IRISH handler Mick Burke, of Hollywood village in west County Wicklow, starred at Skipton Auction Mart’s September timed online sale of working sheep dogs when claiming £4,900 top price with a well-bred black and white bitch related to top trials dogs. (Thurs, Sept 7)

His Kemi Meg is a fully broken January, 2021-born daughter of Welshman Kevin Evans’ European Nursery Champion and dual Welsh and International Brace Champion, Derwen Doug, out of Scalpsie Joy, herself a daughter of fellow Welsh handler Ross Games’ talented trials dog Roy.

She is also a full sister to Evans’ Kemi Jack, the current European Nursery Champion, with litter sisters of Meg themselves selling at £5,200 to £7,100 and two of her siblings competing for the Swiss National team. Eligible for this year’s nurseries, the top price performer sold to Norwegian buyer Hilmar Eide, of Torvastad, Rogaland, a past Skipton online purchaser.

Mick, who was selling his first dog at the leading North Yorkshire venue, is a house builder by trade, running his own company, Slievewood Construction. He also farms, running a flock of 150 hill ewes and 20 head of commercial Limousin and Beef Shorthorn cattle, alongside his working sheep dogs. Several years ago, he was a member of the Irish National team.

Powys’s Kevin Evans, of Llwynfedwen, Brecon, again made his mark when claiming second top call of £4,500 with an unbroken youngster, the seven-month-old red, tan and white dog, Kemi Franco, a daughter of the Swedish-bred Midderry Frank, whose litter sisters have also sold well. Out of Dunelle Gwen, the up-and-coming young dog went to Scotland with Roddy McIntosh, of Dyce, Aberdeenshire.

The renowned Welsh breeder and trialist also made £1,300 with an even younger black and white unbroken dog, Griff, born this April to his Tanhill Glen, a dual European Nursery and Royal Welsh Champion who has had a major impact on selling prices at Skipton in recent years.

Making £4,100 was local handler Peter Simpson, of Harrogate, with an older five-year-old fully broken black and white dog, Ben, by Irish trialist James McGee’s Glencregg Silver, the 2015 International Supreme Champion and granddaughter of Becca, a dual Irish National Champion and 2011 World Sheepdog Trials Champion. 

A brace of entries topped £3,000. Doing best at £3,600 was a part-broken March, 2022, black, white and tan dog, Boy, from George Simpson, of Huntly in Aberdeenshire. This, too, was by another highly regarded Kevin Evans’ sire, his German import, Red Spot, out of I Bowen’s Wozzy Peg. Boy goes to the Isle of Skye and Donald Beaton.

From Dent, in Cumbria, Colin Townson, claimed £3,200 with his fully trained January, 2021, black and white bitch, Gyp, also by Glencregg Silver, out of County Donegal handler Donal Mullaney’s Nan. With three Open trials placings this summer, Gyp fell to Bedale’s Peter Elcombe.

Cheshire’s Colin Pickford, from Macclesfield, made £2,600 with his fully broken black and white bitch, Rainow Blue, a four-year-old daughter of Welshman Aled Owen’s prolific trials winner Llangwm Cap, a Welsh National and International Supreme Champion. Out of his own Rainow Liz, Blue joins Alice Muir at Caithness in the far north of Scotland.

Other three and four-figure sales were recorded, the fixture once more demonstrating the versatility and flexibility of the online sales format and again catering for both tastes and pockets of virtual buyers, supported by working videos posted by vendors of their charges.

The next live field sale at Skipton is scheduled for Friday, October 13, followed by an online sale on Friday, November 29.