New legislation relating to the export of sheep to Ireland introduced on January 1 as a result of the trade agreement with the EU, hit the Classy Lassies Bluefaced Leicester female sale at Carlisle, where overall averages fell by almost £500 per head on the year.

Add to that the last minute Lockdown sale of Bluefaced Leicesters at the end of December which proved a huge success to get round the new legislation, and fewer sheep were forward and therefore sold compared to the same sale last year.

The new rulings introduced on January 1, mean that sheep can only be exported to Ireland if they are from a scrapie monitored flock or have an ARR/ARR genotype and are maedi visnae accredited. This meant that even with some flocks testing prior to the sale, few were eligible to be exported.

Trade for the cream of the crop however, remained as strong as ever, with the sale peaking at 9000gns for a ewe hogg from the Wight’s Midlock flock based at Crawford. Their pen leader is a daughter of an Asby Hall M2, bred from the family’s favourite flushing ewe which goes back to the Hewgill J6. The ewe hogg sold to Jamie Pirie, buying for his Blarnavaid flock from Drymen, with Midlock retaining a full sister and brother.

Midlock also sold the sole ewe entered, a four-year-old for 2000gns to Jim and Colin Dick, Hamildean, Peebles. She is by the Midlock J30 and is out of a home-bred dam by the Hewgill C2 that stood champion at the Royal Highland Show in 2015. She sold carrying triplets to the Asby Hall M2.

Second top price was 8500gns paid twice for ewe hoggs from the Lord family’s Hewgill flock from West Dowgill, North Stainmore, Kirkby Stephen.

The Scottish Farmer: Hewgill sold two ewe hoggs at 8500gnsHewgill sold two ewe hoggs at 8500gns

Both are by the Hewgill M39, with the pen leader, bred from a ewe by the Hewgill G49, being a sister to Hewgill N1 that sold for £30,000, at Hawes, last year. She sold to Martin Allan from Greenhow, Duffton, Cumbria.

The Scottish Farmer: Another from Messrs Lord's Hewgill flock at 8500gnsAnother from Messrs Lord's Hewgill flock at 8500gns

Neil Laing, Thankerton, Biggar, was the final bidder on the second, out of a ewe by Hewgill F52.

Another from the same home made 2500gns selling down to Wales with Michael James, Maesmynis, Builth Wells, Powys. This Riddings L7 daughter is out of a Hewgill H45 sired-dam.

The Scottish Farmer: Kirkby Redgate's 5000gns ewe hoggKirkby Redgate's 5000gns ewe hogg

Kirkby Stephen-based breeder, Richard Hutchinson, enjoyed a cracking sale for females from the family’s Kirkby Redgate flock with ewe hoggs at 5000gns, 3000gns and 2000gns twice.

Dearest was a daughter of the £14,000 Skeughdale M1, whilst the dam is a home-bred ewe by Marriforth G17 which is a full sister to the 6500gns gimmer that stood champion here last year. The buyer was DG Sayers, Valleyfield, Northallerton.

Selling at 3000gns across the Irish Sea with Gary Beacom buying for his Lakeview flock from Fivemiletown, Co Fermanagh, was a hogg bred from a Hewgill H22 sired-dam, while her grand-dam is a full sister to a former 11,000gns ewe hogg sold here.

The first of the 2000gns sales from Kirkby Redgate came for a daughter of the home-bred M18, out of a Marriforth G17 sired-dam. She found a new home with Carolyn Milne, Kennishillock, Lhanbryde, Elgin.

The latter sold to WC Porter, Riddings, Reeth, Richmond and is by a Hewgill M3 and out of Kirkby Redgate J52 ewe whose full sister sold for 6500gns at Carlisle.

Archie and John MacGregor, Kilsyth, Glasgow, also forked out the cash, going to 2800gns for a ewe hogg from Peter Smith, Lonning House, Laneside, Slaggyford, Brampton. She is by Hargill House J6 and out of a Highberries dam going back to the Hundith Elite Plus ram.

Helping to finance Martin Allan’s earlier big purchase, his pen leader, another ewe hogg realised 2600gns. She is by the Smearsett M1, out of a Greenhow dam by the Riddings K1 and sold to the West Biggins flock of WM Reed and Sons, West Gate, Bishop Auckland.

Topping the gimmer trade at 2200gns was the Gapshield pen leader from William Wallace, Brampton, who was selling the last of his flock. His Gragareth J3 daughter is out of the ‘best’ ewe in the flock which is by a Gapshield E2. She sold carrying two lambs to the Riddings L15, to Kilnstown Farms, Roweltown, Carlisle.

Auctioneers: Harrison and Hetherington.

averages: 21 gimmers, £890.31 (-£462.78 for 31 less); 40 ewe hoggs, £1859.81 (-£498.17 for seven fewer).