Growing demand and indeed confidence in the Texel sheep breed resulted in a monumental trade at the Scottish National Show and Sale at Lanark, where prices soared to a near record breaking 200,000gns, for what most believed to be the best tup lamb seen for a number of years.

Selling at just 20,000gns shy of Graham Morrison's 220,000gns record priced Deveronvale Perfection, sold here in 2009, was Karen and Allan Wight's Midlock Capaldi, a mid-March born lamb from Midlock, Crawford, which sold in just three minutes and within the final five minutes of this 8.5hour event.

Even more impressive is the fact that the lamb, which not only boasted that all important charismatic, breedy head and modern tight coat, was also structurally and physically correct throughout. Furthermore, he was bred from generations of good stockmanship, rather than any huge five-figure priced rams or females.

“He’s and exceptionally correct lamb with style and character, coupled with a great carcase. We knew from the minute we saw him, he was the one to add the next level to our flock," said Alan Blackwood, who together with his father Hugh, Auldhouseburn, Muirkirk, bought the lamb in partnership with Charlie Boden, buying for the Sportsmans and Mellor Vale flocks from Stockport.

Unshown at the pre-sale show, this cracker is a son of Knock Bantastic, a 12,000gns purchase at Carlisle last year, in partnership Steven Renwick, Craig Douglas, and the Clarks at Garngour, which in turn was sired by the 24,000gns Allanfauld Am The Man.

On the dam's side, Capaldi is bred a flush from a Midlock ewe by the 32,000gns Mullan Amigo, that goes back to a Garngour-bred female bought privately some years ago for bargain price.

Adding to the celebrations the Wights – Allan and Karen, and family of Ben, Katie and Andrew – who run 50 ewes in their Texel flock alongside the family's equally well-known Bluefaced Leicester and Blackface ewe flocks at Midlock also received 13,000gns for their No 2, Midlock Cobra, which was knocked down to Paul and Christine Tippets, buying for their Wilodge flock from Shifnal, Shropshire. Another by Knock Bantastic and out of a Mullan Amigo-sired dam, Cobra is bred from the best breeding line at Midlock with his dam being a full sister to the 22,000gns Midlock Avicii.

With another lamb at 2800gns, the Wights produced the lead flock average at £75,530 for three.

Outwith this flying trade, a further 21 tup lambs hit the magical five-figure bracket which combined with the 220,000gns bid – that added £673 to average – helped bolster the overall sale average to £3362.94. This was however, down £54 on last year's record breaking trade which saw just 20 lambs sell for 10,000gns or more backed up by lead prices of 125,000gns and 75,000gns.

And, while prices soared for the cream of the crop, the commercial trade was fairly dreich, with no fewer than 181 failing to find new homes. A point highlighted by Archie Hamilton, a Texel breeder and head auctioneer at Lawrie and Symington's Lanark Centre who also sold the 200,000gns lamb.

"There were plenty of men there to buy the top end pedigree and best of the commercial sheep, but there were not the producers there in any numbers to buy commercial tups. People don't want to buy a commercial tup in August and have to keep it until October/November," said Mr Hamilton.

John Yates, chief executive of the British Texel Sheep Society, remained nevertheless extremely confident for the future of the breed.

“The sale saw the highest number of gimmers sold in more than 13 years, reflecting the demand from both new and existing breeders for top drawer Texel genetics.

“Amongst the ram lambs, the sale saw 17 more sold compared to the same sale in 2018, again driven by the demand for quality tups for the forthcoming season. With more catalogued as a result of an increasing number of new vendors at the sale, the clearance rate reflects the levels seen at other early season pedigree sales."

Furthermore, he added that the atmosphere throughout the two-day event had been buoyant.

“There is no doubt that despite some current political uncertainties Texel breeders have faith in the breed and are placing Texels firmly at the heart of their farming businesses going forward.

“That confidence is feeding back up from the commercial sector where Texel cross lambs continue to earn premium prices thanks to their ability to meet the strict market specification demanded by both processors and retailers. It should be remembered that Texel-sired prime lambs outperform the industry average in this respect with 20% more Texel cross lambs meeting specification compared to the rest of the industry.

“The breed’s performance as both a terminal and maternal breed is at the core of the UK sheep industry and it continues to provide commercial producers with large numbers of saleable lambs no matter where in the UK you look.”

The Clarks from Gargnour, Lesmahagow – Helen and sons, Alan, Andrew and David – also enjoyed a good couple of days, producing their first pre-sale champion here which went on to sell for the second top price of 65,000gns. This was Garngour Craftsman, a son of the 17,000gns Silvermere Baltic bought here last year, bred from a flush from a home-bred ewe by the 8000gns Mossvale Winston.

