Marts hosts rare breeds and fast cars

Rare breeds sheep at Thainstone.
Rare breeds sheep at Thainstone.

The fourth episode in the BBC Scotland series The Mart, entitled Rare Breeds and Fast Cars, explores the passion for animals felt by farmers and mart staff alike as the focus is on a different kind of sale at Thainstone.

Twice a year, the mart plays host to the Rare Breeds Sale.

From pigs to ducks to pheasants to Highland cows, the range is extraordinary, but it makes for a difficult day for staff.

Yardsman Robbie Cruickshank can’t wait for the day to end.

He says: “This is the day everybody dreads. Rare breeds animals and rare breeds folk. A lot of people come to this sale and there’s a problem with them keeping the gates closed – stress levels are very high for the staff.”

After the hustle and bustle of the Rare Breeds market, auctioneer Colin Slessor visits a cattle farmer, whose focus has recently turned to sheep.

Ian Wilkie is hoping to sell ewes at Thainstone for the first time and want Colin’s seal of approval. Colin quickly gives them the green light and with the help of neighbours, the Wilkies give their sheep the make-over they need to make good money at the sale.

Thainstone also hosts a twice weekly car auction which serves not just farmers but people from all walks of life.

Animal sanctuary owner Karen Pullen has been forced through illness to sell her family car to pay vets bills for the animals she looks after.

The Mart is on BBC One Scotland on Monday from 7.30-8pm.