A top price of £11,000 for a shearling coupled with another 26 selling at £2000 or more were the main highlights of the Blackface ram sale at Hexham on Monday,

Star attraction here was a ram from George Famelton, Horseholme, which was the sole entry to hit the magical five-figure mark when selling in a three-way split to Robin Halbert, Prospect House; Cowden and Wanwood Partners, Wanwoodhill, Alston. This big tup is by a Dryhope sire that goes back to a £24,000 Dyke and bred from a home-bred Horseholme ewe.

Second top price was £8000 paid for the best from Willie Walton, Tofthouse, for a shearling son of an £11,000 Horseholme, with the dam being a daughter of a £1200 Wanwoodhill. He headed home with Willie Woodman, who together with his wife Christine and son Martin are hosting NorthSheep in June 2021 at their 930acre Bradford House Farm near Ponteland, which runs alongside the 1200acre hill unit at Great Chesters in the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall.

Tofthouse was back in the money selling a shearling son of a £16,000 Wanwoodhill, out of a home-bred ewe for £3600 to Andrew and Caroline Hunter, who run flocks at the Carrick and Steel, Bellingham.

On the income side, the Hunters took £7000 for a shearling by a £5000 Tofthouse. He sold in a two-way split to Nilston Rigg farmed by Tommy Bates, his daughter Annabelle Morshead and son Benedict and Wanwoodhill, Alston.

More than financing that transaction, Wanwoodhill, received £5000 from Neil and Sarah Robson and son David, Townshields, Haydon Bridge, and Peter and Jack Turnbull, Shepherds Croft. Their joint purchase is a son of a Shepherds Croft tup.

Home-bred genetics were behind Andy Murray's £4500 sale leader from Stell Green, when he sold a son of last year's £7500 Stell Green, bred from a High Staward gimmer bought from Paul Coulson, to the Weatherspoon family, Edges Green.

Two shearlings sold for £4000 to include the best from Robin Halbert, Prospect House, purchased by James Pritchard, Evistones, Otterburn. The breeding behind this big boy includes Superkev, onto a ewe by a Mountbenger ram.

Matching that price was the best from Harry Morshead, Harsondale, a son of a £650 Hotbank, bred from a Horseholm draft ewe. The buyers were G and R Mitcheson, Bolam Lake House, Belsay

Top price for John Pattinson, Hotbank, was £3400 paid for a shearling by a £12,500 Tofthouse with a £5000 Sewingshields-sired dam. This big tup headed home with R Mackay, The Dunns

On the other side of the equation, Mr Pattinson went to £3200 for some of his own genetics when he bought a son of an £800 Hotbank from Airey Bros, Brownchesters.

Otterburn breeder, Selby Robson, Yatesfield, topped the lamb trade with sales at £2600 and £1200. The dearest, by a £6000 Glenrath and out of a ewe by an £18,000 Dudlees, was knocked down to Neil Robson, Townshields and Andrew and Jamie Murray, Sewingshields.

The £1200 Yatesfield lamb, by a £6500 Westhills, sold to Brownchesters.


Shearling rams – £2800 – JS Gibson and Son, Thornton Hall to Hotbank; Wanwood Partners, Wanwoodhill to G Sordy.

£2600 – R Halbert, Prospect House to Brieredge; A Steel, Carrick, by a £4200 Tofthouse to Wanwoodhill.

£2500 – R Raine, Townfoot, to R Mitcheson, Bolum and R Raine. £2400 – R Halbert, Prospect House to Chirdon; G Famelton, Horseholm to Albierigg. £2300 – The Lampert to Camphill. £2100 – Tofthouse to Grindon Hill; Sewingshields to Briscoe Farm.

£2000 – Clennel to Penpeugh; Sewingshields to Thornton Tower; Hotbank to Broomhope; Bilsmoor Park to Waites; Great Chesters to J Nicolson.

Averages: 248 shearling rams, £859.27 (-£66.73 for 38 more); 12 ram lambs, £620.83 (+£358.83 for the same no)

Auctioneers: Hexham and Northern Marts