A new world record price of £7,600 (€8,800) for an unbroken sheepdog pup was paid at Skipton Auction Mart’s recent two-day timed online working sheepdog sale in England.

The nine-week old bitch owned by Welshman Glynne Jones is an unusual lilac colour and is described as a lively, confident and healthy pup, bred from an outstanding breeding mix, including Lassie’s dam Graylees Cêt and is the first litter of pups from Reiver Gray, bred by shepherd Emma Gray.

There were also four five-figure sales recorded for broken dogs, including a top call of £13,800 (€16,000) received by David Evans, Wales. Incidentally, Evans held the previous record for an unbroken pup when his 11-week old black and white bitch, Bet, sold for £6,100 (€7,076) at an online sale in Skipton in January. Several dogs sold between £6,000 (€6,960) and £10,000 (€11,600), while four more broken dogs sold between £5,000 (€5,800) and £6,000 (€6,960). Another 14 dogs sold between £4,000 (€4,640) and £5,000 (€5,800), with 12 in the £3,000s (€3,480’s), 28 from £2,000 (€2,320) to £3,000 (€3,480), a further 28 back to £1,000 (€1,160) and 15 at three-figure sums, including the lowest price of £500 (€580). There were recorded sales for 108 of the 149 dogs entered.

Premium market for Galway wool

A group of farmers with Galway sheep have established a new co-operative group called The Galway Wool Co-op and signed their first deal to secure a premium for their wool. The Galway sheep are a native breed to Ireland that once dominated the Irish sheep farming landscape, but were replaced by a reduced focus on wool and an emphasis of sheepmeat production.

Galway sheep are a native breed of sheep which once dominated the sheep farming landscape in the west of Ireland. / David Ruffles

Group member Blatnaid Gallagher says that after being dismayed by bleak wool prices, the group have worked hard to establish a direct route to market for their superior Irish wool and have struck a deal with Donegal Yarn for the 2021 wool clip. The group state that the deal is hopefully the first step in re-establishing Irish woollen products and protecting the Irish brand.

“Many of the woollen products in our Irish woollen mills and retail shops are being produced from imported wool. Unfortunately, in a lot of our tourist shops, we are also churning out ‘Irish’ sweaters and blankets for example, which are made in China, India, Morroco, Turkey, and other apparel producing countries.

“Galway wool is a crisp white wool, of a medium to fine texture and is set to become a premier quality bio-fiber, sought after by international designers and creators of home interiors and slow fashion garments.”

For further information, call Blatnaid Gallagher on 087-245 4441.