Borderway bids mount for popular Beltex muscle

Beltex fever descended on Borderway Mart as pedigree and commercial sheep buyers sought tups with extreme muscle.

Scottish breeder John Cowan headlined prices at 5500gns and 5000gns.

Last year Mr Cowan matched the 5500gns call to lead the ram lamb trade.

A dairyman at the Scottish Agricultural College’s Auchincruive farm at Ayr, Mr Cowan runs just 30 ewes but drew the top bid for his shearling tup Brickrow Jack in the Beanstalk.

This Group 1 single-born ram is by Headlind Ee By Gum and drew some of the breed’s big names into the bidding.

But farmer Paul Slater, who has earned a big reputation for producing cross-bred tups combining Beltex and Texel genetics, dug deep and takes him back to his flock in Cheshire.

Minutes later North Yorkshire breeder T Hunter of Filey paid 5000gns for Brickrow Johnny Mac, a shearling by Cookstown Hamish.

Between the two Brickrow tups was a 5200gns call from Elizabeth McAllister, Co Antrim, who claimed Ian McMillan’s ram lamb Clary King-Pin.

David Findlay took another good tup back to his flock at Leyburn.

He gave 4800gns for Burnside Jethro, a shearling by Gadhaffy and consigned by Thomas and Hester Palmer of Ballymena, Co Antrim.

Elizabeth McAllister’s Artnagullion flock sold two of the highest priced shearlings.

The Campbell family from Alnwick, Northumberland, joined Cumbria breeder Thomas Whiteford to pay 4200gns for Artnagullion Joker.

Mr Whiteford had earlier given 3800gns for Artnagullion Jim Boy.

A strong demand for females pushed prices to 2500gns when Dumfriesshire breeder Brian Ryder took John Currie & Sons’ shearling ewe Tullygarley Jo Jo.

Averages: Six aged rams £1298, 331 shearling rams £732, 62 ram lambs £743 and 153 shearling gimmers £489.

(Harrison & Hetherington)