Sheepdogs are still in demand
DEMAND for sheepdogs continues strong, despite the downturn in farming fortunes.
At an auction at Brecon, Powys last weekend, prices rose to £1700 for a Feb 1997-born registered dog, Spot.
The event saw 36 average £403, compared with £412 a year ago, report auctioneers Clee Tompkin-son and Francis. "Dogs are still extremely good value – although everyone is looking to save money," says Mike Tompkinson.
The top-priced animal was from John James, Lower Trewern, Llandegley. "A promising young dog, capable of both farm and trial work," he says of Spot. Mr James is no stranger to the big money at Sennybridge – having made the events highest-ever price of £2600 in 1996.
May 20, meanwhile, sees a collective offering at Skipton, North Yorks. Auctioneer Jeremy Eaton of Craven Cattle Marts reckons there will be 60-plus on offer, with most interest in the £300-£400 price range.
May represents a good time for trading dogs, he says. "Lambing is finished, the evenings are longer, people arent too busy selling sheep and you can concentrate on working a young dog and getting to know each other."
Puppy love… young sheepdogs are in demand – but its the part- and fully-trained ones that are most sought after at auction.