The 13th Incheoch Working Genes sale proved anything but unlucky for the McGowan family from Alyth, with several new highs.

The event, which had to go virtual due to Covid-19 restrictions attracted on-line bids from farmhouse kitchens throughout the country, into what was once a stable for farm horses in the Angus Glens, through a website based on a New Zealand stock-farm.

A complete clearance of the 97 grass-fed shearling rams on offer, saw a record average of £1295.88, up a massive £325 per head on the year and for 11 more sheep.

This was backed up by a Working Genes ram record of £5000 paid for Incheoch Cyclone, the first son to sell by the home-bred Texel sire, Blizzard. The buyer was John Scott, Fearn Farm, Tain.

Strong bidding from Shetland to Wiltshire as well as many loyal local buyers saw 42 Texel shearlings average a massive £1548.81 – another record and up £580 on the year for four more sold.

Lleyn shearlings were topped at £3050 to Henry Nelless from Thistleyhaugh, Morpeth. This high index Equity son was picked out on video by a number of pedigree breeders, but was one of only three rams sold to registered flocks.

In all, 44 Lleyn shearlings sold between Glenisla and Northern Ireland to level at £1194.32, again a sale record, and up £131 on the year for five more.

The 11 New Zealand Suffolk cross Texel shearlings were topped at £1050 and averaged £736.36.

Of the 18 paddock-reared bulls on offer, six Simmentals averaged £4433 with the favourite, the homozygous polled Incheoch Keystone, bid to £6200 by John Ritchie to run with commercial cattle at Dunning.

Four of the Simmentals on offer were homozygous polled with a further four also polled.

The two Angus bulls attracted a flurry of bids with Robert Fleming from Wigtownshire winning the battle for Inchisla Jet Eric at £6900 and Pilot heading to Chathall in Northumberland with repeat customer Michael Jordan for £4200.

Five young Luing bulls sold to average £3400, with a top price of £4000 paid for the homozygous polled Dirnanean Yukon heading home with Scott Girvan to run with the Berryfell herd.

The Yourbid sale had been live for about 10 days but really took off during the hour either side of sale closure time.

Debbie McGowan, who spent the sale manning a laptop and fielding questions from bidders said: “We were prepared for lots of phone-calls, but most people got the hang of on-line bidding very quickly. It seems to have really suited people who haven’t wanted to travel either because of distance or virus risk. Buyers seemed to appreciate being able to change to better value lots either forward or backwards in the catalogue as the sale progressed.”