Sale averages and the number of rams sold were both down at the annual Blackface ram sale at Dalmally on Saturday.

There was a hesitancy to the trade which lacked the usual flurry of five-figure prices that have been seen in previous years.

Only three rams sold for more than £10,000, with a significant proportion knocked out of the ring at below £200 by the auctioneering team from United Auctions.

Breeder Ian Hunter, Dalchirla, Muthill, Crieff, Perthshire, continued to dominate the sale and again took the top price, but at £26,000 it was a fraction of the £90,000 he led with in 2010.

His shearling leader, by a £22,000 Connachan and out of a homebred daughter of Dalchirla Kingsmill, went to Allan Wight and son, Allan, Midlock, Crawford, Biggar, and Alastair McArthur, Nunnerie, Elvanfoot, both Lanarkshire.

David Jackson and son, Jock, The Pole, Lochgoilhead, Argyll, accepted £22,000 from a three-strong consortium that involved Malcolm Coubrough, Whelphill, Crawford; James and Charles Hamilton, Aitkengall, Innerwick, Dunbar, East Lothian; and Tom and Mairi Paterson, Dunruchan, Muthill, Crieff. The Pole shearling was by Tenacious D, an £8000 Dyke, and out of a ewe by a £2000 Dyke.

Hugh and Alan Blackwood, Auldhouseburn, Muirkirk, Ayrshire, topped the ram lambs at £14,000. This one was by The Roofer, a £22,000 Elmscleugh, and out of a ewe by a £5500 Auldhouseburn. The Blackwoods, Greenside, and Murrays, Crossflat, both Muirkirk, shared the lamb.

Mr Hunter traded another shearling at £7000. This son of last year’s £90,000 Dalchirla and out of a ewe by a grandson of Dalchirla Kingsmill, was bought by Andy Woodburn and son, also Andy, Netherwood, Muirkirk.

Mary McCall Smith, Connachan, Crieff, had two shearling sons of Highland Storm at £6000. Storm is a £44,000 Connachan.

First to go at £6000 was out of ewe by Rooney, a homebred son of Dalchirla Looney. Sharing him were John Macpherson, Balliemeanoch, Dalmally, and Billy Renwick, Blackhouse, Yarrow, Selkirk. Connachan’s second, out of a ewe by a grandson of The Hornblower, was bought by Mr Macpherson himself.

John and Charlie Harkin, Loughash, Co Tyrone, went to £5500 to secure a shearling, by a homebred son of a £20,000 Midlock, from Willie Dunlop and sons, Quintin and William, Elmscleugh, Innerwick, Dunbar.

Dalchirla took £5000 for another shearling. This one, by a homebred son of a £14,000 Elmscleugh, was bought by Ewen Macmillan, The Lurg, Fintry, Glasgow.

Midlock also paid £5000 to the Jacksons for another shearling, by a £24,000 Dalchirla.

The McArthur’s ram lamb offering sold to £5500 for a son of a £4800 Dalchirla and a ewe by a £5500 Glenrath. Buyers were David and Jack Kay, of Hartside, Oxton, Lauder.

Midlock accepted £5200 for lamb, by a son of a £22,000 Connachan and out of a ewe by £34,000 Dalchirla X Factor. This lamb is off to Darvel, Ayrshire to join the Burnhead flock of Jim Boswell.

Auldhouseburn then sold a lamb at £4800. He was by a £65,000 Auldhouseburn and sold to the Campbells, of Succothmore, Strachur, Argyll.

National Sheep Association Scotland chairman Jimmy Sinclair and his son,

Graeme, of Crookston, Heriot, topped at £3500 for their lambs.  Dalchirla and Willie McNicol, of Cladich, Dalmally, bought this one.

Averages; 499 shearling rams £653, 159 ram lambs £732 (United Auctions).