1st – Crossdykes (Nos. 302, 303 & 310)
2nd – Catslack (Nos. 5, 6 & 8)
3rd – Skelfhill (Nos. 167, 169 & 170)
1st – Skelfhill (No. 167)
2nd – Hislop (No. 21)
3rd – Skelfhill (No. 166)
1st – Crossdykes (No. 302)
2nd – Mountbenger (No. 268)
3rd – Hoghill (No. 176)
Champion – Crossdykes (No. 302)
Reserve Champion – Skelfhill (No. 167)
Shearling rams met the best of the trade at the sale of South Country Cheviot rams at Lockerbie, on Monday, when they attracted the best of the bids to top at £9000 and recorded the strongest average against their older flockmates.
Pedigree breeders forked out for the top priced lots and with producers only willing to pay for the better tups for commercial use, the overall average dropped on the year but for 12 more sold compared to 2017. That being said, 14 rams sold for £3000 or above with no fewer than 26 hitting and passing the £2000 barrier.
That top price of £9000 came late on in the sale when one of the last lots to sell, John Paton’s Castle Crawford flock from near Biggar, hit that mark for a shearling brought out by shepherd, James Cochrane.
What makes this big price all the sweeter is the fact this lad is by a home-bred tup called Castle Yeoman, a ram used as a shearling before selling to Becks for £9000 and bought back a few years later, which is still at work as a six-shear. This shearling caught the eye of Jim Robertson, and heads to work on the Becks flock near Langholm.
The 860-ewe Castle Crawford flock, which sold 12 rams to level at £1750, the best average of the day, also received £3200 for another shearling by a home- bred ram, this time Castle Bull Dozer. Forking out the cash was Tam Halliday, who will use him at Springwells, Johnston Bridge, Lockerbie.
A ram with a proven show record was next in the trade stakes when a half share of the Common family’s South Country Cheviot champion of champions from the show season sold for £7000 to the Yarrow-based Mountbenger flock belonging to George Irving. This reserve male at the Royal Highland which secured his place for the Cheviot supreme at Moffat and also won the tri-colour ticket at the pre-sale show, is the dearest to date by the £5200 Mainside Viscount. The Commons – Alan, son Billy and his two sons, Murray, 11, and Innes, nine – who run 970 pure ewes near Lockerbie, also welcomed a £2700 bid from Tim Elliot, Hindhope, Jedburgh, for another Mainside Viscount- sired shearling, and sold 19 shearlings to average £1072.63.
Much earlier, Tim Elliot and son, Tom, saw the second in from their 1100- ewe Hindhope flock near Jedburgh sell to Crossdykes for £5500 to head up the two-shear trade. Used at home as a shearling and the sire of some members of this year’s show team, this lad is by the home-bred Hindhope Thistlecrack which sold to Upper Hindhope and Becks for £5000 a few years back. This helped push the Hindhope average to £1253.85 for 13 two-shears.
Next in the trade stakes at £4400 was a shearling from Sid Anderson and sons, Ross and Scott’s 1100-ewe Alemoor flock from near Hawick, which also produces Cheviot Mules. This ram which was knocked down to Sandy and William Fleming at Hislop, Teviothead, Hawick, is the dearest to sell by the retained Alemoor Nestor, which is in turn by Crossdykes Ivanhoe and bred a £1900 ram last year. The Andersons saw eight shearlings cash in to average £1037.50.
Father and son team, Craig and Stuart Weir, of the Mainside flock near Hownam, Kelso, saw entries from their pen of two-shears sell to £4200 and £3000. Dearest when snapped up by Becks was more than making back the money of his sire, the £480 Castle Angus, from which females have been retained in the flock of 700 ewes.
Selling to Messrs Easton, Langhope, Ashkirk, Selkirk, was the two-shear which won the tup lamb class at Border Union a couple years back, and was also returning more than the price of his sire, the £700 Potholm Foreman. In all, Mainside sold 11 two- shears to level at £1129.09.
Matching that £4200 bid when sold to Crossdykes was a shearling from Blair and Morag Cockburn’s 840-strong Stirkfield flock from Broughton, Biggar. Bred from a daughter of a Becks tup, he is among the first crop of tups to sell by the £9000 Mountbenger Whisky Galore.
On the other side of the balance sheet, Stirkfield paid £4000 for the first in from the Carlenrig flock belonging to Walter Douglas, Teviothead, Alnwick. Sired by the £1800 Hislop Victor, the mother of this two-shear is by an £8000 Stirkfield ram.
The Hume brothers, Duncan and Callum, who run 1500 ewes in their Sundhope flock near Yarrow and contract farm a further 1600 at Eildonhope, saw two of theirs go under the hammer for £3800 apiece, with both of these shearlings among the first crop by the £3800 Becks Nutcracker which also bred some of their show sheep.
The first of these sold to Jan MacKenzie for her Langdale flock near Strathnaver on the north coast, while the second heads to Row Hope, Harbottle, Morpeth, with Neil Hindmarsh. The Humes’ entry averaged £1252.22 for nine shearlings.
The Andersons paid £3600 to take the inter-breed sheep champion from Abington Show to work on their Alemoor flock. That was a shearling named Glenochar Lightening Strike from the Glenochar and Glengeith flocks managed by Tommy Aitchison for Hopetoun Estates. His sire is the retained Glengeith Impression, which is himself by Crossdykes Juggernaut.
Alistair Warden saw his Hawick-based Skelfhill flock peak at £3200 when his first prize two-shear and reserve champion, a son of the £16,000 Cnewr Ambassador, was chapped down to the Cockburns, Stirkfield.
Matching a call of £3000 when sold to the Kers at Chatto, Hownam, Kelso, was a two-shear from father and son team, Sandy and William Fleming’s Hislop flock. His sire is a home-bred tup called Hislop Warthog.
Having paid for a couple of the top priced lots, Jim Robertson received a top of £2600 for among the first rams to sell by the £6500 Kale Falcon. This shearling from the 1000-ewe flock near Langholm heads to work at Satchells, Melrose, for Craig Bradbury.
Other leading prices:
£2400 Hoghill, shearling by Stirkfield Yeoman, to D and C Hume, Sundhope; Blackburn, shearling by Castle Animosity, to J Robertson, Becks; Shilmoor, two-shear by Drycleughlea Pabbay, to C and S Weir, Mainside.
£2200 – Hindhope, two-shear by Glengeith Hillbilly, to WN Douglas, Catslackburn; Becks, shearling by Hindhope Cavalier to W Douglas, Carlenrig.
£2000 – Catslackburn, shearling by Catslack Top Spot, to J and G Irving, Mountbenger; Catslackburn, shearling by Caerlan Carter, to D and C Hume, Sundhope; Skelfhill, two-shear by Potholm Forceful, to Messrs Hepburn, Crosscleuch; Crossdykes, shearling by Stirkfield Zebedee, to A Warden, Skelfhill; Castle, shearling by Becks Mojo, to WN Douglas, Catslackburn
(By kind permission of the Scottish Farmer)