The world’s most expensive sheep just sold for $489K
It’s pricier than a Ferrari, a Rolex and a single-family home combined.
A 6-month-old Texel lamb has just sold for a record-setting 350,000 Scottish guineas. That’s about £367,500, or $489,000.
The young ram, clunkily named Double Diamond, was reared at a wool farm in Cheshire, United Kingdom, by breeder Charlie Boden and his family. The Texel breed, however, is native to the eponymous Dutch island, a region known for producing lean lamb meat and ultra-soft wool for hosiery yarn.
The staggering price tag was a result of Double Diamond’s superior genetic status, with the help of good timing. It’s currently mating season. His proud new owners are a consortium of breeders — Auldhouseburn, Procters and New View — who plan to use him to breed with other prized female lambs.
“This will, to many people, sound like an extraordinary price for a sheep,” John Yates, chief executive of the Texel Sheep Society, said of the staggering bid.
The Texel breed, he explained, is “the very top of the sheep breeding industry” in the UK, making up about 30 percent of all lambs born in the wool-producing country every year.
His sale price, reportedly worth more than the farmhouse in which he lives, smashed the previous record set at the same auction in Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 2009, when a champion ram named Garngour Craftsman went for 220,000 guineas (the UK farm industry still deals in the regional currency, though the Scottish economy is based on British pounds). The average cost of a lamb in the UK is about 105 guineas, or $133, according to current exchange rates.
“This ram lamb has the potential to sire many, many rams which will, in turn, go on to breed many thousands of lambs themselves,” said Yates.
“Obviously it was split between the three of us,” Procters’ farm manager Jeff Aiken told the BBC. “Don’t get me wrong — it is an obscene amount of money to pay for a sheep, and it definitely should not be a reflection on the farming community.”
“There’s only a small percentage of farmers that can afford to pay this kind of money, and in that percentage even a lot of those guys do have other businesses behind them,” he said.
Aiken also described the assets that made this particular lamb so appealing: its “gigot,” or “his backside, his bum,” the farmer explained.
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