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Thursday 13 December 2018

Sligo man pays top price of over €7,000 for Irish sheepdog at UK auction

Michael Gallagher, right, with his Skipton 6.200gns top price working sheep dog, Vera, joined by buyer Tony Kearins.Moule Media, Skipton.
Michael Gallagher, right, with his Skipton 6.200gns top price working sheep dog, Vera, joined by buyer Tony Kearins.Moule Media, Skipton.
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

A county Antrim farmer was top dog on price with a 6,200gns (€7,365) for a sheep dog at a major UK working dog auction.

Michael Gallagher, from Armoy, got the top price for his two-year-old dog at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual summer sale of working sheep dog

The eminent Irish breeder and trialist led the way with his August, 2016, black and white bitch, Vera, fully bred in Co Antrim, being by Allistair Lyttle’s Jim, last year’s Irish National Reserve Champion, out of Chris McNaughton’s prolific Mist.

Vera is a granddaughter of Littledale-based Ricky Hutchinson's much celebrated International Reserve Supreme Champion, Sweep, while her dam is also mother to Flo, sold at Skipton last year for 9,500gns, the leading price in 2017. Mist is also mother to two other top-notch Michael Gallagher dogs – his 2017 World finalist, Val, and 2018 Reserve Nursery Champion, Bud.

Vera could become a mother herself, having been mated mid-June to Blake, from Welsh breeder Sophie Holt, whose partner is the renowned handler and trialist Kevin Evans.

The Skipton top price performer returned to Ireland with Tony Kearins, another well-known handler from Dromard in Co Sligo, who has been trialing dogs for some 30 years and has twice represented both the Irish National and World teams.

In Vera, Mr Kearins has another exciting trials prospect on his hands. She will also work on his Mayo Blackface sheep flock.

In addition, Mr Kearins was in action in the unbroken pen when selling a brace of 2017 youngsters by Llangwm Targaret. First up was his August-born tri-coloured bitch Fly, which made 520gns, bettered at 1,000gns by his July-born black and white dog, Bud, which travelled down to Derbyshire with Buxton’s D Sharratt.

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