A BRACE of young bitches in their second year, one fully broken, the other part-broken, led the way on price at CCM Skipton Auction Mart’s latest timed online working sheep dog sale on Tuesday, though there was a dearth of well-broken dogs given the activity both in sale fields and online in recent weeks. 

However, Welsh handler and triallist, Dewi Jenkins, again demonstrated his ability to produce high-flying dogs for field sales and online auctions when again standing top dog on price at £11,400 with his fully broken 13-month-old black and white bitch, Erwood Jess.

Dewi, from Tynygraig, Talybont, Ceredigon, who has rattled up multiple four and five-figure selling prices at both live and online sales at the North Yorkshire venue, as well as elsewhere, was selling another quality bitch by his prolific stud dog, Clwyd Bob, son of 2022 International Supreme Champion Jock.

Out of dam, again called Erwood Jess, from fellow Welsh breeder Wendy Jones, the promising nursery trials prospect, also said to be primed for open trials, heads to Northern Ireland and Kelan Savage, Castlewellan, Co. Down.

Next best at £5,000 was a part-broken 15-month-old red and white bitch, Foinaven Tess, from South Yorkshire handler and first-time vendor, Tom Ollerenshaw, a shepherd at Broomhead Estate Farms, Sheffield.

His Foinaven Tess, by another red and white dog, Boss, from West Glamorgan’s Lyn Howells, out of Durness shepherd Kelsey Keith’s Foinaven Sassy. Tess, acquired as a six-month-old pup and since trained by Tom on the estate’s pure sheep flocks – 600 Cheviots and 400 Swaledales – is again hailed as a promising nursery prospect, finding a new home in Wales with Tom Bebb, Llanfair, Powys.

Several dogs made £2,000 and above, £2,500 falling to a Northern Ireland-bred September, 2021, black and white dog, Jim, from William Lawrence, Moneymore, Co. Derry. Having qualified two years running for the Northern Ireland Nursery finals, Jim was claimed by Northumberland buyer James Latimer, Hexham.

Making £2,300 was Sal, a newly broken March, 2022, black and white bitch from Rossendale’s Richard Holt, Helmshore. A daughter of Welshman Kevin Evans’ dual European Nursery and Royal Welsh Champion Tanhill Glen, Sal is ready to make further progress with new Ribble Valley owner, James Carr, Dunsop Bridge.

Welsh handlers achieved further online sales. Next best at £2,100 was another young 14-month-old dog, Tom, from David Bevan, Builth Wells, Powys, going to Rob Earnshaw, Rochdale, while hitting £2,000 was Logan Williams, Tirmynydd, Carmarthenshire, with his December, 2021, Gelli Ben, fully Welsh-bred by David Howells and returning there with Rhys Griffiths, Llanon, Ceredigon.

Top call among the unbroken dogs was £1,400 for a rising four-month-old tri-coloured bitch, Jill, from Northern Ireland’s Donal Mullaney, Letterkenny, Co Donegal. By fellow Irishman Colm Doherty’s Jim, out of the breeder’s own Lyn, Jill, who boasts some impressive breeding lines, remains in Co. Donegal with Michael McHugh, Milford.

Also from Northern Ireland, Noel Rutherford, Hillsborough, Co. Down, sold a trio of unbroken February, 2024-born pups all by Spud, himself a son of Kevin Evans’ German import, Red Spot. Doing best at £700 was a tri-coloured bitch, Ally, out of Tina, who boasts some top bloodlines in her pedigree, having sold other pups at four-figure prices, followed by two litter brothers, the black and white Del and tri-coloured Cap, out of Cornbeg Jet, herself by Tom O’Sulivans Mac, which made £550 and £500 respectively.

Of the 37 dogs forward, 23 successfully found new homes. Further working sheep dog sales are scheduled at Skipton later this year, two live field-run sales on Fridays, July 26 and October 11, then another online-only sale on Wednesday, November 27.

CCM Skipton remains one of the UK’s leading centres for working sheep dog sales, both for live field and timed online fixtures, the latter in particular continuing to demonstrate the versatility and flexibility of the online format in meeting the needs of both national and international, even global vendors and buyers.

At the other side of the coin, some potential purchasers much prefer to be at the field side to see a dog run and confirm or otherwise their conclusions drawn from pre-sale videos, though here again plenty of dogs continue to be sold to online bidders who watch the sales in realtime.

Both formats continue to cater for all tastes and pockets, whether those seeking established well-proven working dogs, some to break, others to further bring on for either work and trial.