A RARE breed of lamb has become the most expensive sheep on the planet after selling for the “wooled” record price of £367,500 (€412,086).
Double Diamond, from Stockport in Manchester, is no ordinary farm animal though.
A pedigree lamb, Double D also happens to be a Texel, a rare breed originating from the Dutch island of the same name and one that is much sought after in sheep farming circles.
They are also known for their distinctive coats.
Sold at auction in Lanark, Scotland, all eyes were on Double Diamond as he cantered onto the auction block.
Much of that was down to the fact that DD was not only a Texel by breed but also considered genetically perfect in terms of his physical attributes.
Lean, muscular and boasting great legs for a sheep, farmers from across the country flocked to the sale in the hopes of nabbing the picture-perfect animal.
Sportsmans Double Diamond - 350,00gns
Sportsmans Double Diamond sets a new UK sheep record selling for 350,000gns. The most talked about lamb of the year sets trade alight at Lanark.
Posted by British Texel Sheep Society on Thursday, August 27, 2020
In the end it took a herd of three farmers to bag the single sheep for a world record price, shattering the previous record of £230,000 set in 2009.
Despite the un-baa-lievable fee, one of the three farmers behind the purchase, Jeff Aiken, believes Double Diamond is worth his weight in gold – or sheep.
Plans are already afoot for the farmers to get a quick return on their investment through breeding.
Speaking to the Guardian, Aiken described the D-man as “the best lamb I have ever seen".
“It’s just like every other business – horse racing or the cattle business,” he said.
“Every once in a while something special comes along and yesterday an extra special Texel turned up. Everyone wanted a piece of it.”
Take a look at the world's most expensive sheep pic.twitter.com/JKWc1a6Dzw
— Reuters (@Reuters) August 29, 2020
Aiken did, however, concede it was an “obscene amount of money” to pay for a sheep, with the price driven up by a bidding war between several interested parties.
Double Diamond original went up for sale with an opening bid of just £10,000.
The farmer had no regrets about his purchase though.
“He was just an outstanding animal, backed up by all the best genetics,” he explained.
“There was about seven or eight people who really, really wanted him and that’s what led to the price.”