Welsh handler, Ceredigion’s Dewi Jenkins, who is currently producing some of the most sought-after and best-sold working sheep dogs in Britain, was again top dog on price at Skipton Auction Mart’s latest spring sale.

Mr Jenkins, also a well-known trialist who farms Welsh mountain ewes and Welsh black cattle at Tynygraig Farm, Tal-y-bont, Aberystwyth, claimed his highest-ever price at Skipton of 8,500gns (£8,925) with his 13-month-old red and white bitch, Graylees Rose.

Rose is by Michelle Anderson’s Red and was purchased as a youngster by Mr Jenkins from the Northumberland handler and trialist, who runs a Cheviot sheep flock on her 1,300-acre hill farm in Bellingham.

The dam is Glan y Gors Peg, owned by fellow Northumberland shepherdess, near neighbour and good friend, Emma Gray, the reigning English Nursery Champion, who farms at Harwood Forest, Morpeth.

At the same 2019 opener, Mr Jenkins – whose previous top price at Skipton for a dog was 8,100gns, achieved exactly a year earlier – made a combined 15,200gns for two well-bred bitches, itself thought to be a Skipton record for a brace of bitches sold at a single sale.

His latest 8,500gns dog, thought an excellent nursery prospect, found a new home in Scotland with John S Hastie, of Fife, a retired shepherd/stockman who still keeps a few sheep and will use Rose for both work and trial. Several lots later, he himself sold a June, 2016, black and white bitch, Jess, at 1,050gns.

Another Welsh handler from Ceredigion, Tregaron’s Dan Rees, stepped up on past Skipton sale prices when achieving 4,300gns with his two-year-old black and white bitch, Kate, by Brendan McAllister's multiple trials winner, Spot, out of Michael Gallagher’s Templemoyle Hope. Kate returned to Wales with an unnamed buyer.

Again from Wales, another eye-catcher at 3,900gns late in the afternoon was KB Williams, of Bryn Melyn, Ffestiniog, with his well-bred December, 2017, black and white bitch, Cynfal Jill, by Aled Owen’s Welsh National and International Supreme Champion, Llangwm Cap, out of Mr Williams’ own Floss. The buyer was T Elliot, of Jedburgh.

Another strong performer in the unbroken pen at 1,400gns was a four-month-old black and white dog, Ron, from Welshman Andrew Green, of Carmarthen. By Derwen Doug, from top Welsh handler and triallist Kevin Evans, out of Preseli Queen, a full sister to Preseli Ci, winner of the 2016 Supreme International in the hands of Mr Evans, she joined a north Yorkshire buyer who requested no publicity.

Prices and averages: Broken dogs – 24 registered dogs from 600gns to 3,400gns (av £2,067), 32 registered bitches from 400gns to 8,500gns (av £2,302), 5 unregistered bitches from 600gns to 2,050gns (£1,187). Part/unbroken dogs – 19 registered dogs from 250gns to 1,400gns (av £525), 16 registered bitches from 200gns to 1,600gns (av £677).