Trade for working sheep dogs peaked at 5,300gns at Skipton’s spring sale (Feb 28).
Headline performer was Shaun Richards of Watson Laithe, Burnley, with his 14-month-old black and white dog, Sweep.
Sweep was bred in Wales by well-known trialist Medwyn Evans, of Dolgellau in the Snowdonia National Park and is by his All Wales nursery finalist Shep, out of his own Jan, who finished fifth in the ISDS 2012 Welsh National Trials.
Sweep found a new home in the United States when knocked down to hobby sheep dog trialist Michelle Prescott-Guderian, from Minnesota.
The sale attracted a solid entry of 94 dogs with 63 finding new homes to achieve a clearance rate of 68%.
The day’s second top price of 4,000gns fell to Don, a 30-months-old tri-coloured dog from Belgium handler Jo De Meyst, who hails from Zwevezele. The Welsh-bred dog, by John Griffith’s Bob is already a five times nursery trial winner in both England and Belgium.
Don found a new home in Holmrook, Cumbria, with Arthur Temple.
Mr De Meyst’s also sold his 22-year-old daughter Heidi’s April, 2011-born tri-coloured bitch Knockmas Kay for 2,200gns. Kay landed a nursery final with Con McGarry in Ireland last year and went on to win the nursery season in Belgium, Buyer was G Gartside, of the Derbyshire Peak District’s Hope Valley.
Selling well at 3,800gns was a 16-month-old black and white bitch, Groesfaen Nan, from Skipton regular, John Bell, Howden, Selby.
Groesfaen Nan is also a product of Wales, being by HE Jones’ Kilcreen Ben, out of Sara, bred by G Evans and a full sister to his former Welsh National champion Moss. Nan sold to an undisclosed buyer from Scotland, who made a total of six acquisitions on the day.
Mr Bell headed the young dog prices at an exhilarating 2,400gns with a promising nine-month-old tri-coloured bitch, Kate. She is by prolific open trials winner Bob, from another Selby breeder Tony Bell and out of E Simpson’s Pip. She found a new home in the south of England.
Late in the day, first-time Scottish vendor Dean Aitken, a sheep farmer at Uppercleuch Farm, Lockerbie, achieved 3,700gns with his black and white bitch Tweeddale Jess, born on New Year’s Day, 2012. She is by Newton Stewart-based Jock McMillan’s Lamp, runner-up in the 2011 Scottish Inter District nursery final, out of Mr Aitken’s own Jill.
Jess returned to Scotland when joining Sandy and Jemma Forrest, of Hillend Farm, Roberton, near Biggar in South Lanarkshire. She will be used as a work dog on the Forrests’ sheep and suckler cow farm.
Long distance Scottish traveller Tommy McPhee, of Reiss, near John O’Groats, made the journey worthwhile when selling his 18-month-old black and bitch Gael for 2,950gns – his best ever price at Skipton.
She is related to two world champions, being by Omega Moss, a son of Welshman Aled Owen’s International Supreme and 2007 ISDS World Trials champion Roy – Moss was bought by Mr McPhee from John Bell at Skipton last year for 2,500gns.
Michael Longton, of the famed sheep dog trialing family from Rooten Brook Farm, Quernmore, Lancaster, also achieved his highest price at Skipton when selling his July, 2010-born black and white dog Harry, an Inter-Club nursery winner for 2,750gns.
He is a son of Irishman Michael Gallagher’s Cap, third in the 2011 World Sheep Dog Trials, out of Northumberland breeder Cath Krakowski’s Glencregg Tess, who is also related to James Magee’s Becca. Harry, who has already earned ten National points, then fell to Mr Gallagher himself, buying on behalf of a client.
Early in the day, local handler Richard Atkins, of Oakworth, achieved 2,700gns with his April, 2011-born black and white dog Scott.
He was bred in nearby Oxenhope by noted trialist Elaine Hill. He was bought by Nidderdale sheep farmer Richard Harker, of Ramsgill, and will be used solely as a work dog on his 2,000-acre hill farm.
Another Welshman, DW Davies, of Tal-y-Lynn in Gwynedd, also achieved 2,200gns with his June, 2011-born tri-coloured bitch Meg, who qualified for the last year’s North Wales nursery final and is by Lancashire breeder Tom Lawrenson’s multiple trials winner Spot, out of PH Blenkinsop’s Nell. Meg joined Corskellie Farms Ltd in Huntley, Aberdeenshire, where she will be put to work on 100 breeding ewes and cattle.
Scottish handler D Brisbane, of Stranraer, made 2,150gns with his black and white dog Roy, an all-rounder set to turn four this April, while the same price was achieved by Lee, a 21-month-old tri-coloured bitch and nursery trial winner from E Feenay, of County Sligo in Ireland. Both fell to the same Scottish buyer.