Retired shepherd, John Atkinson, claimed the top price of 6900gns at Skipton Auction Mart’s live summer sale of working sheep dogs with his December, 2018-born, Marchup Stella.

Mr Atkinson of Whiterose Sheep Dogs, Escrick, York, led the way with a red and white bitch bred by Silsden handler, Andrew Throup’s Marchup Bess and by Hilston Spot. Placed in nursery trials, Mr Atkinson who has produced two previous Scottish National champions and an International winner, sold Stella to T and G Farrow, of Richmond.

Second top price was 6000gns paid to first-time vendor Andrew Heathcoate, Macclesfield, Cheshire, with his rising three-year-old black and white bitch, Beaut. She is out of Lyn, bred by his half brother Steven Massey and sired by Moor Lodge Ben. Final bidder was Iain Logan, who runs a flock of 650 Blackface ewes on the Isle of Arran.

Ringing up 5400gns was Jen, an 11-month-old tri-coloured bitch from retired sheep and cattle farmer Robin Bell, Hawick. She is by Doug and out of Peg which last July produced 4500gns and 3300gns dogs here.

Mr Bell, who turns 72 later this year, has been breeding dogs for more than four decades and retains a small flock of Scottish Blackies on which to train his charges. His latest Skipton dog returned to the Scottish Borders with a regular buyer.

The last broken dog to take the trials field made 4200gns for his Welsh handler, Arran Games, from Talgarth, Powys. Ace, a January, 2021-born dog by brother, Ross Games’ Jock, is out of Nell, from fellow South Wales breeder Neil Redman. Ace heads back to South Wales and Gwent with fellow beef and sheep farmer, Phillipstown’s Robert Davies.

The sale attracted an entry of 42 dogs, with 34 finding new homes. Registered broken dogs sold from 850gns to 4200gns to average £2667 with registered bitches selling from 550gns to 6900gns to level at £4177. Unregistered dogs sold from 200gns to 3600gns to average £1995 with bitches to 2000gns. Part-broken registered dogs ranged from 100gns to 420gns to balance out at £259), with bitches selling from 300gns to 800gns to level at £594. Registered dog pups sold from 220gns to 380gns with unregistered dog pups to 50gns.