NORTH Wales dog trainer Sion Jones, who runs Cefn Eithin Sheep Dogs, in Corwen, had a field day at Skipton Auction Mart’s summer working sheep dogs sale on Friday.

Mr Jones claimed top call of 10,000gns (£10,500) on the trials field and repeating the feat in the unbroken pen with a 1,600gns (£1,680) youngster. It is thought to be the first time a single handler has achieved a top price double at the venue.

He headed the broken dog prices with his 20-month-old tri-coloured bitch, Tess, a solidly bred daughter of Netherlands-based former World Sheep Dog Trials champion Serge van der Sweep’s Gary, which stood third for the same handler in the 2017 World Trials.

Tess put in an impeccable run on the trials field, creating keen interest at the ringside before falling for both work and potential trialling to a buyer from Northern Ireland.

Earlier in the day, the talented Welshman, who farms 400 Welsh and cross-bred ewes and 20 suckler cows led the way in the unbroken pen with a 1,600gns sale of another young, up and coming tri-coloured dog, Cefneithin Rex, rising six-months-old and one of a second litter out of the highly regarded home-bred working bitch, Cefneithin Jan.

By Aled Owen’s Welsh National and International Supreme Champion, Llangwm Cap, Rex was crowned ‘king of the pups’ on price when falling to regular Scottish buyer, Jock Sutherland, from Sangormore in Durness,.

Two dogs made joint second top call of 6,600gns and both fell to the same Welsh buyer, top trialist Kevin Evans, of Penclyn Farm, Modrydd, Brecon, Powys, one of the most talented handlers of his generation.

First up at the beginning of the day was the third field-run entry, the November, 2017, black and white dog, Pen-y-Borough Bodger, from North Craven’s Shaun Richards, who runs Pen-y-Borough Sheepdogs in Eldroth,

He is by Derwen Doug, who won the 2018 European Nursery Championships in the hands of Mr Evans, out of Mr Richards’ own high-class breeding bitch, Rose.

The second 6,600gns dog also represented a venue high for another North Wales handler, Dylan Edwards, from Penrhyndeudraeth, A dry stone waller by trade, his 16-month-old black, white and mottled bitch, Lecsi, is by his own trials-winning dog Ben, out of Jes, now with Adam Griffiths, but who was also bred by Mr Edwards and is herself by Tanhill Glen, another top-class Kevin Evans trials dog.

Next best at a solid 5,400gs was a 14-month-old black and white bitch, Liz, from Derbyshire’s David Wood, who runs a flock of 700 Cheviot sheep in Derwent.

She will be put to work on the family’s flock of 940 Shetland ewes and crosses at their 2,000 acre holding.

Out of fellow Welsh breeder Karen Price’s Fly, Sweep was knocked down for 4,700gns to Cumbrian hill farmer Richard Harrison.

Several dogs broke the 3,000gns barrier. Catching the eye at 3,400gns was a two-year-old black and white dog, Jaxx, from Ireland’s John Irwin, of Omagh in Co. Tyrone. The son of Tweeddale Jamie became another Skipton acquisition by Red Rose trialing legend Jim Cropper, of Bacup.

LE Blain, from Bala in Wales, made 3,300gns with a solid nursery prospect, the October, 2017, tri-coloured dog, Madog Mot, a son of Glan y Gors Tec. This fell to regular Lanarkshire buyer Joe McRoberts, who runs Cheviot Sheepdogs at Fingland, Biggar.

Leading the way for the ladies with a brace of 3,000gns-plus sales was Northern Ireland teenager Shannon Conn from Limvady in Co Londonderry, who is already an accomplished trialist for one so young, winning through to the junior handler final of ‘One Man and His Dog’ as a 13-year-old in 2015.

Back in the unbroken pen, there were several more four-figure sales, including a brace at 1,500gns, the first falling to a four-month-old red and white dog, Roy, from Welshman Dean Addison, of Rhayader in Powys, who found a new home in Northern Ireland when claimed by G Toner, of Dungannon, Co. Tyrone.

The same vendor also made 1,110gns with Rose, a red and white bitch from the same litter,

The summer fixture attracted a turnout of 77 dogs – 44field-run dogs and 33 in the unbroken pen,

Prices and averages: Broken dogs from 650gns to 6,600gns (av £2,745), registered bitches from 250gns to 10,000gns (av £3,029), 1 unregistered dog 750gns. Part/unbroken dogs – 10 registered dogs from 450gns to 1,600gns (av £805), 10 registered bitches from 400gns to 1,500gns (av £805).