SUFFOLK sheep breeders enjoyed a flying trade for their first sale at Lawrie and Symington’s Lanark Auction Mart, where despite concerns over Covid-19 restrictions, a top price of 50,000gns was achieved complete with a further 10 five-figure sales.

While the 2m distancing rules were unnerving, it did not prevent 230 buyers travelling to the four bidding areas within the mart, with an additional 187 registering to buy via the new online system used for the first time at Lanark.

And, such was the demand for pedigree Suffolks that 164 of the 210 sheep forward sold to produce a 78% clearance rate, with an overall sale average £2956.37. The 159 ram lambs cashed in at £3023.25 – up from £2852 for 144 sold at last year’s sale at United Auctions’ Stirling centre.

Archie Hamilton, Lawrie and Symington’s head of sheep sales and auctioneer said the event had gone exceptionally well, with a good clearance, a sound commercial trade and the best sheep selling at top prices.

However, while the sale had gone particularly well, he warned that livestock producers would have to get used to the social distancing measures at all auction marts.

“We are hopeful that restrictions will be lowered for other upcoming society sales – this will be up for review within the next week – but with the threat of a second wave, restrictions are unlikely to change to protect both the bidders and vendors,” said Mr Hamilton.

It was nevertheless a day to remember for new breeder, Darragh McMenamin, of the Mullinvale flock from Lifford, Co Donegal, Eire, who sold the sale leader at 50,000gns. His lamb, an ET is bred from a flush from a Cairness ewe by Cavanagrove Catalyst and got by frozen semen from Plasllewelyn Pure Genius – a ram that sired the 11,000gns Birness The Body sold in 2005.

The 50,000gns lamb was knocked down to Stewart Craft buying for his Lakeview flock, based at Little Balquhomrie, Fife.

Second top price was 32,000gns paid for the best from Michael and Caolan McNally’s Benedyglen flock from Dungiven, Northern Ireland.

Their sale leader, which was from the final consignment through the ring, is by Salopian Scuderia, a lamb purchased last year at Stirling last year for 30,000gns, jointly with the Lakeview and Bridgeview flocks. The dam is a Benedyglen show gimmer by Strathbogie A Kind of Magic. The tup sold to Paul Delves buying for his Powys-based Bridgeview flock.

The Scottish Farmer:

Michael and Caolan McNally’s Benedyglen ram lamb secured 32,000gns

Close behind on 30,000gns was a lamb from the Stuart family’s Birness flock from Ellon, jointly bought by Lesley Liggett of the Carony flock, County Tyrone and Darragh McMenamin for his Mullinvale flock, Donegal. Another by Salopian Scuderia, he is out of a Thurston Urastar-sired Birness ewe.

The Scottish Farmer:

Top price for the Birness flock was 30,000gns paid for this lamb

The Stuart family enjoyed one of their best trades to date, selling 10 lambs to average £9240. They also produced one of four lambs to hit the 26,000gns mark when their pen leader sold at this money to Dennis Taylor, Coleraine, Co Londonderry. He is by the the 9500gns Limestone Legacy, which has previously bred sons to 30,000gns and 24,000gns and bred from a home-bred ewe again by Thurston Urastar.

The Scottish Farmer:

Another from the Stuart family's Birness flock made 26,000gns

Birness also took 8000gns for another Limestone Legacy son, bred from a Crewelands Megastar-sired ewe from Lesley Liggett, of the Carony flock.

It was good day at the office for Stewart Craft’s Fife-based Lakeview flock too, when he sold five ram lambs to average an impressive £11,718 with two selling for 26,000gns to Darragh McMenamin.

The Scottish Farmer:

The first 26,000gns lamb from Stewart Craft’s Fife-based Lakeview flock

These ET brothers are by Strathbogie Stradivarius and out of the 7000gns Lakeview Gold Rush-sired Birness ewe that was purchased at the Dark Diamonds sale, in 2014.

