North Yorkshire’s John Bell rung up yet another top price success at Skipton Auction Mart’s opening 2015 working sheep dogs sale with an outstanding young black and white bitch with impeccable breeding credentials that sold for 4,500gns (£4,725).
It was late
afternoon with a lot number of 65 of the 67 field entries when Mr Bell,
of Parks Farm, Howden, Selby, strode out with his 12-month-old Park Farm Jess, by
Moss, bred in Calderdale by Harry Griffiths and who, in the hands of his
current owner, the renowned Welsh triallist Kevin Evans, of Modrydd
Brecon, Powys, won last year’s All-Wales Nursery Final.
is himself by Lancastrian Tom Lawrenson’s Clyde, who finished fourth in the
2011 World Sheep Dog Trials, while Jess’s dam is Fellside Jin, a daughter of
Derek Scrimgeour’s 2008 English National winner Killiebrae Laddie and bred by
another well-known handler, Wendy Cole, who runs Fellside Sheepdogs in
is one of a John Bell litter of six – two dogs and four bitches – and one of her
full sisters, Fellside Dash, has already proved herself in the trials arena
when becoming the 2014 Scottish Nursery Final champion in the hands of George
was a great deal of interest at a still busy fieldside in Jess and the
successful bidder was a familiar face at Skipton, Northern Ireland’s Seamus
Gormley, of Kilcreen Sheep Dog Centre in Claudy, Co Derry. The noted sheep dog
trainer, handler and trialist, who has competed at the top level for his
country, said he would be using Jess for both work and trials.
vendor and buyer have been attending Skipton dog sales for decades and Mr
Gormley commented: “I was the first Irishman to come to Skipton. John and I
have parked next to each other for some 30 years, but it’s the first time I
have bought one of his dogs.”
Bell, who was further enhancing his record of having achieved the most top
price successes of any individual vendor at Skipton, also sold two further dogs
at this year’s opener, among them Jill, another litter sister of his latest top
price performer, who found a new home in the Scottish Highlands when falling
for 2,800gns (£2,940).
in the day, Mr Bell also made 2,500gns (£2,625) for another promising
12-month-old red and white dog, Pen-y-Borough Vic, who is by Tod, bred in the
United States by Michelle Prescott-Guderian, a real estate
agent and hobby trialist based in Fridley, Minnesota – she has won an American
trial with him – out of Tiz, from North Craven’s Shaun Richards, of Pen-y-Borough Sheep
Dogs in Eldroth. The buyer was David Thompson, of Broughton, Furness.
the field on price for much of the day at 4,300gns (£4,515) was Red Rose vendor
Tom Huddlestone, of Brookhouse, near Lancaster, with his very well-bred
December, 2011, black and white bitch, Udale Deni, already with 12 national
points to her name.
is by Littledale-based English trialist Ricky Hutchinson’s popular stud dog
Sweep, who finished third in last year’s World Sheep Dog Trials in Scotland and
also won 10 opens in his first two seasons, as well as lifting the
International Brace Championship twice.
dam is Mr Huddleston’s own Udale Jet, who was 2013 English National reserve
champion and is a daughter of Welsh breeder Aled Owen’s legendary World and
International Trials champion Roy.
retired community nurse, Mr Huddleston has been breeding and training dogs for
a quarter of a century and has been a successful trialist for some 20 years,
following in the footsteps of his late father Harry, an English National
winner. Mr Huddleston himself won the English Brace crown in 2002 and has been
a member of the English team on several occasions, the latest in 2013.
Deni fell to another familiar face at Skipton, Jock Sutherland, who had again
travelled down from the Scottish Highlands – from Sangormore,
Durness, the most north westerly village on mainland
He is farm manager at
Keoldale Farms, also has his own croft and is a keen trialist, representing the
Scottish team in 2007. Mr
Sutherland will use his new acquisition as a work dog on North Country Cheviots
and also has high hopes for her on the trials field, with a crack at this
year’s Scottish National in Dingwall one of the key targets.
“Tom’s whistles were very much like the ones I use all the time, which
was one of the reasons I bought the dog,” explained Mr Sutherland. Breeding
potential is also another consideration.
was the first sale to be staged on Skipton’s new-look trials field, the
continuation of a project to create a purpose-built facility at the auction
mart to reflect growing worldwide interest among both sheep dog buyers and
new central fetch located below the former pen now enables a handler to put a
dog away to the fetch either right or left-handed, while two new posts - one at
65 yards, the second at 100 yards - have also been added for the start of each
run on the 110 yards long trials field. Handlers now nominate a post at the
time of entry, which is catalogued to help a prospective buyer recognise more
final major change is the continuation of the close boarded fence around the
entire field, with the top right corner rounded and made into the exhaust pen,
giving a final uphill pen.
