CCM Skipton online working sheep dog sale format continues to makes major impact Kevin Evans again top dog on price with £8,000 bitch The versatility and flexibility of the online sales format was clearly demonstrated at Skipton Auction Mart’s latest working sheep dogs sale when a robust entry of 110 dogs from England, Scotland and Wales, across into Ireland, achieved near 70% clearance, with 75 successfully finding new homes both at home and abroad, and solid averages recorded.

Staged in a timed online format with real-time bidding over two days (Mon & Tues, Nov 29 & 30), the fixture again offered a multi-purpose selection of fully trained, part-broken and unbroken dogs and pups, both registered and non-registered, covering all ages and abilities.

Solid broken entries for both work and trial, along with up-and-coming youngsters to further bring on and run in nursery trials, were among the online turnout, with readily affordable dogs to suit all tastes and pockets, reflected in selling prices from the low £hundreds up to sale high of £8,000.

Top dog on price yet again, as he has been for the greater part of the year at Skipton, was renowned Welsh handler and triallist, Kevin Evans, of Llwynfedwen Farm, Modrydd, Brecon, in Powys, with his fully broken young black and white bitch, Kemi Fly.

She is a January, 2020, daughter of fellow Welsh breeder Ross Games’ top trials dog, Roy, and granddaughter of Kevin’s dual European Nursery and Royal Welsh Champion, Tanhill Glen, who continues to leave such a strong stamp on Evans breeding, and on previous leading price achievers at the North Yorkshire venue. Out of the breeder’s own Knockmaa Lill, Fly will fly to West Cumbria and new owner Russell Ireland, of Drigg, Holmrook.

Again well represented with a trio of fully broken and well-forward entries, Mr Evans was also responsible for second top call of £7,000 with a younger black and white dog born on April 1 last year, though certainly no fool when it comes to both breeding and class! Foxridge Dale is a son of Mr Evans’ own Derwen Doug, a European Nursery Champion and dual Welsh and International Brace Champion, out of Tanhill Ruby, now with DN Edwards. The dog joins Graham Eusden in Godalming, Surrey.

A further Derwen Doug son, the March, 2020, Mac, out of J Wheaton’s Jess, earned a further £6,400 for Mr Evans and is bound for Co. Kerry in south-west Ireland with Killarney’s Tom O’Sullivan.

Again keeping it in the family, Kevin’s triallist father David Evans, of Penclyn Farm, Brecon, was represented with a fully broken, June, 2019, black and white dog, Sango Jim, also by his son’s Derwen Doug, out of JG Sutherland’s Jan, another daughter of Ross Games’ Roy. Having already run in nursery trials, Jim made £4,100 and heads to the east coast to join Goole’s Stuart Walton

Mr Evans Snr also claimed £3,000 with a part-broken ten-month-old brown and white dog, Wheatwood Woody, by yet another of his son’s stud dogs, the red Spot, acquired from Germany. Out of R Fowler’s Fran, Woody is bound for Norway and Torvastad’s Hilmar Eide, a past Skipton purchaser.

Locally, Colin Townson, of Moor Lodge Farm, Oakworth – he farms with his partner Carol Mellin, whose Moor Lodge Ben has long been used to marshal the sheep at Skipton’s ‘live’ working sheep dog sales – claimed joint third top price in sale at £6,500 with his January, 2017, black and white bitch, Kay, who has been placed in open trials. By AD Carnegie’s Linburn Rock, out of P Martin’s Jen, she is heading to mid-Glamorgan and Porth’s Cerys Millichap.

Matching the £6,500 selling price was Welshman Dewi Jenkins, of Talybont, near Aberystwyth, with the fully broken 15-month-old black, white and mottled bitch, Sky, a daughter of his main stud dog Jock, who has been responsible for many top price Skipton dogs in recent years for the renowned Ceredigion handler and triallist, who currently holds the world record price of £27,000 for a working sheep dog sold at an official sale. Out of North Craven handler John Harrison’s Sky, daughter Sky returned to the dam’s breeder in Clapham.

Cumbrian vendor Richard Fawcett, of Hawes, achieved £5,300 with his fully broken black and white dog, Croft, a February, 2020, son of Tanhill Glen, out of RH Fawcett’s Lola, an English team member and winner of multiple open trials, including many double gathers. A new home in Carmarthenshire, Wales, with Llandeilo’s Logan Williams awaits.

From Lower Wensleydale, Paul Fairburn, of Thornton Steward, caught the eye with a £5,100 sale of his three-year-old tri-coloured dog, Marriforth Ben, by Sergio Perello Galdon’s Murguia Jim, the 2018 English National Singles Champion, out of a solid farm bitch by Kemi Mirk. Ben will go to work in Cumbria with Jeff Burrow, of Grayrigg, Kendal.

