Increased demand for top end north-type Blackface rams ensured a flying trade at the Perth Ram Society’s sale at Stirling, last weekend, where shearling entries from the Paterson family’s Craigneich flock proved the star attraction securing the top two prices at £22,000 and £11,000.

Such was the appetite for big strong tups, that averages soared in both the shearling and tup lamb sections, with the consignment from Tom and Mairi Paterson and son Robert, Craigneich, Comrie, leading the fray. Their 400 North-type flock not only produced a personal best at £22,000 but also the dearest Perth-type shearling ram sold in United Auctions’ Stirling centre and the second highest on record, following the £24,000 Woolfords tup sold at the old Perth market.

Notably, the top two Craigneich rams were both sons of the £5000 Hillhead of Mornish ram bought here in 2018, with the £22,000 entry selling to David Baillie and son David, Calla, Carnwath. The pen leader, he is bred from a ewe by a tup bought from Anna MacKinnon, which was out of a Craigneich ewe and sired by a Thomas Harkin-bred ram.

The £11,000 entry, which was out of a ewe by a £5500 Viewmount, was knocked down in a two-way split, selling to Bert Grant, Glendamph, Glenisla and Northern Ireland breeder, Andy Watson, Glenarm.

With another two four-figure sales, Craigneich also produced the lead flock average, selling 14 at £3010.71.

It was also a good day for the breeders of the £5000 Hillhead of Mornish sire, when John Shearer and sons Gavin and Neil, sold the lead priced lamb at £8000. This was a son of a £3800 Achdregnie shearling bought here last year, out of a ewe by a £7000 Hillhead of Mornish – one of 450 in the flock. He sold to Cadogan Estates’ Auchnacloich unit at Amulree, Dunkeld, herded by Archie McKinnon, son, Ben and daughter, Anna.

It was nevertheless shearling rams that attracted the bulk of the top prices, with entries from Stephen Duncan and his father, also Stephen again selling well and to a top of £7800.

Selling at this price for the duo who run 700 north-type ewes at Achdregnie, Glenlivet, was their No 6, a son of 5500gns Conway sire bought in Ballymena as a lamb in 2018 in partnership with Calla. Bred from a ewe by a £3000 Calla, this tup which was last year’s ‘show tup lamb’ sold back across the Irish Sea, to the breeders of the sire, brothers George and John Conway, Plumbridge, Omagh.

Others by the same sire made £3200 and £3000, with the dearest, out of a ewe by a £1500 Craigneich, selling up to Croy with the Macphersons, Blackford, Croy.

The £3000 ram, out of a ewe by a £3000 Calla that stood first at the National Show, was bought by Matthew Hamilton, Woolfords, West Calder.

Another at £3000 from the Achdregnie pen which averaged £1620 for 20, was knocked down to Phil Stewart, Bomakelloch, Drummuir, Keith. The breeding behind this transaction includes a £4800 Hillhead of Mornish, onto a ewe by a £2600 Achdregnie.

The breed’s north-type virtual show champion, from Matthew Hamilton and son Matthew’s 1500-ewe Woolfords flock, made £6000 to a quintet of Northern Ireland breeders to include Thomas and Charlie Harkin, who run separate flocks at Loughash, Donemana; Brian Curran, Culmore, Co Derry and Co Donegal breeders, Billy Grant, Cloughfin and Charlie Gallagher, Ballybofey. A son of an Eoin Harkin tup bought at Ballymena in 2018, he is bred from an 11,000gns Breslin-sired ewe.

The top priced shearling from Auchnacloich also sold to Northern Ireland with Tom and Joe Adams, Ballymena and Gavin Watson, Corain, Londonderry, at £3200. He is by a £4200 Craigneich and bred from a daughter of a £4000 Newmill of Inshewan.

Second top price amongst the ram lambs was £2800 paid for the No 3 from David Baillie’s Calla flock when selling to Neil Kydd, Glenhead, Glenisla, Blairgowrie. He is by the 12,000gns Conway Bros lamb bought last year at Ballymena in partnership with Woolfords, and bred from a ewe by an 8000gns McEvoy. Calla also produced the lead average amongst the lambs selling eight at £957.

Two lambs sold for £2200 with the first coming from Doldy Farms’ Eastmill hirsel, managed by Pamela Nicol. He is by an £8000 Woolfords, out of a ewe by an 8500gns Mark Smyth ram, and sold to Billy Grant, Cloughfin.

Minutes later, Sandy Smith and son Steven, who now farm 180 ewes at Scar Hill, Glenkindie, received the same money for a tup lamb by the 1600gns McEvoy sire bought at Ballymena in 2018. He heads home with Owen McEvoy, Kilcoo, Newry, Northern Ireland.

Auctioneers: United Auctions.

averages: 137 shearling rams, £1122.63 (+£268.63 for three less sold); 43 ram lambs, £840.70 (+£145.70 for two less).

FLOCK averages

Flock (No) Top (£) Average (£)

Shearling rams

Dunruchan (4) 450 400.00

Markethill (4) 900 512.50

Newmill of

Inshewan (6) 2000 725.00

Glenrinnes (5) 1100 690.00

Tombreakie (4) 800 662.50

Bomakelloch (4) 1400 1225.00

Maryton (3) 850 716.67

Woolfords (10) 6000 1365.00

Auchnacloich (13) 3200 592.31

Scar Hill (12) 1600 920.83

Chamberwells (9) 1800 600.00

Craigneich (14) 22,000 3010.71

Glendamph (9) 1200 722.22

Calla (6) 1100 625.00

Achdregnie (20) 7800 1620.00

Doldy (10) 700 385.00

Hillhead of Mornish (3) 1500 1100.00

Ram lambs

Doldy, Eastmill (5) 2200 800.00

Scar Hill (4) 2200 887.50

Hillhead (3) 8000 3033.33

Glenhead (4 350 237.50

Chamberwells (6) 800 550.00

Woolfords (3) 1000 750.00

Calla (8) 2800 956.50

Newmill (4) 1300 612.50