Cattle Marts’ general manager Jeremy Eaton explained: “In making the changes,
we listened to comment from a number of regular vendors and refined the ideas
with assistance from a number of experienced sheepdog trialists.
total of 70 dogs were forward, 39 of which were put through their paces on the
new trials field. I felt good dogs showed themselves off more effectively from
the lift and my initial concern that the new layout might flatter some dogs’
work proved ill-founded.”
enhancements also went down well with handlers, with all interviewed welcoming
them with open arms. “The new field layout is very good, a big improvement –
better for both man and dog,” said Shaun Richards, who sent out the top-priced
dogs at all but one of Skipton’s sales last year, and the second top price at
He was among the frontrunners again when
securing the day’s third highest price of 3,400gns (£3,570), with his August,
2012 black and white bitch, Calderdale Pat, an excellent trials prospect by
Rossendale-based Alf Kyme’s Moss, out of Fly, also bred in Lancashire by
Trawden’s Stuart Bennett.
Mr Richards also achieved 2,200gns (£2,310)
for a younger black and white dog, the December, 2013-born Pen-y-Borough Rob,
by Katy Cropper’s Zac, out of his own Meg. The buyer was Nigel Barker, of
Carnforth, who will use Rob purely as a work dog on his cattle and sheep,
primarily Mule hoggs.
David Lyttle, of Pettigo in County Donegal, was also to the fore when selling
his two-year-old black and white bitch Nell for 3,200gns (£3,360) to another
Skipton regular, John Atkinson, of White Rose Sheep Dogs in Escrick, York, who is also shepherd on
the Escrick Park Estate.
performing well in nursery trials, Nell has impressive Irish breeding behind
her, being by Irish National champion Mozz, from County Down’s John Maginn, out of Floss, bred by the
vendor’s son, Allistair Lyttle, in Co. Fermanagh. Floss is herself by Spot, with whom Allistair won “One
Man and his Dog” in 2010.
venue’s growing popularity and stature overseas was clearly illustrated through
first-time vendor Nicolas Annaloro, from Cassel in northern France, who successfully sold two home-bred nursery dogs both
fathered by different Kevin Evans dogs.
First up was the tri-coloured May, 2013, Taff, by Mr
Evans’ top trials dog Spot, out of Welsh breeder DJ Lawrence’s Fern, who sold
locally to well-known sheep dog enthusiast John Palmer in Twiston, Clitheroe,
for 2,700gns (£2,835).
The second dog, the tri-coloured Faenor Ridge, a
November, 2013, son of Mr Evans’ Caleb, out of Scottish breeder Miss CV Ridge’s
Fly, also sold well at 2,500gns (£2,625) to a new buyer at Skipton, Scotland’s
Neil Sutherland, a cattle and sheep farmer from Strathnaver in Sutherland.
He has just started trialing and will use his new
acquisition for this purpose, as well as a work dog.
Annaloro, who farms some 50 Scottish Blackface sheep, also runs his own
boarding kennels at La Pension du val de Cassel, where he trains all types and
breeds of dog. He is also an accomplished trialist, having won the French
National Nursery in both 2012 and 2013.
had heard a lot about dog sales at Skipton, so decided to come over. I have
really enjoyed it - it is a very nice place with very nice people. I will
definitely come back,” he said.
regular Emrys Jones, of Tal y Bont, Gwynedd, in the Snowdonia National Park. sold
his August, 2013, tri-coloured bitch, Cwmmadoc Beca, for 2,400gns (£2,520),
while fellow Welshman, AL Jones, of Bala, made 2,050gns (£2,152) with his June,
2013, black, white and mottled bitch Penrhiw Mali, a proven farm dog by RFM
Ellis’s Kirk, out of A Cavell’s Floss.
Scottish vendor Dean Aitken, a sheep farmer
at Uppercleuch Farm, Lockerbie, who sold his first dog at Skipton last year,
returned with a 14-month-old black and white dog, Tweeddale Nap, a grandson of
Irishman Michael Gallagher’s renowned 2011 World Sheep Dog Trials third-placed Cap,
out of his own Jill. Nap found a new home in the Scottish Highlands at 2,300gns
registered dogs proved popular on the day, selling to the 4,500gns high, with
an overall average of £2,203. Part-broken registered dogs sold to 950gns at an
average of £518.
Skipton working sheep dog sales in 2015, all staged on Fridays, are scheduled
for May 15, July 3 and October 23.