A top price of 26,000gns complete with a further four lots selling at five-figures set the scene at the Suffolk Society ram sale at Stirling, where the best from Iain Barbour and his sister Judith's Solwaybank flock led the trade.
Chief Executive Robin McIlrath said “This has been a great sale this year and achieving a 74% clearance is excellent. I firmly believe things are taking off for the Suffolk breed. With buyers from across Europe, the appeal of the Suffolk as a high performing terminal sire stretches well beyond these shores. It was also very encouraging to see a strong representation form the commercial sheep world with quite a number of tups going to commercial flocks.”
This is the first year the Suffolk Sheep Society has broadcast their sales live on Facebook, Robin went on to say “Our Facebook feed has been a staggering success this year. At Stirling alone we reached nearly 425,000 Facebook users, and had 21,000 individuals watching our Show and Sale at some stage over the 2 days.”
Selling early on in the day at 26,000gns was a son of the privately purchased Lakeview Harbinger, out of a ewe by Rhaeadr Rastafari. A full brother to the 13,000gns Solwaybank Braveheart, he was knocked down to Phil Poole, buying for the Salopian flock from Shrewsbury. Altogether Solwaybank sold 7 lambs with an average of £5,895.Jim Innes' Strathbogie flock from Huntly, was also in the money selling his pen leader at 24,000gns to Helen Goldie, Kilmarnock and Gordon Mackie, Drimmie, Forfar. Fourth in the open class, he is by Strathbogie A Kind of Magic, which sold for 6000gns last year, out of a ewe by Middlemuir Winston. Strathbogie had an excellent day with 3 other lambs getting 4,500gns, 4,200gns and 3,500gns.
Two lambs made 12,000gns including the best from John Sinnett's Stockton flock purchased by Roy Hiddleston, buying for his Irongray flock from Dumfries. Jimmy Douglas also received 12,000gns for a lamb with Mrs M J Cornish (Co Devon) paying 8,000 for another Cairness lamb. Northern Ireland's Gary Beacom, also took 10,000gns for a lamb from his very successful Lakeview flock pen. Lakeview also sold lambs at 8,000gns and 6,000gns. The Society is experiencing considerable interest from Europe and a Portuguese consortium paid 10,000gns for a Paul Delves Bridgeview lamb.
Other top prices were for a Limestone Flock lamb with M Priestly getting 9,500gns from Stewart (Co Down), Stuart (Aberdeenshire) and Walker (Co Limerick). S & W Tait’s Burnview pen sold 10 ram lambs with a top price of 8,000gns and an average of £2,393. A Wilson (Co Donegal) got 5,000gns for his Irish bred Castleisle ram lamb.
20 more sheep were sold this year than last year with clearance increasing from 61% in 2016 to 74% this year. The average price was marginally down by £12 to £2,119.