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TV Stars Steal Show at Skipton Working Dogs Highlight
01/11/07

Four-legged TV stars stole the show at Skipton Auction Mart’s autumn sale of working sheepdogs.

collie dog

“Cammon Tai,” a 30-month-old black, white and tan dog trained by renowned northern sheepdog breeder and handler John Bell proved top dog when running away with the highest price of 3,000 guineas (£3,150).

Mr Bell, of Parks Farm, Howden, Selby, was sending out the top-priced dog in Skipton Auction Mart’s popular high profile seasonal sales for an unprecedented tenth time in seven years.

Cammon Tai, who has appeared in the “The Chase,” a BBC series about a Yorkshire veterinary practice, filmed in Wharfedale, joined new owners in West Cumbria when purchased by Alan and Christine Bradley, of Seathwaite, Dunnerdale.

The second top-priced dog at 2,650 guineas was “Gwen,” a distinctive Welsh-bred black and white bitch with a white face, who turns three next January. She was put through her paces at the sale by Welsh National team member Emrys Jones, of Tal-y-Bont, Barmouth, on behalf of his 16-year-old son Osian, who was otherwise engaged at school.

Gwen, who qualified for last year’s North Wales nursery final in Osian’s capable hands, is also a seasoned television star, having been featured with her young handler when the BBC visited Snowdonia to film for its “Do Something Different” series.

Emrys Jones explained: “Osian is now taking a break from running dogs to concentrate on furthering his education. This was the first dog he has trained, run and sold. It was a genuine price and he was delighted.”

Gwen was knocked down to Irishman Aiden Gallagher, of County Antrim, buying on behalf of a client in Cumbria.

Due to continuing restrictions at Skipton, the sale, held on Friday, October 26, was again staged on the Trawden Show sheepdog trials field at Little Thorn Edge Farm, by permission of mart regular Ronnie Airey, chairman of the Yorkshire Sheepdog Society.

An enthusiastic crowd included representation from Wales, Ireland and the Isle of Man, with a number of dogs topping 2,000 guineas.

John Bell also presented the joint third highest-priced dog, the tri-coloured “Joe,” who sold for 2,250 guineas to Mrs Alison Salisbury, of Riddlesden, Keighley, former secretary of the Yorkshire Sheepdog Society.

Alison lost no time in putting her new acquisition to the test, running Joe in two regional trials over the weekend. Husband Keith, himself a former Yorkshire Sheepdog Society chairman, reported that his wife was highly delighted with the dog’s performance and is now looking forward to further improvement once she gets to know her new charge better.

Aiden Gallagher also chalked up another useful acquisition when paying 2,100 guineas for “Wenndale Joe,” a tri-coloured dog from Isle of Man vendor Richard Crow.

Young up-and-coming handler Sophie Holt, from Rossendale, presented her black and white dog “Harvey,” who has already made his mark on the trials circuit and now has a new home in Ireland after being bought for 2,250 guineas by Brian Casey, of County Tipperary.

Sean Richards, of Watson Laithe, Hapton, Burnley, who sent out the top-priced 2,300 guineas dog at Skipton’s summer sale, was again to the fore when seeing his black and white bitch “Nell” knocked down for 2,150 guineas to fellow Lancashire handler BM Baker, of Edgworth, Bolton.

A total of 43 dogs were sold on the day, with broken dogs making to 3,000gns (av £1,607), part-broken to 1,280gns (£727) and pups to 300gns (£142).

The reputation and pedigree of Skipton working dogs fixtures continues to go from strength to strength among both vendors and purchasers across the UK, with a good number of Skipton-sold dogs having progressed to bigger and better things on trials fields.

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