A buoyant trade throughout for pedigree Suffolk females at the Dark Diamonds sale at Carlisle, saw Aberdeenshire breeders sell the majority of top priced lots to include the lead ewe lambs and gimmers at 12,000gns, 9000gns and 10,000gns, respectively.

Leading the sale and producing a personal female best for John Gibb’s Cairnton flock from Fraserburgh, was a daughter of 4500gns Bridgeview Balvenie – the sire of the 75,000gns Cairnton Chaos and runner up Sire of the Year 2022 – brought out by daughter Sophia. Reserve champion at the Scottish National at Fife Show, in May, this December-born lamb from the 30-ewe flock is a grand-daughter of the Cairnton ewe that bred the 75,000gns Cairnton Chaos and the 30,000gns Cairnton Strik. She was knocked down at 12,000gns to near neighbour, Jimmy Douglas, buying on behalf of James Theyer of the Clanfield flock from Oxfordshire.

The Scottish Farmer: Top priced gimmer at 10,000gns from Graeme and Finn Christie (Photograph: Wayne Hutchinson)Top priced gimmer at 10,000gns from Graeme and Finn Christie (Photograph: Wayne Hutchinson)

Graeme and Finn Christie of the Balquhain flock from Inverurie, also had a good day selling their highest priced gimmer to date at 10,000gns.

Another backed by the best of genetics, her grand-dam is a former third prize winner at the Royal Highland Show and the dam of Balquhain Fireball. Sired by Howgillfoot Sniper, a ram that has produced two Highland Show champions for the father and son duo, she sold carrying a pair of lambs to the 28,000gns Castleisle Blackadder, to Stephen Cobbald, Acton Hall, Suffolk.

READ MORE | Carlisle Dark Diamonds Suffolks to 12,000gns from Cairnton

Sniper was also behind a 5000gns Balquhain gimmer carrying twins to Blackadder, purchased by James Bignal, Smaladh, Bridgend, Islay. She is bred from the same family as the reserve champion at Kelso that sold for 2800gns, being out a ewe by Crewelands Kingpin.

Suffolks from Melvin Stuart, son Murray and daughter Gemma’s Birness flock from Ellon, continued on their winning ways too after a highly successful sale at the Aberdeen Christmas Classic with ewe lambs at 9000gns and 5500gns, both of which were bought by Charlie Boden and family, of the Sportsmans flock, Stockport, Cheshire.

The dearest is a daughter of Rookery The King, a ram owned in partnership with Pyeston which sired the 13,000gns reserve Scottish champion at Lanark for the Stuarts, out of a ewe by Birness Freedom.

The second ewe lamb is a daughter of Sportmans 5 Star, a 13,000gns purchase at Lanark last year that sired the 19,000gns ram lamb champion at Shrewsbury. The dam is by Limestone Legacy.

READ MORE | John Gibb’s Cairnton ewe lamb led Suffolk Supreme sale

Jimmy Douglas’ Cairness flock from Aberdeenshire hit a top of 7000gns for a gimmer purchased by the Moir brothers, William and David, who were buying a foundation female for their neighbouring flock just outside Fraserburgh. She is by the Rookery The Real McCoy son, Cairness McCoy, and bred from a Craigthornhill-bred ewe by Ballyboe Coldplay. She changed hands carrying a single lamb to Cairnton Ninety Nine, a 9000gns purchase at Shrewsbury.

Another two females sold at 5000gns with the first being the No. 1 gimmer from Alfred and Norman Robinson’s Northern Ireland-based Benrafton flock, Ballyrolly, Downpatrick. She is by Cairness Gypsy King, with both the dam (Benrafton) and grand-dam (Strathisla) being former inter-breed champions at Balmoral. She sold carrying twin lambs to Limestone Lethal Weapon, to Stephen Cobbald.

The Scottish Farmer: Best from Birness was this ewe lamb at 9000gns (Photograph: Wayne Hutchinson)Best from Birness was this ewe lamb at 9000gns (Photograph: Wayne Hutchinson)

Lesley Liggett and his father Mervyn of the Carony flock from Drumquin, Co Tyrone, took the same money for their lead ewe lamb, a daughter of the 12,000gns Mullinvale Ace while the dam, by Rookery Ringmaster, goes back to their foundation female bought at the Greyhill dispersal for 2500gns. She sold to an undisclosed buyer.

Gimmers from Craig Paterson’s Cranorskie flock from Aberchirder, Aberdeenshire, sold well and to a top of 3400gns for a Birness Banter-sired gimmer. Reserve champion at Keith and first at the Black Isle Shows this year, she is an ET sister to last year’s 1900gns ewe lamb and reserve champion at the 2022 Christmas Classic. Bred from a home-bred ewe by Castleisle Capaldi, she sold due with a single lamb to Pyeston Highlander. The buyer was Mark Priestley of the Limestone flock from Downpatrick, Co Down.

The top price for Dennis Taylor’s Ballynacannon flock from Macosquin, Coleraine, was 3200gns paid by Messrs Turner, Newtown, Powys, for the pen’s lead ewe lamb, a Strathbogie Ghost Rider-sired entry out of a ewe by Birness Freedom.

Other Leading Prices

Gimmers – 2800gns – JT Cannon, Redbrae, by Forkins Samson and due to Cairness Crafty, to J Douglas, Woodhead of Cairness, Fraserburgh; Birness, by Forkins Firecracker, due to Sharps Charlie’s Angel, to S and T Illingworth, Lockerbie; Balquhain, by Howgillfoot Sniper and due to Castleisle Blackadder to A Jackson, Annan; Balquhain, by Howgillfoot Sniper and due to Blackadder, to A Jackson, Annan. 2500gns – Redbrae, by Forkins Samson, due to Cairness Crafty, to Messrs Wallace, Claycrop, Kirkinner, Newton Stewart. 2400gns – AR Gault, Forkins, by Forkins Masterplan and due to Rempstone Rassie, Messrs Delday, Deerness, Orkney.

Ewe lambs – 2800gns – Carony, by Cairnton Strik, to Messrs Gregson, Briercliffe, Burnley.

Auctioneers: Harrison and Hetherington.

Averages: Gimmers – Lakeview, 21, £776.45; Cranorskie, five, £1785.00; Redbrae, five, £1659.00; Birness, 10, £1548.75; Forkins, five, £1449.00; Cairness, four, £2441.25; Balquhain, seven, £3705.00; Benrafton, five, £1932.00; Cairnton, four, £1207.50. Ewe lambs – Ballynacannon, three, £1680.00; Forkins, three, £1277.50; Carony, eight, £2191.88.

Overall, 65 gimmers, £1646.07 (+£16.21 for 12 fewer); 20 ewe lambs, £2921.62 (+£145.30 for three more).