Pedigree female sheep met a strong trade throughout for the opening of the Aberdeen Christmas Classic held at Aberdeen and Northern Marts’ Thainstone Centre on Monday evening, where 148 lots averaged an impressive £930.81.

Clearance rates were also up to the mark, with 94% of the sheep forward finding new homes, while the Thainstone Online Platform proved popular with 61 lots selling to 41 different buyers through this relatively new system.

Suffolks from George and Melvin Stuart’s Birness Suffolk flock from Milltown of Birness, Ellon, proved the star attraction, selling a gimmer for the top price of 3800gns and later a ewe lamb at the same money.

Their gimmer, a daughter of the 40,000gns Limestone Legacy, is bred from a ewe by Lakeview Irish Cream. She sold scanned with twins to the 30,000gns Salopian Scuderia, to Orkney breeder, David Delday buying for his 15-ewe Newark flock at Quoy Belloch, Deerness.

Another two Birness gimmers made 2500gns and 2000gns, with the dearest selling to Martin Bignel, Smaladh, Gruinart, Bridgend. She is by Limestone Legacy, out of a Limestone Legend ewe and sold carrying a single to Forkins Firecracker.

Selling for 2000gns to Angus Brims, Thuster Mains, Bilbster, Wick, was a daughter of Crewlands Megastar, bred from a Redbrae Rambo ewe. She sold due with twins to Forkins Firecracker.

The Stuart family’s ewe lamb at 3800gns was purchased by Stewart Lathangie buying for his Pyeston flock from Star, Glenrothes. This was a daughter of the 16,000gns Castleisle Capaldi, out of a home-bred ewe by Lakeview Gold Rush.

Rory and Pat Machray’s Middlemuir Suffolk flock from Inverurie, hit a top of 2200gns for a ewe lamb by Cairness A Star, out of a home-bred ewe which produced a 1500gns ewe lamb last year. She sold to Dumfriesshire breeder, Ian Fitzsimon.

Texel gimmers peaked at 2700gns for the first through the ring from Jim Innes' Strathbogie flock, Dunscroft, Huntly. Selling to Northern Ireland with J Trimble, Newry, Co Down, was a daughter of Sportsmans Benchmark, out of Millar’s Windbrook ewe, which is scanned in lamb to Knap Don Diablo.

Strathbogie also took 1800gns for another gimmer by Benchmark in lamb to Milnbank Dance Monkey. She sold to Andrew Gunn, The Shiran, Hill of Forss, Thurso.

Albert and George Howie’s Knock Texel consignment from West Knock, Mintlaw, hit a top of 2200gns for a Sportsmans Supreme daughter in-lamb to Knock Dalwhinnie. The buyer was W Ridge, Brook Farm, Church Stretton, Shropshire.

Another two Texel gimmers made 1800gns with the first being a Milnbank entry from Robbie Wilson, North Dorlaithers, Turriff, purchased by Martin Cursiter, Laga Farms, Orkney. She is by Cowal Bucking Bronco and sold in lamb to Sportsmans Dirty Harry.

Matching that 1800gns price tag was a daughter of Garngour Bullet from Kenny Pratt’s Hilltop flock at Maryculter, purchased by LS Flett and Co, Nistagar, Harray, Orkney. She is in lamb to Castlecairn Diamond.

Blue Texel gimmers reached 1700gns from Penny Troup, Shaggart, Sauchen, Inverurie, purchased by RE and RF Scott, Dawn Cottage, Holm, Orkney.

Top price amongst the Beltex was 700gns for a gimmer from the Mair family, Muirfield, Everton of Auchry, Cuminestown, selling to Andrew Morton, Lochend Farm, Denny, while a Charollais cross Texel ewe scanned in-lamb to a Texel from the Ingram family, Logie Durno, Pitcaple, made 1100gns to Messrs Thomson, Northern Ireland.

Averages: Texels – 57 gimmers, £958.77; four ewe lambs, £387.50. Suffolks – eight ewes, £537.50; 31 gimmers, £969.35; 14 ewe lambs, £1207. Beltex – five gimmers, £630; four ewe lambs, £537.50. Blue Texels – four ewes, £600; six gimmers, £1075. Bluefaced Leicester – three ewes, £583.33. Charollais – four cross ewes, £775; eight cross gimmers, £593.75.

Auctioneers: Aberdeen and Northern Marts