A distinct lack of real breeders' sheep resulted in ram lamb averages slipping by almost £700 per head at the Solway and Tyne Texel Club show and sale at Carlisle, where prices peaked at 20,000gns for an Usk Vale entry from Will Davis.

By the end of what appeared to be a very long day, only five lots sold at five-figure prices which compares to the six at 10,000gns or above and that magical 100,000gns bid given for a Sportsmans lamb, last year.

In contrast the best of the shearling rams sold well and to a top of 12,000gns from the Peacehay flock with averages breaking through the four-figure bracket, up almost £225 on 2018.

Sale leader at 20,000gns was Will Davis' substitute entry, Usk Vale Corker, another by the 8000gns Hexel Born to be Wild, a tup that bred sons to 36,000gns and 11,000gns twice at Lanark, from Maesmawr, Pontypool, Monmouthshire. Full brother to the 15,000gns Usk Vale Champagne Charlie sold at Worcester, this cracker is bred from a Glenside ewe by the 82,000gns Cornmore Velvet Jacket. He sold in a two-way split to Hugh and Alan Blackwood, Auldhouseburn, Muirkirk and Kedzlie Farms, Blainslie, Lauderdale, Galashiels.

Rob Bennett's best at 17,000gns, from Meiford, Powys, was another substitute lamb which sold two ways, when knocked down to James Theyer, Withington, Cheltenham, and Clanfield Texels, Little Clanfield, Oxford. This was paid for Plasucha Carslberg, an early April-born lamb by the 11,000gns Plasucha All Star, a Knock Yankee son that bred sons to 20,000gns at Lanark. The dam, a home-bred ewe, is by the 7000gns Mullan Awesome.

Two lambs came under the hammer for 15,000gns including the fifth prize winner, Brackenridge Crown Royal from Andrew Neilson's 10-strong ewe flock from East Brackenridge, Strathaven. A member of the second prize group and from the prolific Strongbow line, Crown Royal is by Kingspark Bentley, an Eden Valley Wiz Kid son used on loan from the Clarks at Garngour, and bred from a home-bred ewe by Knock Yardsman. The lamb which was producing a personal best for Mr Neilson, was bought by Myfyr Evans, buying for his Rhaeadr flock from Llanrhaeadr, Denbigh Clwyd.

Matching that price when selling to the Clarks – Helen and sons Alan, Andrew and David – at Garngour, Lesmahagow, and Donald MacPherson and son Ross, for their Hexel flock from Castlehill, Berwick on Tweed, was Procters Farm's Procters Chumba Wamba, brought out by Jeff and Jennifer Aiken. A son of last year's 100,000gns Sportsmans Batman out of a ewe by Teiglum Younggun, this April-born entry from Moss Lane Farm, Lancs, is a full brother to Procters Cinderella, the inter-breed sheep champion at the Royal Welsh, and the 11,000gns Procters Candycrush sold at Lanark.

There was more top breeding behind George and Albert Howie's Knock Casper, a late March-born lamb from West Knock, Stuartsfield, Aberdeenshire, which made 14,000gns to Charlie Boden, buying for the Sportsmans flock from Mellor, Stockport, and Peter Vaughan, Vaughan Farms, Leominster, Herefordshire. This youngster is by the 28,000gns Knock Banker, an Allanfauld Am The Man son of which a share was retained last year, out of a ewe by Tophill Wall St which is a full sister to the 15,000gns Knock Yardsman.

More than financing that half share, Sportmans sold their best at 8000gns to Knock and Kenny Pratt, buying for the Hilltop flock from Oltwon, Peterculter, Aberdeenshire. Sportsmans Chieftain, a son of the 50,000gns Deveronvale Ace of Diamonds, is out of a ewe by Teiglum Younggun. This substitute entry was second in the open at the pre-sale show.

The long trip south from Urray, Muir of Ord, proved fruitful for David Coli too, when he received his best ever price of 8000gns for a lamb from the Wester Moy flock. Brian MacTaggart, farm manager at Douganhill, Palnackie, Castle Douglas, was the final bidder for Wester Moy Concorde, a lamb by Haddo Bright Spark, a 9000gns joint buy last year, out of a show ewe by Knock Vantastic that was supreme sheep at Nairn and breed leader at Dornoch and the Black Isle.

Stuart Barclay's Harestone flock from Insch, Aberdeenshire, has had a good year, and was back in business at Carlisle, selling the reserve champion, Harestone Crackerjack, for 7000gns to Stewart Ferris, buying for the Bellefield flock from Dromore, Co Down, Northern Ireland. A full brother to the Harestone pen leader at Lanark, Crackerjack is by the 24,000gns Teiglum Braveheart and bred from a Garngour ewe bought privately by Knock Yardsman.

