Sheep farmer and leading triallist Robin Dean, from Chipping, ran away with top price honours at Skipton Auction Mart’s opening working sheepdog sale of 2016, selling his 15-month-old black and white dog Gunnerwell Alfie for 3,600 guineas (£3,780).
Mr Dean, of Hall Trees Farm, put Alfie through his paces on the trial field with a polished display by the well-bred offspring of Lancaster-based Ricky Hutchinson’s Wenndale Roy, out of Fern, bred by John Harrison, of Shap.
Alfie, bought as an eight-week-old pup, had worked well for 12 months on Mr Dean’s 600-strong flock of New Zealand Romneys – he started breeding them last year in preference to his previous Texel and Mule flocks – and had also performed well in nursery trials, twice finishing runner-up in Pennine Inter-club events.
Having been trialling successfully for some 30 years, on four occasions representing the England team and twice winning the Doubles Championship, Mr Dean also twice qualified for the Supreme Championship with Roy, Alfie’s great-grandfather.
Alfie was sold for a price Mr Dean described as “realistic” to a sheep farmer from Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders, who requested anonymity. Alfie will be put to work on the buyer’s flock of 1,800 ewes.
Second best on price at 3,300gns was Nell, a two-year-old tri-coloured bitch from top triallist James McGee, from County Donegal.
Prices and Averages: Broken section; Registered dogs 270gns to 3,600gns (av £1,910); registered bitches 650gns to 3,300gns (av £1,726); overall average £1,802. Unregistered dogs 850gns to 1,700gns; unregistered bitches 250gns to 350gns (av £299). Part-broken and unbroken dogs: Registered dogs 120gns to 700gns (av £390); registered bitches 100gns to 920gns (av £477) unregistered bitch 400gns, unregistered dog 250gns.
Skipton’s spring working dog sale is scheduled for Friday, May 13th, with catalogue entries closing on April 29.
Robin Dean with his top price 3,600gns dog Gunnerwell Alfie.