$490,000 at an auction.
The sheep breed known as Texel is now officially the most expensive sheep in the world.
The Texel sheep named Diamond was sold this week at the Scottish National Texel Sale in Lanark after being bred by Charlie Boden and family from their Mellor Hall farm.
During the auction, the price of the sheep quickly escalated from an opening bid of $9,000 to an eye whooping $490,000.
The animal was finally bought by a three-way partnership between three farmers who have decided to breed the animal together.
The Texel Sheep Society said the previous record was £231,000 paid for a Texel, Deveronvale Perfection, in 2009.
According to the sheep society, Texel sheep originate from the island of Texel, one of the north-western islands off Holland and now dominate the UK sheep industry.
Jeff Aiken, flock manager at Procters Farm, one of the buyers, said: “The Texel for a start is the best breed in the UK and the pedigree side of it is getting bigger.
“If you want the best you have to try and buy the best.
“It’s an exceptional animal and the best Texel sheep I’ve ever seen. Hopefully he’ll do a good job on all three flocks.”
According to Aiken the price is a ‘one-off’. He emphasized that he did not want to give the wrong impression of the farming industry.
“There’s a small percentage of pedigree buyers that can club together and pay big money, but at the end of the day the commercial farmers are just as important if not more important – they are putting food on our tables,” he said.
“I’m in the fortunate position that I can spend that sort of money.”
“He is the best lamb I have ever seen – so correct on his legs, bright, with a great top.
“He’s got it all.”