SKIPTON Auction Mart’s first online working sheep dog sale of 2021 was taking place this week, having attracted another solid entry of 114 dogs - 80 fully broken, 23 part broken and 11 unbroken.

Irish dogs were again well in the ascendancy with a 53-strong entry, followed by 21 from England, a stronger Scottish entry of 19, 18 from Wales and a single dog from


For the Irish Co. Donegal handlers were again well represented, with Donal Mullaney, from Letterkenny, who last year set not one, but three world record prices at Skipton with unbroken pups, returning with several entries, among them an unbroken three-month-old.

Co. Sligo’s Martin Feeney had a four-year-old dog related to Supreme finalists, while Colm Doherty, from Tirbraken, had broken dogs related to International champions, with the Byrne family, from Knockcroghery, again well represented by some well-bred youngsters.

Welshman Kevin Evans, from Brecon, who set the working sheep dog world alight with a new all-time world record price of £20,000 for a broken dog at Skipton last autumn, returned with more quality entries related to high profile trials champions.

Ewan Irvine, from Fallowlees in Northumberland, was due to be represented by a Graylees bitch bred by his shepherdess wife Emma Gray’s Brenna and sold by her for a then world record price of 14,000gns at Skipton two years ago. Local interest was provided by Oakworth’s Carol Mellin with a two-year-old bitch with nursery trial placings.

From north of the birder, Strathnaver’s NM Sutherland had a dog rising four-years-old which ran in the 2019 Scottish nursery final for the North Scotland team, while the sole Belgian entry was a dog from B De Kerf in Nieuwe.

The three-day sale commenced on Monday morning and concluded on Wednesday evening. The mart explained that it had now adapted conditions of sale to recognise the fact that commercial carriers must now be fully registered in order to legally move dogs across Irish and European borders post-Brexit, exacerbated by the fact that there are currently delays in registering carriers. A full report will appear in next week’s Herald.