Maternal brother to the 40,000gns Garngour Alabama with the dam also being a maternal sister to the £29,000 Garngour Awesome sold last year at Kelso and last year's reserve winner here, the 17,000gns Garngour Bullet, Craftsman, sold to the pre-sale judge, Charlie Boden, with a share later selling to Vaughan Farms, Kingsland, Herefordshire.

The Clark boys' Teiglum flock came up with the goods earlier in the day too, selling a Teiglum Charmer for 12,000gns to Keith, Allan and Roy Campbell, buying for their Cowal flock from Lochgoilhead. Bred from a full sister to Alabama, this ET lamb is by Knock Bantastic and out of a ewe by Knock Yardsman.

While the majority of top prices were in the second half of the sale, an early morning calling for Brian and George Hanthorn's Mullan flock from Tynan, Co Armagh, paid dividends, when they received 48,000gns and 9000gns for ET sons of Deveronvale Aftershock. Dearest was Mullan Camikaze, a mid-March born lamb bred from the second prize ewe lamb at Castlewellan show last year – a home-bred daughter of Teiglum Younggun. Fourth in the performance class at the pre-sale show, Camikaze sold to Gordon and David Gray, Ettick, Selkirk; William Knox and sons Graeme and Andrew, Mid Haddo, Turriff; Robin and Caroline Orr, Halbeath, Dunfermline; Andrew Neilson, East Brackenridge, Strathaven and Archie and John MacGregor, Allanfauld, Kilsyth.

Minutes later, Danny Hair, sold his first prize winner in the YDP class from his 22-ewe Drumbreddan flock which runs alongside a much bigger Blackie unit based near Ardwell, Stranraer, for 32,000gns, to Mike and Melanie Alford, buying for their select Foxhill flock from Devon. Living up to his name here was Drumbreddan Centre of Attention, a March-born ET lamb bred from a show gimmer by the 12,000gns Knap Yorkie and sire by the 24,000gns Midlock Yorkie.

Will Davis, another novice breeder with just 10 pedigree Texel ewes in his Usk Vale flock from Maesmawr, Glascoed, Pontypool, Monmouthshire, also had plenty to celebrate for his second year selling at the Scottish National, with sales at 36,000gns and 13,000gns twice, for sons of the 8000gns Hexel Born to Be Wild. Tops here was Usk Vale Cheeky Charlie, which is bred from a home-bred ewe by Strathbogie Ya Belter going back to a foundation Grougfoot female. David McKerrow and sons David and James, Nochnary, Freuchie, Fife; Bruce Renwick, Castlecairn, Kelso; Bryden Nicolson, Knockem, Duns and Procters Farm, Slaidburn, managed by Jeff and Jennifer Aiken, were the final bidders.

His full brother, Usk Vale Captain Billy, was the first to sell for 13,000gns when selling back down to Wales with DR and DP Jones, of the Kitrob flock from Cefn Cae'r Ferch, Gwynedd.

Jack Arnott and his father Tom, buying for the Haymount flock from Kelso, bought the second 13,000gns lamb, Usk Vale Crackerjack. He is bred from a flush from the privately purchased Grougfoot ewe by Castlecairn Vavavoom.

On the debit side, Usk Vale and James Theyer of the Clanfield flock from Little Clanfield, Oxford, joined forces to buy the 24,000gns Hope Valley C The Stars from Shropshire breeder, Rob Evans, Fox Farm, Minsterley. Champion at Newport and male champion at Shropshire Show, this entry is backed by Sportsmans genetics on both sides with the dam being a Clinterty Yogi Bear-sired ewe lamb and maternal sister to the 130,000gns Sportsmans A Star, bought privately last year from Mr Boden. The sire is Sportsmans Belter, by Fordafourie Amalert.

Aberdeenshire breeders also made their presence felt with a quartet of breeders going to 20,000gns for the No 1 from Rob Bennett's Plasucha flock from Meiford, Powys. Plasucha Cheeky Charlie, an ET backed by home-bred genetics on both sides, is bred from a flush from a Kelso Wiseman daughter that is a ET sister to the 32,000gns Plasucha Young Gun, while the sire is the 11,000gns Plasucha All Star, a Knock Yankee-sired lamb of which a share was retained last year. Cheeky Charlie sold to Graham Morrison, of the Deveronvale flock from Inchbruich, Banff; Robbie Wilson, Milnbank, Turriff; Kenny Pratt, Hilltop, Peterculter, and Jim Inness, Strathbogie, Huntly.

