Lady of the Lambs

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Lady Claire Macdonald puts Scotch Lamb on the menu at Dalmally

 Lady Claire Macdonald witnessed an impressive 10,882 entries at United Auctions’ Annual Show and Sale of Blackface Lambs when she visited Dalmally Auction Mart for the first time on Saturday (September 10th).

The Queen of Cuisine’s visit to the prestigious sale at Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers’ Dalmally facility offered the well-respected cook and food writer, who is an official Scotch Lamb ambassador with Quality Meat Scotland, an opportunity to learn more about the importance of the auction system.

The entry of 8757 head of Blackface Lambs, 1776 Cross Bred Lambs and 289 Feeding Sheep is the largest seen at the Centre in the past 20 years. The packed mart accommodated the bumper stock in 200 extra pens outside in the autumn sunshine.

Buyers from the local area were joined by those from the South of England to bid on stock drawn from Lochaber to the North, Kintyre to south Argyll, Perthshire, Stirlingshire, the Argyll Islands and the local area.

As Lady Claire toured the bustling market, with her husband Lord Godfrey Macdonald, she spoke with UA customers and also signed 50 Scotch Lamb recipe books for which UA made a donation toward the STV Children’s Appeal.

Lady Claire Macdonald signs copies of the Scotch Lamb recipe book for local farmer and Vice Chair of the NFU’s Argyll Regional Board, Peter Kennedy and for Aileen McFadzean, Breed Promotions Manager of Blackface Sheep Association.

Lady Claire Macdonald signs copies of the Scotch Lamb recipe book for local farmer and Vice Chair of the NFU’s Argyll Regional Board, Peter Kennedy and for Aileen McFadzean, Breed Promotions Manager of Blackface Sheep Association.

Lady Claire Macdonald said: “We had an absolutely wonderful day. It’s been enlightening to speak to the farmers directly about what they do, learn more about the different breeds and see the thriving market system at Dalmally in action.

“I’ll be able to use the knowledge from today’s visit in my cooking demonstrations with lamb where the insight about provenance and farm assurance is so important.

She went on to present the James Weir Memorial Trophy for the championship pen of 50 Blackface Lambs to Donald and Morag MacCorquodale of M/s Buchanan, Achnaba, Connel who were also consecutive winners from 2012 to 2014.

(l-r) UA’s George Purves, Blackface Judge Ian Reid, Lady Claire Macdonald with Morag and Donald McCorkadale, son Donald and their prize-winning lambs with (back row) Area Manager Donald Morrison and auctioneer Peter Wood in the rostrum.

(l-r) UA’s George Purves, Blackface Judge Ian Reid, Lady Claire Macdonald with Morag and Donald MacCorquodale, son Donald and their prize-winning lambs with (back row) Area Manager Donald Morrison and auctioneer Peter Wood in the rostrum.

The prize-winning pen made the top price of £58 for the Blackface Lambs and went home with the Judge, Ian Reid of Isle Cottage, Methven, Perthshire.

The reserve champion pen went to Tayvallich Estate for £56, selling to GL & D Reid, South Park, Perthshire while third place was awarded to Clachan Farms, Kilninver for £55 and was bought by M/s W J Cameron, Keith.

On her visit, Lady Macdonald also took the opportunity to carve and sample the Blackface Lamb spit roast, which received her seal of approval. The Lamb was supplied by local farmer Angus MacFadyen & Son of Bragleenmore Farm, by Oban and provided by Oban Spit Roasts.

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Peter Wood, UA’s auctioneer for the west of Scotland, said: “It was a pleasure to host Lady Claire at Dalmally. Customers were delighted to meet her and pleased to know she is giving the product the recognition it deserves. She created an extra buzz about the place during a busy sale.”

The entry of Blackface Lambs averaged out £38.52 per head for “Top, Second & Third draws” sold, as against £40.16 per head last year.The overall sale average for all sheep sold was £39.70 per head or 145.76 per kilo.

-Ends-

Issued by JK Consultancy on behalf of United Auctions. For further information, please contact Jenny Kumar on 07989 557198 / jenny@jkconsultancy.com

Notes to editor

About United Auctions

United Auctions (UA) are Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers and procurement specialists and operate a network of different auction markets across Scotland, including Stirling, Huntly, Lairg, Dalmally, Tiree, Islay, South Uist and an area office and lairage facility at Oban. The company conducts auctions of both commercial and pedigree livestock, including the world-famous Stirling Bull Sales, and provides farm-to-farm and farm-to-abattoir procurement services. In 2013, UA was named in the London Stock Exchange’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’.

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