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'Outstanding' quality sees centre records smashed at Quoybrae sheep fair

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The Cheviot champion Biggins Dictator, from J & W Mackay, Biggins. Picture: Angus Mackay Photography
The Cheviot champion Biggins Dictator, from J & W Mackay, Biggins. Picture: Angus Mackay Photography

Centre records were smashed in the annual three-day sheep fair hosted by Aberdeen and Northern Marts at Caithness Livestock Centre, Quoybrae.

Auctioneer Scott Chapman described the quality as "outstanding" in all classes.

“Caithness ram breeders came out in style at the show and sale, smashing centre records for the Texels and Suffolks when a fantastic price of £2000 was achieved for both on day one," he said.

"The momentum continued on day two with another centre and breed record smashed by a Biggins-bred gimmer from J & W Mackay which achieved £5000, selling to David Bruce, Hagg House, Scarborough.

"There was an outstanding show forward across all classes over the three-day sheep fair which met an electric trade from start to finish with a packed ringside of buyers. We would like to thank our sponsors HRN Tractors and Agri-Lloyd for supporting the events.”

The sheep fair ran from September 14-16.

It began with the annual show and sale of multi-breed rams when 114 rams were sold under the auspices of the Caithness Sheep Breeders Association, with the event sponsored by HRN Tractors.

The champion Suffolk judged by Scott Dey, Bogbeth Livestock, Kemnay, was a shearling from J B & L Swanson, East Murkle, and sold for a new centre record of £2000 to J R Burgess, Lower House, Hillwell.

Nicola Wordie, Cairnborrow Mains judged the Texels with a shearling from R Mackay, Clyth Mains, taking champion and going on to sell for £1800 to R & A MacKintosh, Glengolly Farm.

Taking top price for the Texels was the reserve champion shearling from R Mackay, Clyth Mains, which sold for £2000 to J S Baillie & Co, Sebay Farm, Tankerness.

In the "any other breed" section, judge Tracey Nicol, Balthayock Farm, Perth, tapped out her champion, a Beltex shearling from James Swanson, Framside, that went on to sell for £800 to J MacDonald, West Brims.

On day two, Aberdeen and Northern Marts under the auspices of the North Country Cheviot Sheep Society, sponsored by Agri-Lloyd, sold 59 rams to an average of £1385.83 (+£100.12) against £1282.56 for 85 last year. Ram lambs sold to £1200 (+£516.67) and four gimmers to average £1156.25 (+£474.59).

A new breed and centre record of £5000 was achieved for a North Country Cheviot gimmer, sired by Biggins Xerick and bred by James Mackay Biggins, who also took overall champion. The gimmer had also taken second prize at the Caithness County Show.

Overall Cheviot champion judged by Norman Robinson, Summherhill House, and James Metcalfe, Hardenclough Farm, Edale, was a shearling Biggins Dictator, by Cairnside Craftsman, from J & W Mackay, Biggins, which sold for £4200 to Firm of Mackay, South Balkeith, Tain.

Reserve shearling Bardnaclavan Dazzler by Cairnside Action Man from D N Campbell & Sons, Bardnaclavan, and sold for £3500 to Andrew Gunn, Upper Dounreay.

On the third day, 2460 store, breeding and feeding sheep were sold incorporating consignments from the Dunbeath, Bettyhill, Forsinard and north-west Sutherland areas.

Gimmers (315) averaged £105.13 to £240 for Cheviots from Braemore, Dunbeath (McGonigal). Breeding ewes (955) averaged £113.02 to £200 for Cheviot ewes from Brackside, Reay.

Store lambs (613) sold to £110 for Cheviots from 8 Upper Dounreay. Feeding ewes and rams (577) averaged £74.83 to £162 for Texels from Sibmister.

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