DUBBED “Blue Monday” by the media, the sale at Carlisle lived up to its name when some cracking sheep came under the hammer, with a depleted ringside to normal years it was good to see plenty of buyers there, along with a healthy dose of bidding over the telephone and online pushing the prices along nicely, giving the sale a very healthy average, with the ewe hoggs burning the biggest hole in the buyers pockets, with the 40 offered averaging a very healthy £1860, up nearly £500 on the year

Topping the days trade was a ewe hogg from Midlock. She was a long, clean type of sheep, with a neck which reached for the sky. She is a late born lamb by the well-bred M2 Asby Hall, a son of the K1 Smearsett, which has proved to be quite a breeder and out of Midlock K90, one of the Wights favourite ewes, sired by J6 Hewgill, going back to the same breeding as Midlock Big Yin. Midlock have retained its full brother and sister such is their faith in the bloodlines. The bidding was quick to crack along, and the hammer fell at 9000gns selling to Jamie Pirie, reinvesting some of the cash he made at the Lockdown Ladies sale late last year

The Hewgill pen was much admired both before the sale online and when they came into company they didn’t disappoint, with many an admiring eye being cast over them. Hewgill are in an exceptional seam at the moment and the choice on offer was both eyewatering in quality and the breeding, with very little to separate the first two in the pen, both by Hewgill M39, and indeed you couldn’t separate them in price either as the hammer fell for both of them at 8500gns.

Whilst the entry was smaller than in previous years, for obvious reasons, the quality was still there and well bred, well grown sheep were in demand, and hopefully set a precedent for the trade for the rest of the year.