A SUCCESSFUL season-opening sale of Bluefaced Leicesters at Hexham Mart reflected the buoyancy in the current sheep market.

Topping the day's trade was a monstor of a tup from Martin Quinn, who travelled all the way from Kinglassie, Fife to attend the sale.

Mr Quinn's sale topper was by the £12,000 Bonvilston K30 “Tudor” and out of a homebred ewe by Mendick D14.

The pen was full of quality, but M40 Whinnyhall stood out - the hammer fell at £7,000 and the animal went to Robert Currie from Braegarrie, Girvan for Mr Quinn's best trade by some stretch.

The Bonilston tup was also behind the breeding of the second-highest sale of the day, giving Hazel Brown her biggest sale to date, with Leadburnlea M3 out of a Mendick bred ewe.

The tup sold for £5200 to Alan McClymont from the Kirkstead flock.

Earlier in the sale the Cassington flock, from Matt and Elaine Drummond, enjoyed a canny trade with their pen of performance recorded tups.

Their pen leader was by the Gornal H27 out of Cassington Samantha, and sold for £4200, selling to Messrs Hindmarsh, Warkshaugh.

Frank Johnson, the legendary veteran of the breed, enjoyed a great trade with his pair of tup lambs on offer. Both lambs were by the K4 Burndale, with the first fetching £3200 from Towdy Potts.

His second lamb sold for £2400 to D&I Hall, West End.

The Kirkstead flock also enjoyed a good trade. Their pen leader was by the Burndale G1. The tup, Kirkstead M11 is out of a ewe by Craig Yr Orsedd. Hazel Brown shelled out £3000 of her recently earned cash for him.