THE seventh, annual 'Longtown Ladies' sale of pedigree breeding sheep was held last week by C & D Auction Marts Ltd.

Trade was exceptionally strong throughout, reflecting the high quality of the sheep on offer.

133 head achieved a 96 per cent selling rate to average £1,079 overall with 31 four figure prices. 38 per cent sold to the 383 registered online bidders, who social-distanced using the Marteye bidding platform recently adopted by the mart.

Taking the honours, and setting a centre record for a Texel, was a shearling gimmer from Alan Blackwood, Auldhouseburn, Muirkirk. In lamb with a single to Bellefield Double Dutch, this daughter of Rhaeadr Best of the Best sold at 8,000gns to the Ettrick flock of Gordon Gray. At 6,400gns, Auldhouseburn sold another by the same sire, and again in lamb to Double Dutch, to Northern Irish buyer, J. Cubbitt of Ballymena. The remainder of the Auldhouseburn pen of gimmers will also be crossing the Irish Sea to T. Kenny, Ballinasloe, Galway, at 4,000gns and to B. Farrell, Oberstown, County Meath, at 3,600gns. The Auldhouseburn average was £5,775.

Perthshire-based Robert Cockburn, of Knap Texels, sold a gimmer, in lamb to Sportsmans Cannonball, at 3,200gns to Steven Smith & family, of the Penparc flock, with others from Knap making 2,400gns, 2,200gns and averaging £2,546. Just short of this average, at £2,484, was Steven Renwick, Craig Douglas, with the sale of the 2019 sire of the year Knock Bantastic daughter at 3,200gns to J. Pirie, Blarnavaid, and another at 3,000gns.

Thomas Muirhead, Orchilmore, had sales at 2,400gns and 2,000gns, the former going to L.M. Jones. Averages: 70 Texel Gimmers - £1,204; 19 Texel Ewe Hoggs - £899; 16 Dutch Texel Gimmers - £782; 17 Beltex Gimmers & Ewe Hoggs - £441; 5 Dutch Spotted Ewe Hoggs - £3,360.