The Scottish Farmer:

The second ET brother selling to 26,000gns from Stuart Craft

The last lamb to be sold for 26,000gns came from Alasdair Gault’s Forkins flock from Newtownabbey, Co Antrim which sold in a four-way split to Mark Priestley of the Limestone flock, Seaforde, Downpatrick, Co Down; Jim Innes, Strathbogie, Dunscroft, Huntly; Llavandera Suffolks from Spain and MacCauley Suffolks from the USA.

The Scottish Farmer:

Alasdair Gault received 26,000gns for this Forkins lamb

Brother to an 8500gns lamb sold last year, he is bred from a flush from a Forkins ewe by Birness Bacardi and sired by Mullaghboy Goliath.

Two sold for 13,000gns, to include a Clyda President-sired lamb from William and Stephanie Tait’s Co Tyrone-based Burnview flock bought by Paul Delves. He is out of a Forkins Ferrari-sired ewe, which has bred females to 5500gns, 4600gns and sons to 8000gns.

The Scottish Farmer:

William Tait sold this lamb from his Burnview flock at 13,000gns

The second 13,000gns lamb, from Jim Innes’ Strathbogie flock was knocked down to Shaun and Ruth Turkington buying for their Beechcrest flock, in Northern Ireland. He is by Crewelands Kingpin and out of a ewe by the 20,000gns Castleisle Knockout.

The Scottish Farmer:

Top price for Jim Innes' Strathbogie flock was 13,000gns for this lamb

Stephen Sufferin’s Crewelands flock from Maghera, Northern Ireland, sold the final two five-figure priced lambs at 12,000gns.

The Scottish Farmer:

Stephen Sufferin sold two at 12,000gns to include this entry purchased by Birness

Both sired by Birness Hustler and out of Ballynacanon Taylor Made-sired ewes, the first was purchased by the Stuarts for their Birness flock, with the second being knocked down to Eamonn Duffy for his Kells flock, in Ireland.

The Scottish Farmer:

Stephen Sufferin's second 12,000gns lamb

Bryden Nicolson’s Knockem flock from Duns took 8000gns from the McNallys, for a lamb by Drimmie Knockout, out of a ewe by Lakeview Bob.


Ram lambs – 6500gns – M Priestley’s Limestone, by Castleisle Alabama, to O Dean, Woodford House, Co Kildere

6000gns – S Sufferin’s Crewelands, by Birness Hustler, to Messrs Docherty, Westown, Co Donegal.

5500gns – L Hutchinson’s Howgillfoot, by Limestone Limited Edition, to Highfield Farming, Berwickshire; M and C McNally’s Benedyglen, by Birness Muzza, to JT and S Cannon, Redbrae, Newton Stewart.

Auctioneers: Lawrie and Symington.

averages: 159 ram lambs, £3023.25 (+£171.25 for 15 more sold); five gimmers, £829.50 (-£10.50 for one more sold).

FLOCK averages

Flock (No) Top (gns) Average (£)


Donrho (4) 800 721.88

Ram lambs

Mullaghboy (3) 2000 980.00

Birness (10) 26,000 9240.00

Ballynacannon (8) 2400 905.63

Howgillfoot (4) 5500 2126.25

Crewelands (9) 12,000 4135.83

Sitlow (4) 1400 1023.75

Limestone (3) 6500 3815.00

Carnforth (4) 1000 616.88

Knockem (3) 8000 3920.00

Roundacre (3) 3400 1592.50

Mullinvale (3) 50,000 18,445.00

Muirton (5) 1400 766.50

Balquhain (5) 1600 1039.50

Castleisle (4) 4500 2546.25

Benrafton (3) 1800 1400.00

Lakeview (5) 26,000 11,718.00

Redbrae (3) 600 490.00

Claycrop (4) 2400 1286.25

Cairness (4) 2200 1443.75

Strathbogie (5) 13,000 4116.00

Blackstown (4) 2400 984.38

Solwaybank (3) 600 525.00

Drimmie (5) 3000 1827.00

Beechcrest (3) 1400 787.50

Pyeston (3) 1000 770.00

Lundazi (3) 350 332.50

Ballyboe (3) 1200 805.00

Collessie (4) 900 735.00

Cairnton (3) 1400 840.00

Benedyglen (5) 32,000 8578.50