A Texel sheep born in Macclesfield has set a new UK record and sold for £367,550.
The six-month-old, spectacularly named Sportmans Double Diamond, is a Texel ram – a breed from Texel in the Netherlands that is known for its lean meat and wool used for hosiery yarns.
Sportsman Double Diamond was born in Macclesfield to farmer Charlie Boden and was sold at an auction in Lanark in Scotland for 350,000 guineas, which smashed through the previous record of 220,000 guineas (£231,000/$307,995).
He was bought by a group of three breeders – Auldhouseburn, Procters and New View – who plan on using him to breed other top-class lambs.
The lamb’s dad is last year’s champion Garngour Craftsman and, as such, he was the ‘subject of much pre-sale speculation’. And that speculation turned into bids on the day, with the little fella selling for more than some of the actual farmhouses in that area.
Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates said: “This will, to many people, sound like an extraordinary price for a sheep. The Texel breed is the number one terminal sire breed in then UK, siring about 30 percent of all the lambs born in the UK every year.
“This ram lamb has the potential to sire many, many rams which will in turn go on to breed many thousands of lambs themselves. This is the very top of the sheep breeding industry in the UK and as such the buyers are investing in the future of their businesses.”
The majority of farming livestock, including horses and sheep, are still sold in guinea – with one guinea worth £1.05 ($1.40) – at markets such as this one.
Texels are the most popular sheep for breeding in the UK because of the quality of their meat.
The average cost of a lamb in the UK is round £100 ($133) but high-quality rams – such as this little fella – who are used for breeding can sell for a lot more.
They are shared among a consortium of breeder who use them to inseminate ewes on their farms.