Matching that bid was the best from Stuart Barclay, who enjoyed a cracking trade for entries from his 35-ewe Harestone flock from Insch, Aberdeenshire. His Harestone Central Bank is bred from a Garngour ewe bought privately that is a full sister to Garngour Alabama and sired by the 24,000gns Teiglum Braveheart. He sold to Lanarkshire breeders, Malcolm Coubrough, Hartside, Lamington and Allan Campbell, Strawfrank, Carstairs Junction.

Mr Barclay, who was selling here for the third time, also took 15,000gns for Harestone Commander, a March-born lamb bred from a home-bred ewe by Glenside Will-I-am. He is by Rhaeadr Ace, and headed home with Gary Beacom buying for his Lakeview flock from Northern Ireland with a smaller share selling to Nathan Armstrong, Lisbellow, Co Fermanagh.

Charlie and Steph Boden and family of Josh, Rosie and Tom, sold two at five figures and to a top of 17,000gns from their Sportsmans flock from Stockport, Cheshire. Their best, Sportsmans Cannon Ball, a direct son of the 40,000gns Garngour Alabama, bred from a ewe by Clinterty Yogi Bear that is a maternal sister to Sportsmans A Star, was knocked down to Midlock; Robert Cockburn, buying for his Knap flock from Hill of Errol, Perth and Steven Renwick, of the Craigdouglas flock from Peebles.

Minutes later, Sportsmans Conquest, bred from a ewe by Teiglum Younggun and sired by Plasucha Big Gun, made 11,000gns selling to Welsh breeders, Idris Morris, Fachell, Caernarfon and HG and IE Williams of the Llyfni flock from Arddol, Pontlyfni.

Procters Farm enjoyed one of their best ever sales too with three lambs at 10,000gns or more and their pen of eight all by the 100,000gns Sportsmans Batman. The flock, managed by Jeff and Jennifer Aitken, also produced their second prize pen of three at the pre-sale show, with two of those lambs selling at 16,000gns and 11,000gns. The dearest Procters Cocktail which is from the same family as the 9000gns Proctors Vagabond, with the grand-dam being a full sister to Procters Vicki, is out of a ewe by Strathbogie Ya Belter. He sold to five Irish breeders to include Alastair Gault, Forkins, Newtownabbey; Richard Henderson, Ballynahone, Magherafelt; John Green, Larahirl, and R Docherty, Urrisman, both Co Donegal and R McLaughlin, Clara, Isle of Doagh.

Making 11,000gns was Procters Candycrush, another bred from a Younggun daughter. Full brother to Procters Cinderella, the inter-breed champion at the Royal Welsh, he sold to Rob Evans, Hope Valley.

David Morrison, Dalwyne, Barr and John Gilmour, Humeston, Maybole, joined forces to buy another Procters lamb out of a Younggun daughter at 12,000gns. This was Procters Cheeky Monkey, a full brother to the reserve overall champion at the Royal Welsh Show.

Peter Woof's Stainton flock from Kendal is never far away from the top prices and he again came up with the goods, selling Stainton Coca Cola for 16,000gns to R Gallagher, Carrowcarden, Enniscrone, Co Sligo, Eire. Producing a personal best for this 80-ewe flock was a son of the 15,000gns Auldhouseburn Bolt, out of a home-bred ewe by Sportsmans Tremendous.

Just behind, on 13,000gns George Wilkinson, Arkleby, Wigton, sold Ellen Valley Caesar, another Silermere Baltic son, this time out of a ewe by Eden Valley Y Not, to Robbie Wilson, Milnbank and the Greens at Corskie, Garmouth, Fochaber.

Top price for Hugh and Alan Blackwood's Auldhouseburn flock was 12,000gns for their own Capaldi, which sold in a three-way split by JR and G Foster, Meaghy, Castlederg; F Clewer, Tullybleaty, Cloy, Aughna and N Myle, Legaltion, Ballyshannon, Donegal.

And, at 10,000gns, Northern Ireland breeder, Roger Strawbridge, Gortgranagh, Coleraine, sold his pen leader, Tamnamoney Colt, to Stephen Cobbald, Acton Hall, Sudbury. He is by Deveronvale Aftershock and a maternal brother to the 5000gns Tamnamoney Bullseye, being out of a home-bred ewe by Duncryne Uber Cool – a former champion winner at Carlisle.

Averages: 343 ram lambs, £3362.94 (-£54.10 for 18 more sold).


Ram lambs – 9000gns – B Hawthorn's Mullan Chancellor, by Deveronvale Aftershock, to I Murray, East Horton, Wooler; T and I Walling, Over Whitlaw, Selkirk and EA and L Jackson, Rugley, Alnwick; J Innes and Sons' Strathbogie Cannonball, by Sportsmans Benchmark, to J Draper, Claybury, Shropshire.

