NO fewer than 18 five-figure sales, topped by £58,000 and £55,000 bids, and an average up almost £500 on the year, ensured Blackface sheep breeders remained on a high by the end of Lanark’s lamb sale.

The dearest, at £58,000, sold early on in the day, was the first from Hugh and Alan Blackwood, Auldhouseburn, Muirkirk, which set the pace for the remainder of the day. Their best, a son of the £85,000 Elmscleugh lamb bought there last year in partnership with the Campbells, from Glenrath and Easter Happrew, is out of a ewe by a £50,000 Crossflatt. First in his class at the National Show at Stirling, this thumper of a lamb was knocked down to William Dunlop and sons, Quintin and William, Elmscleugh, Dunbar, and Glenrath, with Auldhouseburn retaining an equal share.

Northern Ireland breeder, Sam Wallace, who owns the Shilnavogie flock, also got in on the act, forking out £12,000 for Auldhouseburn’s No 3, a son of the £50,000 Crossflatt, bred from a ewe by a £65,000 Auldhouseburn.

The Scottish Farmer:

       £55,000 Easter Happrew

Sons of the £85,000 Elmscleugh proved popular for Easter Happrew and Glenrath too, producing their top sales. Dearest at £55,000 was John Campbell and son Colin’s pen leader from the Easter Happrew flock, which is based at Stobo, near Peebles. This cracker, later christened Sir John, is also bred from a £50,000 Crossflatt dam. Second in his class at Peebles Show, he goes out to work at Hartside, Lamington; Milnmark, and Blackcraig, both Corsock, Castle Douglas, having been purchased by Malcolm Coubrough; Bill Ramsay and Sons; and John and Iain Finlay, respectively.

Minutes later, a son of an £18,000 Midlock, bred from a ewe by the £26,000 Crossflatt, made £17,000 to John McClymont and sons, William and Scott, Tinnis; cousin Alan McClymont and sons, Sam and Oliver, Kirkstead, both Yarrow; and Burncastle Farming Co, Lauder, managed by Alan Rogerson.

The £85,000 Elmscleugh also sired the three top priced lots from the Campbells’ 1200-ewe flock at Glenrath, managed by Steven Renwick and ‘herded by Donald McDiarmid. Their dearest, at £24,000, is bred from a ewe by £90,000 Dalchirla and was knocked down to Andrew Kay and sons, Robert and Andrew, at Gass Straiton.

Minutes later, their second lamb, out of a ewe by a £34,000 Midlock, sold in a three-way split to Billy Renwick and son Andrew, Blackhouse, Yarrow, brother William Renwick and son Tam, Williamhope, Clovenfords and John Hamilton, Aitkengall, Innerwick, Dunbar, for £13,000.

And, at £9000, Glenrath sold an £85,000 Elmscleugh son out of a ewe by an £11,000 Greenside to Alan Smith, Crosswoodburn, West Calder and Angus Kennedy and son, also Angus, Mitchellhill, Broughton, Biggar.

On the debit side, Glenrath bought the top priced lamb from Billy Renwick and son Andrew, Blackhouse, Yarrow, at £28,000. This was a son of the £25,000 Elmscleugh lamb bought here last year, out of a ewe by the Hulk – a £24,000 Allanfauld. He stood second in his class at Yarrow Show.

The Scottish Farmer:

          £45,000 Midlock

Lambs from the Wights, at Midlock, Crawford – Allan, son Allan and his son Ben – sold well as usual, with sales at £45,000, £40,000 and £9000.
Their best, brought out by shepherds Brian Gilchrist and Iain Clarke, was the pen leader, a son of the £100,000 Elmscleugh lamb bought last year at Dalmally, out of a ewe by the £44,000 Crossflatt. He heads for work at Elmscleugh.

