Queen rules as Shaun Richards again crowned top dog at Skipton North Craven’s Shaun Richards was top dog again at Skipton Auction Mart’s autumn sale of working sheep dogs when selling his three-year-old tri-coloured bitch Queen for a sale-topping 4,050gns (£4,252.50). Mr Richards, who runs Pen-y-Borough Sheep Dogs in Eldroth, near Settle, has now headed the selling prices at three of this year’s four seasonal fixtures at the UK’s leading sheep dog sales venue, making second top price at the other.

He led the field at the latest renewal with his 16-month-old dog, bought out of Skipton’s pup pen at a previous sale. Queen, bred in Northern Ireland by Seamus Gormley, who runs Kilcreen Sheep Dogs in Claudy, Co Derry - the sire is Kilcreen Barney and the dam Kilcreen Chloe – found a new home in north-east Scotland with a buyer who requested anonymity. He will use her as a working dog.


Mr Richards pipped by 50gns another regular top price achiever at Skpton, John Bell, of Parks Farm, Howden, Selby, who sold his 15-month-old black and white bitch Floss for the day’s second top call of 4,000gns (£4,200) to well-known Welsh handler and triallist Nigel Watkins, of Panthowell, Llanoldewsant, Llangadog.


Mr Bell bought Floss for 1,100gns (£1,155), from the pup pen at this year’s summer dogs sale at Skipton in July from local breeder and handler Beverley Fort, of Brighton House Farm, Steeton, and has worked his usual magic on the well-bred bitch.


She is by Matt Watson’s 2010 English National champion Milo, out of a bitch called Poppy, bred by CD Timms. Poppy’s grandfather, Joe, was International Supreme Champion in the hands of trialling legend Bobby Dalziel.


Earlier in the day, John Bell also achieved 3,000gns (£3,450) with his December, 2012-born black and white dog, Jake, by WG Hoy’s Kemp, out of WJ Jones’ Meg. It fell to a buyer from Devon.


In addition, Mr Bell achieved 2,500gns (£2,625) with his 17-month-old black and white dog William (Will), by Ray Edwards’ Bill, out of R Denman’s Jinnie, who fell to a regular buyer from Wales.


Selling for the second time at Skipton, David Wood, of Crookhill Farm, Derwent, near Bamford in the Derbyshire Peak District’s Hope Valley, achieved the third top call of 3,750gns (£3,937.50) with his March, 2013-born black and white dog, Moss, by Glossop-based Roy Driver’s Hemp, out of Peter Hallam’s Gem.


Mr Wood sold his first dog at Skipton’s last sale for 3,500gns (£3,675) and said he was delighted to better the price at the latest renewal. He is a regular in the English Nationals, finishing third this year with his eight-year-old Sal. Moss fell to Eric Graham, of Lerwick in the Shetland Isles, and will be used mainly as a work dog. “Trails would be a bonus,” said Mr Graham, who keeps Shetland and Cheviot-cross sheep and also breeders Shorthorn and Saler cattle.


Selling well at 3,450gns (£3,622.50) was a highly promising younger dog, the 11-month-old black and white bitch Spotty, from Weardale’s Dorothy Bell. She is by Derek Scrimgeour’s Mirk, out of John Emerson’s Fran, and sold to a Welsh buyer.


There were two further 3,000gns performers. First up was John Atkinson, of White Rose Sheep Dogs in Escrick, York, with his January, 2012-born black and white dog Irtlands Spruce, by G Stapleton’s Tan Hill Taz, out of M Cottam’s Sally. Already a winner of three nursery trials and now ready to move up to open competitions, the dog also found of new home in the Shetland Isles with successful phone bidder, Raymond Garrick, of Sandness.


Mr Garrick, who breeds Shetland-cross-Cheviot ewes and Charolais-cross cows – he also undertakes farm contract work - was buying his second dog at Skipton after making his first acquisition at last year’s corresponding fixture, when also paying 3,000gns. He said he would be more than happy if his latest buy proves as good as his first.


Also selling at 3,000gns was a black and white dog from R Holt, of Rossendale. By Robert Fielden’s Jim, out of his own Bella, the two-year-old fell to renowned Irish triallist Michael Gallagher in County Antrim.


Another Irish vendor, County Down’s D McKee sold his 20-month-old tri-coloured home-bred bitch Jess – the sire Lad is by Tom Lawrenson’s Spot and the dam Jess is a daughter of R Hutchinson’s Wenndale Roy – for 2,600gns (£2,730) to a Scottish buyer.


A 2,000gns (£2,100) performer was Meg, a two-year-old black and white home-bred bitch from JR Gilman, of Macclesfield, which fell to Horton-in-Ribblesdale’s Neil Jackson.


The sale achieved 87% clearance, with 60 of the 69 dogs entered successfully finding new homes. Skipton Auction Mart’s general manager Jeremy Eaton reported a very good trade, with plenty of buyers from throughout the UK looking for work dogs, particularly well broken dogs.


Broken registered dogs sold to 4,050gns, averaging a robust £2,153. There were a strong turnout of unbroken registered dogs and these sold to a high of 500gns at an average of £362. Part-broken registered dogs sold to 950gns, averaging £737. A part-broken unregistered dog made 1,400gns and a broken unregistered dog 800gns.