8500gns – S Barclay's Harestone Celtic Tiger, by Teiglum Braveheart, to CG Ball, Upper Cwm Farm, Llandeilio; Messrs Hughes and Partners, Trewalenfis, Cow Bridge and OJ Watkins, Caenantmelyn, Hay on Wye; Procters Farm's Procters Class Act, by Sportsmans Batman, to C and C Harkin, Loughash, Co Tyrone.

7500gns – J and C Connell's Lauder Cobra, by Milnbank Bacardi, to M and C Millar, Glenleary Road, Coleraine, Northern Ireland; R Bennett's Plasucha Coming King, by Plasucha All Star, to W Dunlop, Elmscleugh, Dunbar

7000gns – RH Wilson's Milnbank Cobra, by Auldhouseburn Billy The Kid, to M Fear, Felton House, Felton; Boden and Davies' Sportsmans Columbo, by Garngour Alabama, to PC Castle, Ulmuswashingley, Peterborough; K Pratt's Hilltop Cobra, by Sportsmans Benchmark, to P and L Philips, Old Vicarage, Kimbolton and JM and CE Mitchell, Tewskesbury and S Richardson, Mount Pleasant, Great Orton.

6000gns – A Campbell's Strawfrank C'Est Bon, by Haddo Breadwinner, to S Michie, Mintlaw, Peterhead and M Seed, Home Farm, Auchry, Turriff; R Strawbridge's Tamnamoney Caviar, by Scotsman Avici to B Buchan, Clinterty, New Aberdour, Fraserburgh; J and H Clark's Garngour Challenger, by Kingspark Bentley, to M Priestley, Drumgooland Road, Seaforde, Downpatrick; J Stewart, Stanleybrae, Comber, Newtownards; J Wilkinson, Kilcronagh Road, Ballygrugen, Cookstown, all Northern Ireland.

5500gns – J Cullen's Craighead Crusader, by Foradourie Amalert, to J and H Clark, Garngour, Lesmahagow; G Gray's Ettrick Cockney Rebel, by Garngour Awesome, to Dalchirla Farms, Muthill, Crieff and J MacGregor, Dyke, Milton of Campsie.

FLOCK averages

Flock (No) Top (gns) Averages

2019 2018

Glenside (7) 3200 762.00 966

Mullan (5) 48,000 13,608.oo --

Ballynahone (5) 4800 1974.00 2072

Boghouse(3) 7500 3185.00 --

Orchilmore (3) 500 507.50 595

Thacka (3) 1000 707.00 --

Cambwell (4) 1200 905.63 1663

Lower Reiss (4) 2000 1050.00 1811

Crailloch (6) 3000 2117.50 945

Cornmore (4) 1100 632.62 1190

Lauder (3) 7500 2940.00 --

Milnbank (7) 7000 3120.00 3925

Stawfrank (3) 6000 3360.00 --

Strathbogie (7) 9000 2467.50 7105

Forkins (5) 2800 1385.50 3177

Tullylagan (3) 1600 1050.00 533

Plasucha (4) 21,000 8583.75 12,642

Rue Wood (3) 5000 2117.50 --

Teiglum (3) 12,000 5600.00 3281

Rhaeadr (3) 2200 1505.00 --

Harestone (5) 20,000 10,332.00 893

Cairnam (3) 900 682.50 1457

Tamnamoney (6) 10,000 4033.75 4498

Craignathro (3) 900 665.00 --

Cwmcerrig (3) 800 490.00 --

Sportsmans (8) 17,000 5801.25 5760

Hexel (4) 3500 1627.50 5443

Clanfield (3) 700 479.50 --

Ettrick (5) 5500 2488.50 2751

Humeston (4) 1400 727.12 --

Deveronvale (4) 1800 1233.75 --

Stainton (6) 16,000 4340.00 473

Knock (4) 4500 3018.75 12,320

Usk Vale (3) 36,000 21,700.00 1313

Charben (3) 650 472.50 --

Millars (5) 1200 745.50 --

Haddo (6) 2000 1207.50 --

Kingspark (3) 2600 1400.00 2625

Procters (7) 16,000 8323.57 1750

Knap (5) 1700 1071.00 4074

Tophill (3) 1000 700.00 756

Eden Valley (3) 1400 551.25 --

Garngour (3) 65,000 25,550.00 --

Cowal (3) 800 630.00 5682

Springwell (3) 2500 1382.50.00 --

Auldhouseburn (3) 12,000 5110.00 21,963

Hilltop (3) 7000 3325.00 2898

Allanfauld (3) 1100 1118.33 805

Duncryne (4) 3990 1391.25 998

Midlock (3) 200,000 75,530.00 --