The Scottish Farmer:

          £40,000 Midlock

Midlock’s second lamb, by a £28,000 Auldhouseburn bought last year in partnership with Dalchirla and Lurg, made £40,000 to John Carruthers and son, John, Silloans, Rochester; Williamhope and Blackhouse.
And, at £9000, Northern Ireland breeders, Brian Devine and Veronica Fullerton, purchased the Wights' third lamb, by Hawk Eye – a home-bred son of a £35,000 Dalchirla lamb retained for breeding – out of a ewe by the £25,000 Crossflatt.

The Scottish Farmer:

         £45,000 Loughash

Matching the £45,000 bid was the pen leader from brothers’ John and Charlie Harkin’s Loughash flock, from Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland. This cracker, by a £14,000 High Staward bought here in 2015, is bred from a ewe by a £24,000 Elmscleugh and sold in a four-way split to Paul Coulson, High Staward, Hexham; John Murray, Crossflatt, Muirkirk; Auldhouseburn; and the Harkins retained an equal share.

Alastair MacArthur and son, David, Nunnerie, Elvanfoot, enjoyed a flyer of a trade with three five-figure sales. Their dearest, at £20,000, was the pen’s No 3, by the £100,000 Elmscleugh bought last year with Midlock, Dyke, Allanfauld, Auldhouseburn and Crossflatt. Bred from one of the best ewes in the flock, which is by an £11,000 Aitkenhead and the dam of Wisecrack – a home-bred son of a £36,000 Midlock retained for breeding – he sold to Northern Ireland breeders, Eion McKenna and Charlie Phillips, Draperstown.

Nunnerie’s pen leader – brought out by shepherds, Bo Brown and Craig Thornborrow – made £12,000, selling in a four-way split to Mary McCall Smith, Connachan, Crieff; Mark and David Simpson, Sidlaw, Blairgowrie; Aberuchill Estate, Comrie, managed by Craig Paterson; and Auchnafree Estate, Amulree, Dunkeld. The breeding behind this transaction includes Wisecrack onto a ewe by the home-bred Dynamo.

Their second prize winner from the National Show made £11,000 selling in a three-way split to John and Charlie Harkin, Loughash; Brian Harkin, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland; and Archie and John MacGregor, Allanfauld, Kilsyth. He is by the £8000 Loughash bought last year and out of a ewe by £24,000 Elmscleugh. 

On the other side of the coin, Nunnerie bought John and Iain Finlay’s best from Blackcraig at £10,000. This was a son of a £25,000 Elmscleugh, out of a ewe by Dalwyne Buffalo.

It was another big team that bought the top priced lot from John Murray’s Crossflatt consignment from Muirkirk, all of which were by Tornado – a home-bred son of £160,000 Dalchirla retained for breeding. 

Going to £20,000 for the No 2 lamb, bred from a ewe by a £90,000 Blackhouse ewe, were Davie and Jock Jackson, Pole, Lochgoilhead; Donald McVicar, Lephinchapel, Strachur; Jimmy Wright, St Mungoes; and David Murray, Lurgan, Aberfeldy.

Another the same way bred made £8500 to Neil and Stuart Barclay, Harestone, Insch, and Troloss Farms, Thornhill, Dumfries, managed by Joe Cockburn.

Another three lambs came under the hammer for £10,000, including one of the first through the ring, from James, Matthew, Hannah and Andrew Dunlop’s Upper Wellwood flock, from Muirkirk. This was, in fact, Hannah’s lamb, a son of a £5000 Crossflatt lamb bought here last year, which stood third in his class at Abington and Muirkirk shows and fourth at Peebles. Bred from a ewe by an £11,000 Dyke, which goes back to a Greenside female, this lamb was knocked down to Midlock, with Upper Wellwood retaining an equal share.

Allanfauld also hit the magical five-figures with their pen leader, a son of a £4400 Auldhouseburn lamb bought here last year, bred from a ewe by a £25,000 Crossflatt. The buyers were Michael Wood, Shawsknowe, Straiton, and Stephen Duncan, Achdregnie, Glenlivet.

