A single sheep has been sold for a staggering £367,500 – setting a new all time UK record.
The six-month-old named Sportsmans Double Diamond was a Texel ram lamb born at a farm in Macclesfield, Cheshire.
This breed is from the island of Texel in the Netherlands and is known for its lean meat and wool used for hosiery yarns.
The male sheep went for such a high price because he is the most popular breed in the country and has been born at the highest end of breeding period.
He was sold for 350,000 guineas, smashing the previous record of 220,000gns – £231,000 – sold at the same auction in Lanark, Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 2009.
The animal was bought by a group of three breeders – Auldhouseburn, Procters and New View – who will use him to breed other top class lambs.
Its price is more than the cost of many actual farmhouses in that area.
The six-month-old lamb was sired by last year’s champion Garngour Craftsman and was the ‘subject of much pre-sale speculation”
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% 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.”
It was eventually won by a consortium of farmers and breeders.
The majority of farm livestock, including horses, are still sold in guineas – worth £1.05 – at markets.
Texels are the most popular sheep for breeding in the UK because of the quality of the meat.
The average cost of a lamb in Britain is £100 but high-quality rams for breeding got for much more.
They are shared among a consortium of breeders and used to artificially inseminate ewes on their farms.