plenty to smile about too when they also received 10,000gns for their No 2, Edendiack Darius ET. He is bred from a flush from Airyolland Betty Boo, a Airyolland Pagan daughter purchased for 7000gns at the Beltex Beauties sale in 2017 and sired by the 9000gns Padkin Sugar Daddy. Jeff and Sue Wilkinson, buying for the Langlands flock from Barningham, Richmond, forked out the cash for this entry whose full brother made 3500gns.

Wade and Alison McCrabbe's Ardstewart flock from Raphoe, Lifford, Co Donegal, had a great trade with shearling sales at 9000gns and 7000gns and an average just shy of £3500 for 10. The top two here were rams bred from a flush of Ardstewart Alliance ET, an Ardstewart Mr Bow Jangles daughter and full sister to the 8000gns Ardstewart Armani tup that sired the 30,000gns Buckles Dark Dawn cashed earlier.

Ardstewart Dare Devil ET made 9000gns selling to Buckles, John McGarva, buying for his Horseclose flock from Dumfries, and Neale and Janet McQuistin, Airyolland, New Luce, Stranraer, while Ardstewart Decoy ET, realised 7000gns to the Copeland family's Orkney flock, Overhouse, Harray and Raymond Flaws, buying for the Woodwick flock from Nisthouse, Evie, also Orkney.

Other ET brothers sold at 4200gns and 3800gns to G Morgan, Tyn Y Wern, Corwen and S and M Pickworth, Dotland Park, Hexham, respectively.

Belgian breeders, also made their mark, with Messrs Sprangers, Messian and Jonckheere, forking out 8000gns jointly for young Murray Wood's Swffryd Dakota ET, from Woolhillock, Skene, Aberdeenshire. Bred by Aled Groucott – shepherd for Paul and Christine Tippett's Hackney and Wilodge flocks – and bought at a breed sale in the south as a lamb, this cracker brought out by Murray's father, Stuart, is bred from the Ryder Rooney daughter, Hackney Treacle ET, and sired by the 60,000gns Topflite Al Pacino. A full brother to Mr Groucott's show winning gimmer, Dakota secured the male championship at Turriff earlier in the month.

Jock McMillan and his nephew William, Newton Stewart, were again in the money amongst the shearlings and ram lambs, with the former selling to 7000gns for Clary Dumfries ET. A full brother to the Highland, Stranraer and Wigtown Show champion – Clary Delight – he is bred from Clary Bella, a daughter of the imported sire, Henry V/H/Vrijbos and sired by the 7000gns Hackney Braveheart. Dumfries sold in a three-way split down to Wales with Dafydd Owen, Golygfar Dyffryn, Rowen, Conwy; Sion Jones, Frongoy, Pennant, Dyfed and EC Lewis, Pen-Y-Bryn, Gyffin, buying for the Smart Ass, Frongarth and Gyffin flocks respectively.

Another two shearlings made 7000gns to include, Matthew Jones' Glan-Y-Mor Demon ET, from Ynys, Talsarnau, Gwynedd, purchased by Alfie Taylor, Heatheryhall. He is by the 9000gns Rathbone Tony, a tup sold in 2014 that has bred sons to 12,000gns and is out of the top breeding imported ewe, Noisette Du Bouchi.

Airyolland Deuchars ET, from Neale and Janet McQuistin, New Luce, made the same money, when selling to Andrew and Claire Wood, Withytrees, Preston. Another backed by the best of genetics, he is by the 10,000gns Woodies Big Yin and bred from Airyolland Wummin ET, an Ardstewart Super Mario daughter and full sister to Wee Jimmy.

Just behind on 6000gns, Matthew Burleigh sold his fourth prize winner from the pre-sale show, Matt's Dexy Midnight ET, from Shanra, Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, to Cheshire-based breeding sheep producer, Paul Slater, Dandy Farm, Adlington. This shearling is bred from the Hackney Warrior daughter Matt's Adelle ET which bred a 3500gns ewe lamb last year, and sired by Murrays Code ET, a 2000gns ram lamb purchase here in 2017 that also bred the first prize ewe lamb at the NI National Show in 2018.

Top price aged ram at 5200gns was Ross and Kirsty Williams' Langlands Bruiser, from Upper Tullochbeg, Huntly. This two-shear bought here last year for 13,000gns, stood male champion at the Highland in 2018 and has had semen retained for future use. The breeding behind this big tup that was knocked down to Neil Caul, of the Balkello flock; S and A Moore for their Balhall flock; and Gregor Yarr of the Witton flock, all from Angus, Tayside, includes the sire Smart Ass Alfie, onto Beautry Trudy.


Shearling rams – 4200gns – MR and JE Davis' Rathbone Desperado ET, by Kingledores Adonis ET, to TC Brown, Claughton, Lancaster and Messrs Towers, Wray, Lancaster: M Wood's Woodies Dapper, by Woodies Adonis ET, to W and A McCrabbe, Ardstewart; W and A McCrabbe's Ardstewart Daxton ET, by Iglo V/D Drie Musschen, to G Morgan, Tyn Y Wern, Corwen; A Morton's Mortons Dexy ET, by Hackney Braveheart ET, to E Jones, Craig Coch, Nebo, Wales.

