Increased demand for big, strong tups ensured a buoyant trade for shearling rams at the Solway and Tyne Texel Club sale, where averages improved on the year and for more sold.

Top price was 6000gns paid for Midlock Cracker from Allan and Karen Wight and family, Midlock, Crawford. A Knock Bantastic son, bred from a ewe by Mullan Amigo.

A full brother to the 13,000gns Midlock Cobra sold last year, Cracker was purchased by Hawick producers, Alan and Hazel Smith, Crumhaughhill.

The Scottish Farmer:

Second on the 5500gns bid was the best from A McColm, Crailloch Chico

Just behind on 5500gns was the best from Angus McColm, Crailloch, Port William. His substitue entry, Crailloch Chico, is by Scotsman Bullseye and was bought by Messrs Davies, Felinfach, Brecon.

Another on the same money, Douganhill Cherokee, from Brian and David MacTaggart, Douganhill Farms, Orchardton Mains, Castle Douglas, headed home with Messrs Williams and Son, Newcastle, Craven Arms, Shropshire. The breeding behind this transaction includes Deveronvale Aftershock on to a Cairnam Tavish-sired ewe.

The Scottish Farmer:

Douganhill Cherokee made 5500gns for Brian MacTaggart

Douganhill also enjoyed a cracking sale with others at 3000gns and 2700gns.

The former, Douganhill Cobra, which was of the same breeding as Cherokee, was knocked down to Messrs Cuthbert and Son, Longframlington, Morpeth.

Douganhill Cannonball then made 2700gns, to Bridgehouse Farming Co, Whithorn, Newton Stewart. A son of Sportsmans Bollinger, he is out of a ewe by Llangwm Wario.

Somerset breeders, Frank Henry Chave and Son, Peacehay, also received 5000gns for Peacehay Cheeky Monkey, which sold to near neighbours, Messrs Rottenbury, Wiveliscombe. Maternal brother to the 23,000gns Peacehay Ya Belter, he is by Deveronvale Warrior and bred from a home-bred ewe by Sheeoch Tardis.

The sole entry from Ruaridh and Isla Graham, Craigdarroch, Sanquhar, made 4000gns. Craigdarroch Chief, a son of the £2000 Scrogtonhead Benchmark bought at Kelso, and out of a Clinterty Yuga Khan sired ewe, sold to Jonathan Wales, Raughton Head, Carlisle.

Dragon Condor made his mark for Welsh breeders, G and K Williams, Tyn Llyn, Llanwnnen, when he was knocked down at 3000gns to Messrs Watson, Sandwith, Whitehaven. He is by Smithy Ben and out of a Knap Waverly-sired ewe.

Robert Cockburn of the Knap flock from Perth, sold his sole shearling, Rhaeadr Crusader for 2500gns in a two-way split to Welsh breeders, Messrs Jones, Felingwm, and Messrs Morgan, Llanfynydd, both Carmarthen. He is by Garngour Alabama and out of a Clinterty Yuga Khan-sired ewe.

averages: 179 shearlings, £1053.23 (+£23.69 for five more)