A trio of breeders have paid a record price for a near genetically perfect ram at an auction in the UK last week.
Six-month-old Texel sheep Double Diamond was the subject of “much pre-sale speculation” according to the UK’s Texel sheep society, which described him as “a crowd puller from the moment he set foot in the market”.
“Every once in a while something special comes along and yesterday an extra special Texel turned up,” breeder Jeff Aiken told The Guardian.
“Everyone wanted a piece of it.”
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Mr Aiken was one of three breeders who was eventually able to secure a piece after a prolonged battle with rival consortiums in a bidding war that eventually ended at £367,500 ($A666,400).
“We knew it was going to be something really special. He was just an outstanding animal, backed up by all the best genetics. There was about seven or eight people who really, really wanted him and that’s what led to the price,” he said.
The auction took place last Thursday at the Scottish National Texel Sale in Lanark.
Texel sheep originally came from an island of the same name off the Netherlands’ coast, but Double Diamond was embryo-bred and raised on a farm in Cheshire, northwest England.
The breed regularly attracts five-figure sale prices, but Double Diamond’s position in the top 1 per cent of the breed index meant he was always going to command considerably more than that.
His new owners plan to put Double Diamond out to stud to carry on his superior genetics and hopefully recover some of the record-setting sum they spent on him.
A Texel previously sold for around $A417,000 in 2009.
In Australia, a Collinsville ram sold for $450,000 in 1988.