2014-02-26   facebook twitter rss

Sheep Dogs Return at Skipton

The opening 2014 sale of working sheep dogs at Skipton Auction Mart this Friday (Feb 28) has attracted another solid entry of 98 dogs from near and far, with a strong Irish contingent, supplemented by a number of entries from Belgium, enhancing the popular winter fixture.

Skipton remains the UK’s leading working sheep dogs sales venue and a total of 74 trained dogs, some well-bred and fully broken registered performers among them, will be put through their paces in field runs, while 24 partly trained and young dogs will be shown in the unbroken pen.


John Bell, of Howden, near Selby, who last year at Skipton established a new world record price of 8,800gns (£9,240) for a dog sold at an official sale, holds a brace of top-notch entries, both bitches, including a promising nine-month-old youngster sired by a multiple open trails winner.

Red Rose handler Shaun Richards, of Hapton, Burnley, a frequent high price achiever at Skipton, will again be represented with a work and trials-ready 14-month-old black and white dog.

Michael Longton, of the famed sheep dog trialling family from Quernmore, Lancaster, is scheduled to sell a July, 2010-born black and white son of Irishman Michael Gallagher's Cap, third in the 2011 World Sheep Dog Trials. The dog has already earned ten National points.

Of the Irish entrants, County Mayo’s Pat Byrne, who performed well at Skipton last time out when selling a bitch by Aled Owen’s International Supreme champion Bob for 3,200gns, returns with another bitch related to the same sire.

Travelling over from Belgium with both fully broken and partly trained dogs, including entries from some top Irish breeding lines, nursery winners among them, are Jo and Heidi De Meyst, from Zwevezele, south of Bruges, both among the country’s best-known handlers.

Mr De Meyst headed up the organising committee for the 2013 Continental Sheepdog Championship in Antwerp. Also making his debut at Skipton is another well-known Belgium breeder N Couwelier, of Temse, East Flanders.

The sale, which again features dogs for all tastes and pockets, begins at 9.15 and will continue until late in the afternoon. It is being staged purposely to coincide with some leading UK nursery trials likely to prove of additional interest to potential Skipton vendors and buyers, including the Scottish Nursery Final in Glenluce, on Saturday, March 1.

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