3rd October 2020
Averages: 191 shearling rams, £1588.90 (+£271.33 for seven fewer sold); 23 ram lambs, £2863.04 (+£1784.42 for six fewer).
Auctioneers: Craig Wilson
A new venue for Craig Wilson's Newton Stewart Blackface ram sale, at Ayr Auction Market, proved a huge success with prices and averages well up on the year in both the shearling ram and tup lamb sections.
The event which moved to the larger Ayr mart to allow additional space for social distancing in the Covid-19 pandemic, not only attracted an increased number of buyers, but also more five-figure priced sales.
From a lead bid of £34,000 for a ram lamb later christened Ayr Raid from John Murray, Crossflatt, Muirkirk, a further eight shearling rams sold at or above the £10,000 mark. This compares to just three five-figure sellers at the Newton Stewart sale last year.
Star attraction was the Crossflatt lamb, a son of the £150,000 Auldhouseburn lamb bought last year at Lanark in partnership with Auldhouseburn, and High Staward, out of a ewe by the home-bred McCoy. He sold in a three-way split to John Carruthers, Silloans, Rochester, his brother Richard, from Merkland, Thornhill, Dumfriesshire and near neighbours, Hugh Rorison, Clonrae, Thornhill.
Although it was a lamb that topped the trade, the remainder of the lead prices were for big, stretchy shearling rams.
Dearest here at £17,000 was the pen leader from Jimmy Wallace and his daughter Kirsten's Fingland pen from Dalry, Castle Douglas. Their best, christened Fresh Ayr, is by a £6000 Milnmark shearling ram and out of a ewe by a £6500 Dyke. He sold to Ian Bond's Glen, Gatehouse flock managed by Robert and Debbie McTaggart and Susan Archibald, Larg, Creetown.
The 650-ewe flock at Fingland had a cracking trade throughout securing the lead flock average of £4731 for eight. Their next best at £14,000 was also the third top price amongst the shearling rams when selling to Colin McClymont, Cuil, Palnure, Newton Stewart. This was the pen's No 2, a son of the £10,000 Madrissa shearling bought at Dalmally, out of a ewe by a £17,000 Craigdarroch.
On the income side, Cuil had a cracking trade for sons of the £8000 Chirmorrie shearling bought in 2017, with sales at £15,000, £13,000 and £4500. Dearest here when selling to Ian McKnight, Dalhabboch, Glenluce, was Yoda, a tup bred from a home-bred son of the £31,000 Little Larg.
The No 2 from the 750-ewe flock at Cuil and neighbouring Clanary unit, later christened Bobby Dazzler, was purchased by Robert McTurk, Barlaes, Dalry and Rob Hannah, Blackloch, Gatehouse of Fleet. His dam is by a £6500 Dryhope.
David Wilson, Kirkmabreck, Creetown, bought the £4500 Cuil shearling, again by the £8000 Chirmorrie, but out of a another £31,000 Little Larg-sired ewe.
Adding to the celebrations Mr McClymont's Clanary hirsel, brought out by shepherd Gordon Porter, sold to £9000, for a son of a £5500 Dunruchan bought at Lanark, out of another ewe by the Little Larg tup. Buying back some of their own genetics, he headed home with Tom and Mairi Paterson and son Robert, Dunruchan, Muthill, Crieff.
While Fingland topped the averages league, the Ramsay family's Milnmark consignment from Dalry, was hot on their heels, selling three shearlings at five figures to level at £3760 for 15. Most of these were by home-bred rams to include the dearest at £12,000. He is a son of the £5000 Milnmark sold last year which in turn was by a £55,000 Happrew, while the dam is by a £1000 Milnmark. This big tup which was the pen's No 3, sold across the Irish Sea with Steven Kerr, Kilwaughter, Larne.
Milnmark's No 2, by a different home-bred son of the £55,000 Happrew, made £11,000 when selling in a three-way split to Kirkmabreck, the Mitchell family from Little Larg and Keith Brooke, Carscreugh, both Glenluce, Stranraer. His dam is a daughter of a £20,000 Crossflatt.
Selling at £10,000 to Billy Renwick, Blackhouse, Yarrow, and Ian Campbell, Glenrath, Peebles, was the No 4, by Milnmark Isaac, a grand-son of a £16,000 Dyke. The dam is by an £8000 Happrew.
