29 May 1998

Give a dog a winning name

IF you have a sheepdog, it could pay to change its name to Drift.

Animals called this have made the top price at two recent auction. At Skipton, North Yorks last Wednesday, 1480gns was paid for a 15-month-old Drift from Mrs J Howes, Wolsingham, Co Durham.

"Although he was young, he had potential," says auctioneer Jeremy Eaton of Craven Cattle Marts.

"Dogs more than pay for themselves," says Mr Eaton, pointing to the buoyant farmer interest, which saw 45 out of the 76 entered find new homes.

The day saw broken dogs average £680, up more than £172 on a year ago. In the part, or unbroken, section, prices rose to 310gns, levelling at 69gns.

And earlier this month it was a Drift from R Roberts of Llandudno that drew the top bid of 1580gns at Bala, Gwynedd. Just over half of the 61 dogs on offer changed hands, averaging £651, a new record for the event, which has been running for more than 20 years.

Emyr Lloyd, auctioneer at Bala, says demand was stronger than he expected. "People want a good, handy strong dog, one that will work all day. There is also demand for the registered bitches for breeding." &#42

Mans best friend? Quite possibly, with sheepdog prices remaining high at auction.