From the extreme north of Scotland, Daniel Worthington, of Caithness, claimed £5,000 with his fully broken April, and white dog, Foinaven Max, which fell to a Scottish buyer who requested anonymity.

Heading the Irish selling prices at £4,600 was Prince, a fully broken three-year-old black and white dog from Michael Doherty, from Foyle Springs, Co. Londonderry. Having been the main farm dog, with other younger dogs now ready to step into his shoes, the son of Netherlands-based former World Sheep Dog Trials champion Serge van der Sweep's Gary, out of a daughter of Knockmaa Jack, remained in Ireland and Co. Tyrone when claimed by Omagh’s John Armstrong.

A young part-broken nine-month-old tri-coloured bitch from the Isle of Man, Finn Partington’s Kim, was much sought after. Though herself unregistered, this Welsh sheepdog-x-Border Collie, whose sire is ISDS-registered and by Welsh legend Aled Owen’s renowned Llangwm Cap, out of a dam registered with the Welsh Sheepdog Society, made a solid £4,100 when going to Cumbria and Cockermouth’s Mag Todd.

One of the first fully broken entries to go under the online hammer and making £4,000 was the Scottish-bred Jim, a January, 2020, black and white dog from Strathnaver’s Ian Sutherland. By Irishman Pat Byrne’s Jim, out of D Byrne’s Lynn, Jim remained north of the border.

From the north mainland of the Shetland Isles, Swarthoull’s Morgan Robertson had a £3,900 sale with his three-year-old black and white bitch, Libby, by R Scarborough’s Zac, out of C Robertson’s Lola. Used to working long distance on all terrains, she remained in her place of origin when joining Colin Thomas in Velzie.

Back with the Welsh, Sophie Holt, from Hendre Brynach, Brecon, headed the unbroken prices at £3,600 with her three-month-old black and white bitch pup, Kira, a granddaughter of International Supreme Champion, Hybeck Blake, and European Nursery Champion, Derwen Doug, and great granddaughter of Welsh National Champion, Jimmy, and European Continental Champion, Gary. Kira found a new home in Lancashire with Blackburn’s Howard Rigby.

Legendary East Yorkshire handler and trainer John Bell, of Parks Farm, Howden, claimed second top call among the unbroken entries with a £3,500 sale of his eight-month-old tri-coloured bitch, Jem, by C Worgan’s Black Jack, out of Mr Bell’s Smithymoor Tweed daughter, Parks Farm Fan, who is related to multiple high profile trials winners and herself became a £6,000 sale at Skipton as a 12-month-old in February last year and has since won multiple winner open trials. Jem joined Barnard Castle’s Neville Raine

Mr Bell, whose other Black Jack sales have topped £1,000, also claimed £1,900 with an unbroken black and white litter sister of Jem’s, Dusk, who heads across the pond to Texas to join Kelsey Kirkpatrick in Houston.

The sale marked the end of a long and distinguished era for Mr Bell, who, now having turned 90, said the brace was likely to be his final offering of working sheep dogs, which he has been training with remarkable success for 25 years, heading the Skipton prices on no less than 26 occasions, establishing some new world record prices on the way. In fact, there can be little doubt that Mr Bell has contributed greatly in helping to put Skipton firmly on the map as the UK’s leading sheep dog sales venue.

Back with the broken dogs and again to the north of Scotland, another Sutherland family entry selling well at £3,500, though belonging to Neil Sutherland, was an August, 2019, red and white dog Coco (Lad), by top triallist James McGee Glencregg Silver. He also remains in Scotland and is due to embark on the 300-plus mile drive south to join Turnberry’s Alan Shennan.

Making £3,300 from Westmorland was Leyburn’s AR Hunter with his fully home-bred two-year-old black and white bitch, Gem, a solid all-rounder now going north to Ian Sutherland in Inverness-shire.

Another unbroken youngster catching the eye at £1,850 was Flash, a rising five-month-old black and white dog from former Skipton world record price pup holder, Irishman Donal Mullaney, of Letterkenny in Co Donegal. By Brendan McAllister's much-acclaimed Spot, out of the breeder’s own Nan, and with some solid bloodlines behind him, the youngster is bound to Wales and Ceredigion’s Daniel Rees.

Top prices and averages: Broken registered dogs to £6,500 (av £4,171), broken registered bitches to £8,000 (av £4,057). A broken non-registered bitch also made £1,800. Part-broken registered dogs to £3,000 (av £1,238), part-broken registered bitches to £2,600 (av £1,636), part-broken non-registered bitches to £750 (av £583). A part-broken Border Collie-x-hunting dog also made £1,600. In the unbroken and pup section: Registered dogs to £3,600 (av £1,087), registered bitches to £1,400 (av £780), unregistered dogs to £600 (av £433).