With a new format involving both on-line and on-farm bidding, the McGowan family's annual Working Genes sale saw a complete clearance of the 98 rams on offer and a good trade for the selected bulls.

The Yourbid on-line system, developed by Meadowslea Angus in New Zealand, allowed the sale to work under Covid restrictions last year. With more freedom this year, buyers were able to bid from smart phones while standing in the bull paddocks or even with the traditional ‘nod’ to the auction team at computer bidding stations. Some 50% of buyers bid from a distance however – some harvesting, some with Covid concerns and others just preferring the system.

Read more: Shorthorns shine at Scotland’s first cattle-only on-farm Yourbid sale

The 44 Texels averaged £1020 and sold between £350 and £2100 with the top priced lot selling down to the Cotswolds with Sam Phillips, looking for a grass-fed ram suited for an organic system. His pick was a son of Incheoch Blizzard which boasted a massive index of 351 (267 is top 1% of the breed) and a positive fat ebv.

The 47 Lleyns sold from £350 to £2900, levelling just ahead at £1021 with top, Incheoch Judge, going to regular buyer Rosebury Estates.

Vendor, Neil McGowan commented: "Judge is just the sort of ram we are aiming for in our breeding programme. We are looking at a lot of data – on maternal ability, carcase quality, worm resistance, ewe longevity and lamb survival. Judge has a tick in every box, isn’t extreme in any way and is a nicely put together ram."

Homozygous polled bulls proved popular with three Simmental sons of Auroch Deuter averaging £6266.

Read more: Fearn and Incheoch take on Scotland’s first Yourbid Auction

Incheoch Lincoln, which combined the double polled gene with a good set of well balanced EBVs for a maternal sire, was bid to £7000 by Ian MacFarlane, Quixwood. In all eight bulls sold to average £4750, including a Luing heading on a long journey from the Angus Glens to Dartmoor.

Graham Burke of Pentland Livestock, who helped manage the sale said: “Yourbid is an excellent and easy to use sales platform, that allows customers to bid from anywhere without the need to attend the sale and the flexibility to bid on any sheep, right up to the conclusion of the auction.”