Quality and Breeding Key at CCM Working Sheep Dog Sale

Quality well-bred fully broken dogs, notably those with impeccable Welsh bloodlines, were again keenly sought at CCM Skipton Auction Mart’s latest sale of working sheep dogs, staged live on the trials field, with a standout overall average of £5,000-plus for broken registered bitches. (Fri, May 17)

Once more commanding top price at the North Yorkshire venue as he has done many times in the past at both live and online sales was leading Welsh handler and trialist Dewi Jenkins with a 7,900gns (£8,295) sale of his only entry, a 20-month-old black and white bitch, Aran Mia, by his 2016-born Clwyd Bob, related to multiple champions on both sides and himself a son of main stud dog Jock, the 2022 International Supreme Champion.

Dewi Jenkins

Dewi Jenkins with his 7,900gns top price Skipton dog Aran Mia

Dewi, from Tynygraig, Talybont, near Aberystwyth, Ceredigon, and undoubtedly the man of the moment on price in the working sheep dog sales world, has only had Mia for a short time – she is a daughter of Gwenno and was acquired part-broken among a litter of three from Alun Jones and his father, Bala, North Wales.

Now fully broken, the top price performer joined a past buyer from Norway, Jon Arne Sand, of Lier in Viken County, a 74-year-old sheep farmer who bought his first Border Collie in 1970 and has been using dogs in work and for trials ever since then. His first Skipton purchase was at an online sale in 2021 when he paid £12,800 for a dog from another top Welsh breeder and trialist, Kevin Evans.

Jon is himself an accomplished trialist, winning eight Nationals and one Continental, also competing for Norway in the 2005 ISDS World Sheepdog Trials in Tullamore, Ireland. Still trialing, but now on a minor scale, he commented: “My plans and hopes for Aran Mia are that she will work for me on the farm and on the mountain where I keep my sheep. I also hope to test her in trials and hopefully have a litter with the current ISDS World Champion, Petter Landfald’s Max.” Petter, also from Norway, was crowned last September when the World Trials were also staged in Ireland in Co. Down.

Second top call of 6,200gns fell to Craig Kempson, Waterfoot, Rossendale, with his March, 2022, black and white bitch, Meg, by Kevin Evans’ dual European Nursery and Royal Welsh Champion, Tanhill Glen, who has had such a major impact on selling prices at Skipton in recent years.

Out of fellow Rossendale breeder Janine Ashworth’s Dairada Penny, Craig, himself a talented trialist who competed in last year’s English National, sold Meg as a work dog to a Northumberland sheep and cattle farmer.

Janine herself followed Craig on to the trials field with her black and white bitch, Gyp, a December, 2022, daughter of Hendre Sam, again from the Evans camp and a Welsh Nursery Champion and multiple Open trials winner who is line bred to Tanhill Glen. The dam is Maggie, from Claire Settle in nearby Stacksteads, with Gyp joining Thomas Longton, Quernmore, Lancaster, another legend in the world of trialing, at 3,500gns.

Former Skipton top price performer, Tony Birkett, Carnforth,  returned to claim 6,000gns with his March, 2021, black and white dog, Spot, by Kevin Evans’ red Spot, a German import who has also had a big impact on Skipton selling prices

He is out of Tony’s own Ruby, herself a daughter of Ricky Hutchinson’s 2015 Reserve Supreme Champion, Sweep. Two bitches with the same breeding both sold for 4,000gns at Skipton last year, the latest heading north of the border to regular buyer Jock Sutherland, Sangormore, Durness, north-west Highlands.

Another Welshman, Arfon Roberts, Abergele, Conwy, made 5,000gns with Tan, an aptly named red, white and tan bitch, and 15-month-old daughter of Jed, from Andrew Procter, Great Musgrave, Kirkby Stephen, acquired for £6,900 at a timed online Skipton sale in 2020. A litter brother to Evans’ red Spot, out of Arfon’s own Sally, Tan, trained on since a pup, was acquired by a buyer from the Midlands.

Caleb Russell

First-time vendor Caleb Russell with his 4,000gns Nell

It was a big moment for young up-and-coming handler, 18-year-old Caleb Russell when he made 4,000gns on his first-ever foray into the sheep dog sales arena with his June, 2021, black and white bitch, Nell, a gift as a pup from his father, Ian Ibbotson, who he said had been a great help in learning the ways of the working sheepdog. 

Purposely trained for nurseries and going on to earn placings and many young handler prizes for the talented teenager, who works for Felliscliffe’s Andrew Atkinson, himself well-known as a sheep buyer at Skipton, Nell impressed on the trials field before falling to another familiar face at CCM, the Ribble Valley’s Ian Lancaster, purchasing the dog on behalf of a customer.

Several other 3,000gns-plus selling prices were seen. Hitting 3,800gns was Welsh shepherd, John Griffiths, based near Brecon, Powys, with his Jan, 2021, black and white dog, Griffs Brice, yet another product of the prolific Tanhill Glen, out of Knockmaa Sal. 

Claiming 3,600gns with the first dog on to the trials field and also selling for the first time was local handler, Ellie Street, Hellifield, with her May, 2021, black and white Nip, an all-round work bitch by Jo, formerly with the legendary Ricky Hutchinson, Littledale Sheepdogs, Lancaster, and now doing well in America. Out of Malta Gwen, bred by Northern Ireland’s Carlaine Thom, Malta Border Collies, Co. Tyrone, Nip, herself bred by Chris Taylor, heads to Cumbria with CK Wettles, Penrith. Ellie also made 2,500gns with her December, 2022, black and white dog, Sugarhill Spot, by Welshman David (Dai) Howells’ Nip, out of her own Mia.

Again travelling across the Irish Sea on another of many visits to Skipton, where his dogs remain popular, was Northern Ireland handler, Michael McAlister, Glenariffe, Co. Antrim, with his January, 2023, black and white bitch, Sally, by Braehead Lad, from fellow Irish breeder Patrick McGoldrick. Co. Donegal, out of his own Lynn. At the live Skipton sale in March this year, Michael also sold a trio of same way bred bitches from the same litter for a combined 11,200gns. Sally’s new owner at 3,400gns is regular buyer Frank Hickson, Jedburgh.

Prices and averages:

Broken - 8 Registered Dogs 1500gns-6000gs, Average 2,875gns = £3,018.75,7 Registered Bitches 3400gns-7900gs, Average 4,800gns = £5,040, 1 Unregistered Dog 1000gns. Unbroken Pen - 1 Registered Dog 650gns.

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