72 shearling rams, £253.61 (-£39.77 for 11 fewer sold); 22 ram lambs £985.44 (-£15.85 for one less sold)

A good crowd of breeders gathered for the ‘final fling’ on Halloween at Lanark market, hosted by Lawrie and Symington, where Blackface sheep took many of the top prices at a multi-breed sale.

Despite trade slipping on the year for both shearlings and ram lambs, it was worth the trip for John and Patrick Harkin, Loughash, Northern Ireland, when they sold the sale leader, a ram lamb, for £5000. Buying back some of his own genetics was Ewen MacMillan, Lurg, Fintry, with the £80,000 Auldhouseburn son being out of a £3400 Lurg ewe.

Hugh and Alan Blackwood, Auldhouseburn, are never far from the top and this was again the case with their best lamb heading across to Northern Ireland with S Leitch, Commore, for £4200. This was a son of a £160,000 Elmscleugh and out of a £50,000 Crossflatt-sired ewe.

A ram lamb from the same home and by the same sire was knocked down to Thomas Muirhead, and Andy Woodburn, Netherwood, Muirkirk, at £2200, with this one out of a ewe by the £160,000 Dalchirla.

Another lamb out of the pen hit £1700 purchased by Robert Dixon, Cowburn. This was for a £58,000 Auldhouseburn son and out of a £50,000 Crossflatt-sired ewe.

Archie and John MacGregor, Allanfauld, saw their pen led by £1800 for a ram lamb which headed home with Barlure Farmers. This lamb is sired by a

£5500 Elmscleugh and out of a dam by a £35,000 Dalchirla sire.

Not far behind, on £1700, was a Glenrath ram lamb from the Campbell family, at Peebles, which was purchased by the Grahams, from Kirkton, Pentlands. He is a son of a £6500 Gass tup and out of a £14,000 Dalwyne sired-ewe.

Charlie and Cathal Harkin, The Rock/Loughash, sold a £10,000 Elmscleugh son for £1500 which headed home to Northern Ireland with D McSwiggen.

Top price amongst the Blackface shearlings was £2600 paid for the best from the Ramsay family, Milnmark, Dalry. Forking out the cash was Robert McIntosh, Borthwickshiels Mains. He is by the home-bred tup QC, which is sired by a £16,000 Dyke tup and out of a dam by a £1200 Gass tup.

The same home sold another shearling for £1500. This was a £55,000 Easter Happrew son which went to James Anderson, Penchrise, Hawick, with the dam being a £16,000 Dyke sired-ewe.

The last of the four figures, at £1000, was a shearling from Scott Lambie, Ashcraig, Selkirk, which went across the waters to the Isle of Bute with HRC McCulloch, Kilmichael. This £1400 Dyke-sired ram is out of a ewe sired by a home-bred son which goes back to a £8000 Midlock.