David Morrison, Dalwyne, Barr, also hit the £10,000 mark for a son of last year’s £52,000 Crossflatt lamb bought here, bred from a ewe by the home-bred Buffalo. Andrew Provan, Parkhall, Douglas, Lanark and John Hamilton, Aitkengall, Dunbar, shared the cost of this lamb, which was brought out with assistance from Andrew McMillan.

First time consignor, Mike Grant, who owns the Craigdhu flock, in Northern Ireland, received £9000 for his debutante. Forking out the cash for this one, bred from an Allanfauld ewe bought privately and sired by the £35,000 Dalchirla, were Andy Woodburn and son, Andy, Netherwood, Muirkirk and Andy Paton, Craig, Straiton.

Averages: 155 ram lambs, £4644.77 (+£483.42 for 30 fewer sold).


£8000 – Auchloy, by a Crossflatt son of £160,000 Dalchirla, to Auchloy, Connachan and Dalwyne; Auldhouseburn, by an £85,000 Elmscleugh, to Dyke and D MacGregor, Burnhead, Kilsyth.
£7000 – Troloss, by a £12,000 Crossflatt, to Glenrath and Nunnerie; Nunnerie, by a £30,000 Midlock, to Loughash; Crossflatt, by Tornado – a home-bred son of £160,000 Dalchirla – to Elmscleugh.
£6000 – Easter Happrew, by an £85,000 Elmscleugh, to J Renwick and Son, Corsebank, Sanquhar; Elmscleugh, by a £9000 shearling sold the previous day, to J Kay and Son, Hartside, Lammermuir, Oxton.
£5000 – Beoch, Loch Doon, by a £2500 Knockbreck, to Craigengillan Estates, Beoch Loch Doon and R Whiteford, Burnfoot, Sanquhar; Netherwood, by a £3200 Dalchirla, to S Blackwood, Greenside, Muirkirk, and Netherwood; Loughash, by a £20,000 Auldhouseburn, to B Devine and V Fullerton, Northern Ireland; Loughash, by a £24,000 Crossflatt, to J Marshall, Gosland, Broughton, Biggar
£4800 – Glenrath, by an £85,000 Elmscleugh, to J Pirie, Laigh Park, Drymen.

FLOCK averages:

Ram lambs
Flock (No)    Top (£)    Averages
                              2017    2016

Upper Wellwood (4)    10,000    3050.00    1200
Milnmark (3)    1500    1066.67    2575
High Staward (4)    3500    2225.00    -
Hartside, Lammermuir (3)    3200    1633.33    1533
Dyke (5)    4000    1770.00    7167
Auldhouseburn (5)    58,000    16,520    21,000
Merkins (3)    3500    1866.67    -
Gass (3)    2400    1483.33    680
Mitchellhill (3)    2200    1050.00    -
High Leam (4)    1000    455.00    227
The Cottage (3)    1100    640.00    -
Loughash (7)    45,000    9100.00    3275
Allanfauld (3)    10,000    4500.00    2890
Easter Happrew (4)    55,000    19,750.00    1800
Glenrath (6)    24,000    9633.33    2290
Auchloy (3)    8000    3116.67    2900
Elmscleugh (7)    6000    2914.29    24,617
Midlock (8)    45,000    13,243.75    10,357
Craigdhu (4)    9000    3600.00    -
Nunnerie (5)    20,000    10,220    
Dalwyne (5)    10,000    3620.00    7600
Dalblair (3)    3000    1933.33    2680
Shawsknowe (3)    800    533.33    4433
Gosland (3)    2000    1033.33    300
Whelphill (3)    2200    1050.00    1867
Blackcraig (4)    10,000    2887.50    -
Burnhead, Kilsyth (3)    500    433.33    -
Crossflatt (6)    20,000    7250.00    13,900

Auctioneers: Lawrie and Symington