Angus and Lee Sutherland, were also well rewarded for their even longer trip south, when they sold Carran Crackerjack for 6000gns to Jim Innes, buying for the Strathbogie flock from Huntly and Graham Morrison of the Deveronvale flock from Cornhill, Banff. The father and son duo from Forss, Thurso, received this money for a son of the 7000gns Milnbank Brooklyn, out of a ewe by Springwell Viera.

Two lambs sold for 5000gns to include Garngour Cloud Nine, a substitute entry by the 12,000gns Knock Bantastic from the Clarks at Garngour, out of a ewe by Knock Yardsman, purchased by David and Iain Walker, Laigh Alticane, Pinwherry, Girvan and Angus McColm, Crailloch, Port William.

Later, Hywel Wyn Jones and Richard Fferwyd, Denbigh, sold Fferwyd Crouch for the same money in a three-way split to Gareth Jones, Meifod; Messrs Jones and Son, Henllan, Denbigh and Richard Wilson, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate. The breeding behind this transaction includes the AI sire Cambwell Trademark onto a Baltier ewe by Hope Valley Utopia that was bought here in 2016 for 5000gns.

Leading the shearling trade at 12,000gns was Sue Chave and son Henry's Peacehay Blaze of Glory, from the 130-ewe flock from Wellington, Somerset. First in his class at the pre-sale show, this big tup is by the 2000gns Clarks Wizard, a tup bought at Lanark in 2015 that has bred sons to 4800gns and 3500gns. Richard and Ian Rottenbury, Wilveliscombe, Somerset, were the final bidders on this entry out of a home-bred ewe got by semen from the £35,000 Scrogtonhead U Stoater.

Two yearlings sold for 4500gns to include Mershott Big Red, from the Gordon Brook Estate, Huntlywood, Earlston, purchased by Messrs Watkins, Craswall, Hereford. A son of the 23,000gns Midlock You're The One, he is bred from a ewe by Hightecs Unbeatable.

Matching that sale was Jim Innes' Strathbogie Bingo, from Dunscroft, Huntly. He is by Ellen Valley Avici, out of a Aman Vyrnwy daughter and headed home with Esmor Evans, Mold, Clwyd.

Just behind, on 4400gns, Douganhill sold their second prize shearling, Douganhill Blackjack to Philip Weaver, Knapthorpe, Newark. The breeding behind this big fella includes Knock Yardsman onto a ewe by the Hexel Toyboy son, Douganhill Urastar.


Ram lambs – 4500gns – B Hanthorn's Mullan Cruise Control, by Midcombe Axel, to Messrs Nairey, Blackburn, Lancs; B Hanthorn's Mullan Captain Jack, by Alderview Barrister, to Messrs McAuley, Muckamore, Northern Ireland.

4200gns – R and I Graham's Craigdarroch Clint, by Rhaeadr Best of the Best, to Messrs Wilkinson, Arkleby, Wigton and Messrs Nesbitt, Wasdale, Seascale, Cumbria.

4000gns – J Innes' Strathbogie Conductor, by Sportsmans Benchmark, to Messrs Patterson, Crumlin, Co Antrim; Messrs Teward's New View Cracker, by Teiglum Braveheart, to Messrs Jones, Gwynfe, Llangudog; W McCaffrey's Scholars Candy, by Fordafourie Amalert, to Messrs Ellis, Llaneurgain, Wyddgrur Sir Fflint.

Shearling rams – 4000gns – FH Chave and Son's Peacehay Big Bum, by Peacehay Untouchable, to Messrs Peart and Son, Frosterley, Bishop Auckland, Co Durham; Douganhill Farms' Douganhill Brigadier, by Teiglum Younggun, to Messrs Jenkinson, Clifton, Penrith, Cumbria; J Elliot's Roxburgh Backlash, by Meinspride Usain, to Messrs Wales, Raughton Head, Carlisle.

3800gns – FH Chave and Son's Peacehay Bobby Dazzler, by Scrogtonhead U Stoater, to Messrs Jarman, Branthwaite, Workington; Gordon Brook Estate's Mershott Bootleg, by Vorn Yardstick, to Messrs Jenkinson, Clifton, Penrith.

Averages: 174 shearling rams, £1029.54 (+£224.20 for 19 fewer sold); 274 ram lambs, £1205.23 (-£694.77 for four fewer).

Auctioneers: Harrison and Hetherington.