2014-03-05   facebook twitter rss

Top Sheepdog Finds New Home in America

Red Rose handler Shaun Richards was the headline performer at Skipton Auction Mart’s opening 2014 sale of working sheep dogs. (Fri, Feb 28).

Mr Richards, of Watson Laithe, Hapton, Burnley, a frequent high price achiever at the UK’s leading working sheep dogs sales venue, led the field at the popular winter fixture when selling his trials-ready 14-month-old black and white dog, Sweep, for the day’s top call of 5,300 guineas, or £5,565.

Shaun Richards with his top price 5,300gns Skipton dog Sweep

Shaun Richards with his top price 5,300gns Skipton dog Sweep

Mr Richards’ top dog was bred in Wales by well-known trialist Medwyn Evans, of Dolgellau in the Snowdonia National Park, being 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 a commission bidder, hobby sheep dog trialist Michelle Prescott-Guderian.

On learning that she had been successful in bidding for Sweep, Mrs Prescott-Guderian, who works as a real estate agent/realtor in Fridley, Minnesota, and also breeds and shows American Quarter Horses, said:

Michelle Prescott-Guderian, new American owner of Shaun Richards’ top price 5,300gns Skipton dog Sweep

Michelle Prescott-Guderian, new American owner of Shaun Richards’ top price 5,300gns Skipton dog Sweep

“I first viewed him on YouTube and obviously liked what I saw. I have been involved with Border Collies and trialing strictly as a hobby since 1999 and have had moderate success in the past, simply because I am so busy with my work that I have not been able to put the serious time into working my dogs to achieve top success.

“I am hoping that now is the time in my life that I have that extra time and plan to try to achieve higher goals with Sweep. I have complete faith in Shaun and his dogs and really look forward to Sweep getting to Minnesota.”

The sale attracted another solid entry of 94 dogs from near and far, comprising both trained dogs, which were put through their paces on the trials field, and partly trained and young dogs, which were on parade in the unbroken pen.

With both open and novice trials winners among the turnout and plenty of others ready for both work and trial, a total of 63 dogs were sold on a day, a 68% clearance rate. The turnout catered for all tastes and pockets and once again well-bred and fully broken registered performers enjoyed the best of the exchanges.

The day’s second top price of 4,000gns (£4,200) fell to Don, a 30-months-old tri-coloured dog from Belgium handler Jo De Meyst, who hails from Zwevezele, between Antwerp and Gent. The Welsh-bred dog, by John Griffith’s Bob, out of M Jones’ June, is already a five times nursery trial winner in both England and Belgium.

Belgium's Jo De Meyst, with his 4,000gns dog Don, which acheived second top price at Skipton

Belgium's Jo De Meyst, with his 4,000gns dog Don, which acheived second top price of the day

Don found a new home in Holmrook, Cumbria, with Arthur Temple, a regular buyer at Skipton and well-known trialist, who finished eighth in the 2011 World Sheep Dog Trials in Cumbria and has had several successes in nursery trials this past winter. Don should prove a valuable addition to Mr Temple’s trialing team, particularly with opens in mind.

Mr De Meyst brought a full trailer load of 12 dogs from Belgium, both fully broken and partly trained, including entries from some top Irish breeding lines, nursery winners among them. He was reducing stocks on behalf of both himself and his 22-year-old daughter Heidi, and was also accompanied by fellow countryman Nick Couwelier, of Temse, East Flanders, who was making his debut at Skipton with a number of entries.

The trio are among the country’s best-known handlers, with Mr De Meyst respected as a leading trialist who has represented his country many times and last year headed up the organising committee for the Continental Sheepdog Championship in Antwerp.

Mr De Meyst’s also sold his daughter’s April, 2011-born tri-coloured bitch Knockmas Kay, who landed a nursery final with Con McGarry in Ireland last year and went on to win the nursery season in Belgium, for 2,200gns (£2,310) to G Gartside, of the Derbyshire Peak District’s Hope Valley.

Selling well at 3,800gns (£3,990) was a 16-month-old black and white bitch, Groesfaen Nan, from Skipton regular, John Bell, of Parks Farm, Howden, Selby, who also headed the young dog prices at an exhilarating 2,400gns (£2,520) with a promising nine-month-old tri-coloured bitch, Kate.

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 a regular buyer from Scotland, who made a total of six acquisitions on the day.

Mr Bell, who last year at Skipton established a new world record price of 8,800gns (£9,240) for a dog sold at an official sale, then saw his up-and-coming Kate top the young dog prices. She is by prolific open trials winner Bob, from another Selby breeder Tony Bell – no relation to John – out of E Simpson’s Pip, herself by Selside-based David Harrison’s well-regarded Ben. 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 (£3,885) 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.

The couple, who were buying their first dog at Skipton, also run the Ladygill pedigree Charolais cattle herd. “We had seen the dog working the previous week and were so impressed. I actually followed her down to Skipton,” said Mrs Forrest.

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 (£3,097.50), 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 - out of the vendor’s own Chance, who is related to Becca, Irishman James Magee’s 2011 World Trials champion.

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 and real favourite at home, for 2,750gns (£2,887.50).

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 (£2,835) with his April, 2011-born black and white dog Scott, highly regarded at home as a strong performer with a promising future.

He was bred in nearby Oxenhope by noted trialist, sheep dog display presenter, journalist and ISDS life member Elaine Hill, who said that Mr Atkins had done a really good job with Scott, who 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 (£2,257.50) 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.

Leading prices and averages were:
Broken registered dogs to 5,300gns (av £2,286), part-broken registered dogs to 1,200gns (av £664), unbroken registered dogs to 550gns (av £299), unregistered broken dogs to 1,050gns (av £1,102), unbroken unregistered dogs to 200gns.

Skipton Auction Mart’s next seasonal working sheep dogs sale is the Spring fixture on Friday, May 16, for which entries close on May 2.

ccm auctions

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