STRONG lambs with good coats were very much in demand at the Blackface ram sale at Dalmally, where overall averages improved by more than £100 per head – without a massive six-figure sale as was the case in 2015 and 2016 – but backed up by no fewer than 16 five-figure prices. 
It was Ian Hunter’s Dalchirla pen, from Muthill, Crieff, which provided most of the star attractions, including the sale leader at £75,000, with others at £32,000, £30,000 and £22,000. Such was the interest in this consignment that when it came to selling them, it was a case of room in the rafters only!
Topping the trade was the pen leader, brought out with assistance from Mr Hunter’s brother, Alan. This was a son of the £28,000 Auldhouseburn bought at Lanark together with Midlock and Lurg, he is bred from a ewe by The Triplet – a home-bred son of a £30,000 Aitkenhead retained for breeding. 
From a kick-off bid of £5000, he swiftly rose to £75,000 and sold in a two-way split to John Campbell and son, Iain, of Glenrath, and another father and son team, Hugh and Alan Blackburn, Auldhouseburn. 
Clubbing together to pay for the £32,000 Dalchirla lamb were Archie and John MacGregor, Allanfauld, Kilsyth; Troloss Farms, Elvanfoot, managed by Joe Cockburn; and Jimmy and Donald MacGregor, Dyke. 
For their money, they get a lamb by the £24,000 Connachan, which was bought at Lanark in partnership with Midlock, out of a ewe by the £24,000 Elmscleugh that has bred well for the 1100-Dalchirla ewe flock. 
Next best, at £30,000, was another by the £28,000 Auldhouseburn, out of a ewe bred the same way as the last. It was snapped up by Paul Coulson, for his Hexham-based High Staward flock.
Another two-way split saw Ewen Macmillan, Lurg, Fintry and David Morrison, Dalwyne, Barr, secure another son of the £24,000 Connachan for £22,000. He is out of a ewe by a home-bred son of the £68,000 Elmscleugh. 
Continuing a good run of sales for flock, which saw seven lambs average £24,685.71, was a son of Boris – a home-bred son of the £10,000 Nunnerie retained for breeding – which made £8000. He sold to Northern Ireland breeders, Eoin McKenna and Charlie Phillips, Draperstown and is out of a ewe by a home-bred son of the £68,000 Elmscleugh. 
With a top price of £22,000 followed by another lamb at £14,000, John and Iain Campbell’s Glenrath pen was another to have a good day selling seven lambs at £7710. 
Their top price came for the pen leader, another by the £85,000 Elmscleugh that sold sons to £55,000 and £24,000 at Lanark the previous day. His mother is by the £11,000 Greenside that was behind some of this year’s show team. He sold to Auldhouseburn and brothers, Ian and Andrew Cullens, Dollarbank. 
The £85,000 Elmscleugh also sired the No 2 lamb from Glenrath that was knocked down to the Bennie brothers, Euan and Willie, of the Merkins flock, Gartocharn, for £14,000. This lad’s dam is by the same sire as a £17,000 shearling sold last year, the £50,000 Crossflatt. 
Also hitting five figures when snapped up by Jamie and Matthew Dunlop, Upper Wellwood, and Sanny Blackwood, Greenside, for £11,000 was the No 1 from Hugh and Alan Blackwood’s Auldhouseburn flock. His sire is the £50,000 Crossflatt shared with High Staward that sired a £20,000 lamb sold last year, while his mother is by the £90,000 Blackhouse. 
A final call of £7500 saw Ian Bond, for Glen, Gatehouse, and Jim and Fiona Burns, Craignell, secure another Auldhouseburn lamb, with the genetics behind this lad including the £100,000 Elmscleugh that sired Midlock’s £45,000 lamb, on to a ewe by a £8000 Crossflatt. 
The Kays – Andrew and sons, Robert and Andrew – saw their Gass flock hit £10,000 for a lamb by Tornado, a Crossflatt-bred lamb of which a share was bought privately. Elmscleugh paid for him to secure some home breeding as he’s out of a ewe by the £68,000 Elmscleugh. 
Two lambs hit £5500 with the first of these from Allan Wight’s Biggar-based Midlock flock. Sired by the £100,000 Elmscleugh, he sold to John and Charlie Harkin, at Loughash, Northern Ireland, who also went to the same money for a son of the £160,000 Dalchirla from Elmscleugh.

Averages: 158 ram lambs, £2157 (+£124 for 10 fewer); 525 shearlings, £983 (+£191 for the same number).