It was a record setting trade for sheep dogs at Skipton’s autumn working sale last week (October 23) with a record number of dogs sold and sale high of 5,600gns.
Top-notch bitches were in demand with a number of the leading price dogs finding new homes with buyers in America and Canada.
Of the 97 dogs forward in total, 82 were sold successfully, while 49 of the 54 field-run dogs – a 91% clearance – found new homes, which represented a new mart record.
Included in the dogs selling overseas was the top price performer from leading Northern Ireland triallist, County Antrim’s Michael Gallagher, Armoy, with his 17-month-old black and white bitch, Belle. She is a grand-daughter of Lancashire breeder Tom Lawrenson’s renowned Spot, and by another Spot, bred by Brendan McAllister, out of Jake Hamilton’s Tess.
His Skipton frontrunner found a new home in Bellefontaine, Ohio, with US triallist Don Whittington.
Earlier in the day, Mr Gallagher also took to the field with his black and white dog, Hemp, who turns two in November and is by Derek Scrimgeour’s Finn, out of T Kennedy’s Cloverhill Silver. He sold for 2,400gns to Scottish shepherd Scott Macauley, Crieff, Perthshire.
John Bell, Parks Farm, Howden, Selby, made the second top price of 5,400gns with his dog, the November, 2012-born Susie, acquired in February and by North Yorkshire breeder Bob Harland’s Shap, out of Meg, from Michael Kinnes, Driffield. Susie fell to well-known Welsh team triallist Kevin Evans, Modrydd Brecon, Powys
Mr Bell also set a new record price of 4,900gns for a Skipton-sold dog aged under one with his 11-month-old black and white bitch, Tanhill Gael, a full sister to the European Nursery champion, Tanhill Glen and is out of Tanhill Jess. By Welsh breeder IB Jones’ Tim, Gael also fell to Kevin Evans, on this occasion purchasing the outstanding work, trials and brood prospect on behalf an American customer in Texas.
In addition, Mr Bell set the early pace with the field-run dogs with Gael’s full sister, Tanhill Peg, who made 2,400gns when joining a buyer from Aberdeenshire.
Ireland’s sheep-farming Doherty brothers, Joe and Padraig, of Ardagh Sheepdogs in County Donegal, caught the eye when taking to the field with successive entries. First up was Joe with his fully home-bred two-year-old tri-coloured dog, Ben, by his father Patsy’s Rock, out of his own Queen. Ben fell for 4,000gns to Shirley Wright, a telephone bidder from British Columbia in Canada.
Padraig then stepped up with his 18-month-old black and white dog, Flo, by James McLaughlin’s Dan, the 2013 Irish National champion and also winner of “One Man and His Dog” last year, out of the breeder’s own Peg. Flo also has pups due December to James McGee’s Glencregg Silver.
At the summer sale, the Doherty brothers set the unbroken pen alight with a six-month-old black and white bitch, Ann, which made 1,850gns, the highest-ever price paid for a Skipton-sold pup, when joining Cumbrian sheep and cattle farmer Trevor Procter, of Villa Farm, Great Musgrave, Kirkby Stephen.
Delighted with Ann’s work at home, the family returned to the latest renewal to add a further Ardagh-bred dog to the fold for 3,200gns. Making good use of Flo at home will be Mr Procter’s 15-year-old son Shaun, a pupil at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School, and his 16-year-old cousin, Emma, who has now left the same school to begin her apprenticeship at Villa Farm.
Northumberland shepherd, sheep farmer, dog breaker and accomplished triallist Tony Iley, of Long Framlington, Morpeth, achieved his highest-ever selling price at Skipton of 4,000gns with his two-year-old black and white dog, Boo, who was runner-up in the 2014/15 Northumberland Nursery Championship and had accrued 17 National points.
Fully home-bred by the good trials dog, Irwell Scout, acquired as a pup from Jim Cropper and since sold to a triallist in America, out of Nidderdale Higgs, herself a Northumberland Nursery champion, Boo returned to his county of origin when joining 34-year-old sheep and cattle farmer Jonjo Pattinson, of Barden Mill, Hexham.
Mr Pattinson has been breeding working dogs for 13 years under his Hotttbank prefix and recently became a member of the International Sheep dog Society (ISDS). He started trialling a little under a year ago and already has a novice win and open placing under his belt. He is hoping to go on to bigger and better things with Boo, who has the makings of a top-notch trials dog. “I have been following him for some time,” said the buyer.
Another Irishman, James McCloskey, of Glentogher in County Donegal, took to the field with his 2104/15 Irish Nursery Final champion, Killibrae Laddie, a December, 2012-born black and white dog bred by Derek Scrimgeour, by his Mirk, out of Kate. Laddie sold for 3,800gns to local breeder and handler, Carol Mellin, of Moor Lodge Farm, Oakworth, who is a familiar face at Skipton as the on-field sheep gatherer.
North Craven’s Shaun Richards, of Pen-y-Borough Sheep Dogs in Eldroth, another multiple top price achiever at Skipton, again did well when making 3,600gns with his 21-month-old black and white dog, Flowerscar Scott, by Scottish team member Colin Armstrong’s Mirk, out of Lancashire breeder Robert Fielding’s Bella. Scott sold to a regular buyer from Wales.
Northern Irishman Peter Morgan, of Kilcoo, near Newry in County Down, hit 3,200gns with his three-year old black and white bitch, Dot, but called Kate at home, who won the Eastern Regional Nursery League and had also amassed four open points. By B McEvoy’s Shep, out of the same breeder’s Milley, Kate found a new home with beef and sheep farmer Keith Loveridge, of Rochester in Kent.
A second 3,200gns sale fell to a two-year-old black and white dog, Ben, from Derryogue Sheepdogs in Kilkeel, County Down. Ben’s dam, Meg, is also by Tom Lawrenson’s Spot. The buyer was Richard Crowe, from the Isle of Man.
The same vendors also achieved 3,050gns with their two-year black and white bitch, Nell, another daughter of Meg. She fell to Skipton regular, Welshman Emrys Jones, of Tal y Bont, Gwynedd, in the Snowdonia National Park. He said: “It was the first time I had ever seen her. She is a cracking little bitch and I bought her on the strength of her performance on the field.”
One of the youngest dogs to be put through its paces on the trials field was the seven-month-old black and white dog Brock, from Scotland’s Andy MacDiarmid, of Strachur in Argyle. By SL Davidson’s Rob, out of N McEachern’s Chloe, she sold for 2,800gns, again to a Welsh buyer.
Also selling well at 2,300gns was an unregistered nine-month-old farm-bred black and white bitch, Peg, from Henry Bouch, of Penrith. Said to have very good breeding behind her, she joined Clive Rowland in Garrowby, York.
This was one of three unregistered broken dogs to be sold of the day, producing an overall average for the trio of £1,662. Part- broken registered dogs averaged £634, while part-broken unregistered dogs sold to a high of 500gns, averaging £297.
The top performer in the unbroken pen was an extremely well-bred nine-month-old black and white dog, Ben, from Mrs J Cook, of Egton, Whitby. Related to high-class performers, Ben fell for 1,500gns to a North Yorkshire handler.
Also catching the eye at 750gns was a five-month-old black and tan Kelpie-cross youngster, Daf, from L Bevan, of Builth Wells in Wales. Daf’s mother sold for £1,800 at Skipton’s February sale and her son joined F Logan, of Wooler, Alnwick.