Northern Ireland’s Hugh McKee led the field on price at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual Spring sale of working sheep dogs ( 16 May).
Mr McKee, a noted sheep dog trainer, who hails from Kilkeel in County Down, reeled in top price honours when selling his two-year-old fully home bred tri-coloured bitch Nell for 3,200gns.
Nell is by his proven work dog Moss, out of Mist. She sold to Ayrshire’s Tom Bagan, who farms Mule sheep at Stewarton, near Kilmarnock, buying at Skipton for the first time on behalf of his wife Susan.
Mr McKee also sold Lass, another tri-coloured bitch and full sister to his top price performer, for 1,800gns.
Shaun Richards sold his 14-month-old black and white bitch, Jill, for the day’s second top price of 3,075gns. She was bred locally by Silsden’s Andrew Throup and is by Boss, a son of J Richardson’s Yorkshire nursery champion Staff, out of Marchup Nan.
Jill is out of a full sister to his Marchup Midge, who made a then world record price of 8,000gns when sold by Mr Richards at Skipton in 2012. His latest entry found a new home in south-east Wales with beef and sheep hill farmer Robert Davies, Bedlwyn Farm, Gwent.
Mr Richards also sold his November, 2011-born black and white bitch Mey for 2,000gns to County Durham’s Keith Ettey, from Bowes, buying on behalf of his 18-year-old son Andrew.
John Bell, of Parks Farm, Howden Selby, achieved the highest priced young dog with his 11-month-old tri-coloured Bob, by Caleb, from well-known Welsh triallist Kevin Evans, of Modrydd, Brecon, Powys, out of Port Talbot-based John Wheaton’s leading nursery trial bitch Lednock Roz. He was knocked down for 3,000gns to an anomynous bidder.
Gwenllian Pyrs, Betwys-y-Coed, in Conwy, North Wales, made 3,000gns with her Dutch-bred June, 2012-born tri-coloured dog Roy. Already placed in the novice trial arena, Roy found a new home with a Scottish buyer who will use him solely as a work dog.
Local breeder Ian Ibbotson, Oakworth, sold his December, 2010-born tri-coloured dog Cap for 2,500gns to Northumberland shepherd Mark Day, of Harbottle, Morpeth.
A fully home-bred black and white three-year-old bitch, Kate, from Cheshire breeder JR Gilman, Macclesfield, made 2,200gns when bought by Alec Baines, Tan Hill fame, for near neighbour Amanda Owen, Ravenseat in Swaledale.
The same price was equalled by another home-bred two-year-old dog, the tri-coloured Nap, from West Lancashire’s Michael Woods, Skelmersdale. The buyer was Pateley Bridge’s Barry Liddle.
Scotland’s AD Whitaker, from Crieff in Perth, and Kinross, realised 2,000gns with his two-year-old black and white dog Tat. It sold to Welshman GL Watkins, Powys.
Catching the eye in the unbroken pen were two top-notch eight-month-old youngsters and full sisters from North Yorkshire Moors vendor Mrs J Cook, Egton, Whitby. The fully home-bred duo each sold well at 1,020gns.