Shearling rams met a flyng trade at the Northern Beltex Club's sale at Skipton, where a top price of 7000gns and a further 14 selling at 2000gns or more, ensured increased averages in all male sections.

Sale leader was Arnagullion Feux from Irish raider, Libby McAllister and her brother, William, from Kells, Ballymena.A son of the 3000gns Greenall Dennis The Menace bought here in 2019, he is bred from Artnagullion Aimee by the 9000gns Rathbone Tony. Feux was knocked down to James Whiteford for the Tercrosset flock near West Hall, Brampton.

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Second top price amongst the shearlings was 3400gns paid by Aberdeenshire breeders, Rory Gregor and Ross and Kirsty Williams of the Gregor's and Black Jack flocks, respectively, for Brian Hall’s Ainstable Falsified. This tup is by Black Jack Casanova, while the dam is Ainstable Aviary, a Hudhey Tenacious D daughter.

Mr Hall from Ainstable, Carlisle, sold 10 to average £1680, with others at 3200gns and 2200gns. Dearest was the reserve male at the pre-sale show, Ainstable Ferocious, which caught the eye of John Cowan, buying for his Brickrow flock from Auchincruive, Ayr. Ferocious is by Kingledores Engleburt and out of the Woodies Wicked daughter, Ainstable Balderdash.

Two rams sold for 3000gns, with the first being Greenall Furious from John Green, Lilliesleaf, Melrose. He is by Dean Brow Carlos and was chapped down to Steve Buckley, Dove Holes, Buxton.

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Matching that 3000gns bid, Grant Maxwell, Bowden, Melrose, sold Faughhill Freddy Kreuger, a son of the 10,000gns Ryder DIY, to James Whiteford, Tercrosset. His dam is Eildon Blossom, a Kingledores Alfie daughter that produced the 4000gns gimmer, Faughhill Eye Candy.

Leading the ram lambs at 4000gns was Matthew Burleigh's Matt’s Goal Keeper, all the way from Shanra, Enniskillen. A son of the 14,000gns Murrays Expert, bred from a Hackney Corker daughter, in Matt's Dianthus, he sold to Jack Monk of the Monks flock near Mellor.

At 3100gns, Newton Stewart-based breeder, Jock McMillan sold his lamb, Clary Granite, to Anne Story for her BorderEsk flock from Longtown. Buying back some of her own breeding, Granite is by BorderEsk Leap Frog while the dam is the 2019 Highland Show champion, Clary Delight, a Hackney Braveheart daughter.

Females met a very selective trade, selling to 1400gns for the pre-sale supreme champion from Dafydd Owen, from Rowen, Conwy. His gimmer, Smart Ass Fevertree, is by Arkle EZ Ryder, a full brother to the noted Arkle DJ, while her dam is Smart Ass Bonnie, a Dooley Napal daughter. Adrian and Kathryn Leach were behind the cash and take Fevertree back to their Owlers flock near Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.

Averages: 177 shearling rams, £932 (+£57 for 36 more sold); three aged rams, £665 (+£87 for one more); 31 ram lambs, £861 (+£196 for 24 more); 60 gimmers, £455 (-£210 for 13 fewer); five ewe lambs at £464 (+£60 for eight fewer).