The pen leader from the 1200-ewe flock at Milnmark made £4000 selling to Drannandow Farms, Minnigaff, Newton Stewart, managed by Davie Ferguson. He was keen to buy back some of his own bloodlines with the sire of this tup being the Belter, a £42,000 Drannandow sold at Newton Stewart in 2018, bred from a ewe by the £20,000 Crossflatt.
Just behind, on £3800, Robin Dunlop, Pinvalley, Girvan, bought a son of £5000 Milnmark, out of a ewe by a £16,000 Dyke, from the Ramsays.
Having achieved previous bests of £5000 and £7000, respectively for the past two years, Ian McKnight's Dalhabboch flock went another step better with an £11,000 sale for his pen leader. He is by a £400 Dalblair son of a £52,000 Crossflatt bought at Stirling in 2018, which bred last year's £7000 shearling, while the dam is by a Craigdarroch loan by a £17,000 Craigdarroch. Used at home as a lamb with eight sons for next year's sales, he headed home with north of England breeders, Selby Robson, Yatesfield and Jamie Murray, Sewingshields, Hexham.
Other big priced shearling sales included a £9500 Little Larg from the Mitchell family, purchased by Willie Dunlop and sons Quintin and William, Elmscleugh, Innerwick, Dunbar. For their money, they get a son of their own £3000 Elmscleugh, bred from a ewe by a £13,000 Midlock.
Just behind, on £8000, the Patons from Craig, Straiton and shepherd Drew McMillan, sold their pen leader in a three-way split to Fingland, Glen, Gatehouse and Larg, Creetown. The breeding behind this transaction includes a £1200 Blackhouse onto a ewe by a £5000 Dyke.
On the other side of the coin, Glen, Gatehouse, sold their pen leader at £4500, a son of the £10,000 Madrissa, bred from a ewe by a £9000 Midlock, to Dougie Graham, Kirkton, Pentlands.
Back amongst the lambs, and first time consignor, Thomas Muirhead, who runs the Orchilmore flock at Comrie, enjoyed a cracking day, selling the second highest priced lot at £6500 to Elmscleugh. This big fella was by an Auldhouseburn son of the £160,000 Elmscleugh and out of a Crossflatt ewe by John Murray's McCallum.
Later, Kirstyn and Eoin Blackwood, Dalblair, Muirkirk, sold two sons by the home-bred Bodyguard, a son of a £28,000 Auldhouseburn retained for breeding, at £4200 and £3000, to the McIlwricks at Balmurrie, and Frank McMiking, Miltonise, both New Luce. The former is bred from a ewe by a home-bred son of an £85,000 Elmscleugh, while the latter is out of a £52,000 Crossflatt daughter.
A chance mating from two ewes from Jim and Fiona Burns' Craignell flock from New Galloway, to a Greenside son of a £14,000 Dalblair, owned by Sanny Blackwood, also produced the goods, when the resultant ram lamb sold for £4000. He is out of a ewe by an £8000 Dyke and was knocked down to Billy Welsh who manages Beoch, Loch Doon, Dalmellington and Richard Nixon, Marbrack, Carsphairn.
Flock (No) Top (£) Average
Craig, Straiton (7) 8000 1678.57
Carscreugh (4) 1300 705.00
Bargrennan (6) 3000 1266.66
Barnvannoch (3) 750 443.33
Little Larg (7) 9500 1978.57
Craigdarroch (7) 2600 1031.42
Craignell (5) 1200 480.00
Kirkmabreck (9) 2500 1196.66
Laghead (3) 520 373.33
Dalwyne (3) 3000 1516.66
Blackloch (5) 650 444.00
Chirmorrie (3) 1700 1233.33
Dalhabboch (6) 11,000 2741.66
Cuil, Palnure (14) 15,000 3147.85
Grimmet (5) 1600 888.00
Larg, Creetown (6) 1000 370.00
Markdhu (6) 700 505.00
Knockdon (3) 1050 606.00
Drannandow (14) 2600 1075.00
Glenmanna (6) 1000 708.33
Gass, Straiton (4) 2000 1217.50
Clanary (8) 9000 1672.50
Drumbreddan (3) 1700 900.00
Fingland (8) 17,000 4731.25
Milnmark (15) 12,000 3760.00
Glen, Gatehouse (8) 4500 1122.50
Knockeen (4) 2600 1012.50
Balrazzie (5) 700 574.00
Miltonise (5) 1200 534.00
Dalwyne (3) 2000 1266.66
Craignell (3) 4000 1660.00
Dalblair (3) 4200 2483.33