Consortium of farmers pay £100k for lamb at auction

The annual Blackface sheep sale at Dalmally Auction Mart, south of Oban, saw more than 1,000 animals go under the hammer. Picture: Geograph.org

The annual Blackface sheep sale at Dalmally Auction Mart, south of Oban, saw more than 1,000 animals go under the hammer. Picture: Geograph.org

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A lamb has been sold for an eye-watering £100,000 to a consortium of five farmers.

The annual Blackface sheep sale at Dalmally Auction Mart, south of Oban, saw more than 1,000 animals go under the hammer on Saturday, with many lambs, which to the layman looked identical to the top selling model, changing hands for a couple of hundred pounds.

John Murray, of Muirkirk, Ayrshire, the owner of Crossflat flock, placed the winning bid amid frenzied competition for a consortium of farmers who own the four other flocks of Midlock, Nunnerie, Auldhouseburn and Dyke.

Explaining the attributes of their £100,000 purchase, Mr Murray said: “It’s very modern, it’s got a tremendous coat, tremendous muzzle, he has a good look about him.

“A lamb like that only comes along once in a while, you don’t see them like that much.

“How do you know? We are professionals, we are brought up with it.”

Pointing to hill farmer Billy Renwick, from Blackhouse, in the ScottishBorders, Mr Murray said: “I bought one off Billy two years ago for £90,000 and last year I sold £120,000 of lambs off that one and kept the best one.

“Buying at that price looks crazy but I have made money…but I could have bought Billy’s tup (ram) and it didn’t produce – it’s a gamble.”

Mr Renwick said: “We have worked away quite well but that was something you always dream of, you spend your whole life trying to achieve it, it’s an investment in your future.

“My father was a shepherd but then he got a farm.

“It was his ambition to achieve a dear lamb and we sold lots at £20,000 before, but he watched it all on Facebook when we sold that one for £90,000.”

He added: “A lot of people criticise it, but that’s what you do, you could spend money on other things and nobody would notice but you are trying to invest in the future of your business.

“I have not bought one at that price, but I admire people that do.”

Quintin Dunlop, of W Dunlop and Sons, near Dunbar, which produced the £100,000 lamb, said he was “probably” going to spend the cash on more sheep.

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