4000gns – AJ Wood's Withy Trees Defender, by Jewitt Blazing Heat ET, to R and K Williams, Upper Tullochbeg, Huntly and J Young, Muirton, Alford; A Baillie's Callacrag Dictator, by Hackney Braveheart ET, to A MacLean, Heylipol, Isle of Tiree and M Dunlop, Corstane, Broughton, Biggar.

Averages: 10 Aged rams, £1319.85 (-£20 for 10 fewer); 687 shearling rams, £1152.07 (-£60 for 21 fewer sold).

Auctioneers: Harrison and Hetherington.

FLOCK averages

Shearling rams

Flock (No) Top (Gns) Average (£)

Faughill (7) 3000 817.50

Cynin (6) 900 682.50

Woodhow (3) 1200 962.50

Yorkie (7) 1050 900.00

Kininmonth (3) 950 910.00

Glenisla (3) 720 532.00

Hallcrake (4) 800 598.50

Borderesk (10) 1600 887.25

Matt's (10) 6000 1795.50

Tacherhill (7) 900 532.50

Coolough (3) 700 542.50

Belvoir View (3) 2000 1102.50

Gregors (6) 900 673.75

Cranes (7) 600 408.00

Buckles (9) 30,000 5903.33

Blackadder (3) 500 525.00

Skiddaw View (6) 1800 1172.50

Broughton (7) 1300 832.50

Glantre (5) 3000 1291.50

Tercrosset (10) 1400 1081.50

Loandhu (4) 350 341.25

Tiptop (7) 800 547.50

Hackney (5) 2000 1354.50

Quarrymount (7) 1100 907.50

Corbelly (3) 800 630.00

Black Jack (9) 1600 892.50

Rathbone (10) 4200 1359.75

Annahilt (4) 500 485.63

Uppercleugh (8) 2200 892.50

Glan-y-mor (6) 7000 2485.00

Beechtree (5) 500 399.00

Withy Trees (10) 4000 1359.75

Liscon (4) 1000 800.63

Criffel (9) 1100 659.17

Finniness (5) 850 703.50

Culsh (8) 2100 918.75

Airyolland (10) 7000 2226.00

Langlands (7) 1000 667.50

Glenkeen (5) 550 472.50

Heber Park (6) 1800 787.50

Bonecastle (6) 2000 1134.00

Orkney (9) 2200 898.33

Bessy Bell (7) 1000 675.00

Barrule (5) 500 361.20

Ainstable (5) 900 657.30

Ravara (7) 750 597.00

Harridale (4) 1100 669.38

Woodies (9) 2400 1260.00

Freckleton (3) 480 483.00

Edendiack (3) 10,000 5005.00

Dooley (4) 1400 1089.37

Muirton (11) 2200 830.45

Vicky's (4) 700 504.00

Ring 3


Castlemeadow (4) 520 519.75

Highfield (5) 580 443.10

Speir (5) 520 476.70

Aviemore (10) 3600 1480.50

Proctors (10) 3500 1716.75

Lyonpark (5) 1500 903.00

Balbrydie (5) 650 514.50

Brothertoft (9) 400 337.17

Jewitt (9) 2000 995.17

Brickrow (8) 1600 728.44

Ainstable (9) 1300 991.67

Maple Tree (6) 550 540.75

Callacrag (8) 4000 1804.69

Beechcross (9) 1350 1001.00

Rennie (3) 800 595.00

Todhall (9) 2600 1435.00

Wilodge (3) 1000 945.00

Brownville (6) 1500 927.50

Kingledores (10) 1800 1223.25

Stonedge (8) 2000 1148.44

Cromwell (8) 1600 790.13

Glenpark (8) 3000 1095.94

Macleans (3) 2000 1785.00

Riverside (4) 450 414.75

Horseclose (5) 1000 672.00

Murrays (8) 8000 2493.75

Ardstewart (10) 9000 3480.75

Hillview (6) 500 364.00

Beachy (5) 1000 678.30

Ryder (10) 10,000 2425.50

Ballycreelly (5) 500 424.20

Caberfeidh (3) 1500 857.50

Ochtermuthill (7) 1100 855.00

Myna (7) 1700 1042.50

Tredath (3) 600 455.00

Deekabout (4) 1260.00

Munreary (4) 700 511.88

Dragon (3) 300 315.00

Corra (10) 900 619.50

Clary (9) 7000 1825.83

Artnagullion (7) 2000 1515.00

Tweeddale (10) 1200 819.00

Mortons (3) 4200 3360.00

Cree (6) 1100 644.00

Corstane (4) 600 511.88

Tiree (10) 15,000 3058.65

Bronic (4) 1200 945.00

Panbeck (6) 1400 703.50