Beltex breeder, Gary Beacom from Fivemiletown, was in the news at the Beltex Sheep Society’s Premier Sale at Harrison and Hetherington’s Borderway Mart, Carlisle on Thursday and Friday last week, where ram lamb and shearling ram averages both reached new heights with an outstanding pen of shearling rams also setting a new record flock average.

With many pedigree breeders investing in new stock sires, no fewer than 12 shearling rams sold for five-figure prices as 575 shearling rams cashed in to average £1,865 – a rise of £365 on the year for 94 fewer, when 669 averaged £1,500 in 2021.

Similarly, four ram lambs broke the five-figure barrier as 131 lambs levelled at £2,044 – up nearly £400 on the 2021 sale when 145 averaged £1,666.

Females, however, met a stickier trade, and were led by two at 3,500gns as 188 traded to average £675, against 250 at £991 last year.

Beltex Sheep Society Chairman Kevin Buckle said: “The shearling tup and tup lamb averages were very pleasing and we saw one of the best pens of Beltex tups there’s ever been in Carlisle.

"Gimmers were a more selective trade, which maybe reflects a sign of the times with all the flushing that now takes place, but overall the majority of sellers returned home happy with their two days' trading.”

It's always a sign of a good judge when the top prices reflect the placings in the pre-sale show, and that was just what happened at Carlisle when the Supreme Champion, Alan Miller’s Lurg Goliath ET, soared to the top price of 50,000gns with his full brother, Lurg Grand Slam ET, selling for 45,000gns just two lots later.

This 45,000gns animal was sold on the phone to Gary Beacom and Brian Mathews of Tullamore.

Gary also saw one of his shearling ewes, Lakeview Goddess ET, sell for 3,000gns. Her pedigree features the Hackney Wonderboy-sired Matt's Betty Boo and Ainstable Factotum, selling to Ian Reid, Methven, Scotland.

Gary also sold Lakeland Golden Girl ET to Jessica Collings of Cornwall for 2,800gns.

She is another Ainstable Factotum ram, and dam is Broxty-Boxer-sired Withy Trees Cleo.