A TOP price of 8,100gns was paid for a black-and-white bitch at Skipton mart’s annual winter sale of working sheep dogs.

High Peak Gem, from Welshman Dewi Jenkins, put in a faultless display on the trials field before being snapped up by shepherdess and breeder Rebecca Spooner from Chinley in the Peak District.

Earlier, near neighbour and fellow shepherdess Caroline Hamilton, who had travelled with her, paid 1,600gns for the top price pup, Ann, a 12-week-old impeccably bred black-and-white bitch from 18-year-old Shaun Procter, who farms sheep and cattle with his father Trevor at Great Musgrave, Kirkby Stephen.

Ann, is a daughter of another Ann, who set a then Skipton record pup price of 1,850gns when bought as a six month old in July, 2015.

The dam, a daughter of Sid, another top trials dog from Ireland’s James McGee and a litter sister to Cap, sold for a world record price of 14,100gns at Skipton in 2016, by Padraig Doherty, County Donegal.

Caroline Hamilton, who has a Lonk commercial flock, said: “Ann will be used purely as a work dog and for breeding in the future.”

Shaun Procter paid the day’s second top price of 3,800gns for Nell, a classy red-and-white bitch originally from North Wales handler A Jones, of Mold.

Out of Staffordshire breeder Peter Hallam’s Gem, Nell will be used on the Procter family’s mixed sheep flock, which includes Swaledale, Mule and Blue-faced Leicester, and their suckler cattle herd, as well as for breeding.

Rob Hutchinson, from Barnard Castle, achieved 3,000gns with his June, 2015, black-and-white bitch, Midge, who joined Macclesfield’s Ben Kidd.

Other local sales included 2,800gns for Redgate Becky, a January 2016, tri-coloured bitch from Jean Howes, Bishop Auckland; and 2,600gns for Meg, a July 2016, black-and-white bitch from H Bouch, Penrith.

A solid turnout of 129 dogs was sold from early morning until late afternoon, with 60 broken entries, comprising 34 registered dogs and 26 registered bitches finding new homes, along with 28 unbroken dogs.

Top prices and averages: Broken registered dogs to 3,200gns (av £1,821); broken registered bitches to 8,100gns (av £2,661); broken unregistered dogs to 650gns; broken unregistered bitches to 1,900gns (av £1,103); unbroken registered dogs to 900gns (av £519); unbroken registered bitches to 1,600gns (av 659); unregistered dogs to 400gns (£173); unregistered bitches to 450gns (av 315).