The old cliché of “the best sold well” came to the fore at the 2015 Cydectin Ram Sales last Friday.
This was not surprising as general opinion was that collectively there had never been such quality rams to choose from with an additional 725 on offer this year making a total of 5689 entries.
The sheep trade has had a torrid summer so buyers were cautious throughout.
Having said that generally consignors and buyers were pleased as were the eight auction companies.
A very steady trade for quality sheep from all breeds.
By the end of the day 4313 rams (4271 – 2014) had changed hands for a total of £2,633,875 (£2,922,105) with an average of £610.68 (£684.17), a decrease of £73.49 on the year with a clearance rate of 75.81% (86%).
Though principally the top annual commercial multi-breed Sale such was the quality of sheep, many with outstanding EBVs and genetics behind them that it was not surprising that many were bought for pedigree use.
None more so that the outstanding Texel shearling from Peter and Lynn Gray of Scrogtonhead, Galston, which made £14,000, bought by Jonathan Watson for his Bowsden Moor flock in North Northumberland.
This followed their record price of £35,000 in 2014 which sold to Messrs Proctor from near Slaidburn in Lancashire.
The Grays sold further rams for £9,000, £5,500 with another five over four figures to average £1628.07 for 32 shearlings.
The following pen, from Messrs. A Gray & Son, Langside sold to a top of £7,500 to Messrs. Mellin, Hillhouse and averaged £1527.50 for 28 shearlings.
Redhead and Watson recouped some of their money by selling to a top of £7,000 to Messrs Illingworth, Annan and averaging £1089.29 for 35 shearlings.
There were nineteen Texel shearlings in the top thirty prices(average £5431).
Nine top Bluefaced Leicesters made an average of £5933 with the Wights of Midlock hitting the jackpot with a top of £13,500, a new Kelso BFL record, selling to Crowhall Farms, Northumberland and averaging £2769 for 18 shearlings and 2 lambs.
The top thirty shearlings were completed by a Beltex shearling from N and L McQuiston selling at £4,000 to Messrs. Stuart, Wood and Gregor, another new Kelso record and a Dutch Texel from Messrs. M R and J E Davis, Lancashire to Mr. Mounsey, Ashfield.
Suffolks were not to be outdone in the Lamb section with Jimmy Douglas, Woodhead of Cairness selling his leader for £7,500 to Messrs. Duncan, Robinson and Gault and the top five making an average of £2,980.
Top cross bred ram was sold by Messrs. B and W McAllister, Northern Ireland to Mr Pear, Woodacre for £2,300, top Unregistered Suffolk for £1,700 from Mrs A Campbell, Glenrath to Messrs Herdman, Edlingham, Northumberland, top Lleyn from J K Goldie for £1,200 to Mr Aubrey, Dartmouth, top Charollais from Mrs S Coghill, Orkney for £1,100 to Darley Stud, top Vendeen from R N Howie and Partners, Northumberland for £1.050, top Border Leicester from S and A Watson, Crieff for £1,000 to Mr Haggart and the top North Country Cheviot from J Runciman and Sons, Allanshaws for £1,000 to J Peacock, High Lim Farm.
As with most farming commodities in 2015 the sheep trade has not had an easy time but despite a drop in the average this year, after five consecutive increases, there is confidence with the evidence of buyers faith in that more rams sold with record prices and record averages.