A RECORD breaking sale saw a sheepdog snapped up by a buyer from the United States for a massive £4,515.

Robert Fleming, from San Anselmo, California, made a special Transatlantic trip to the UK to view sheepdog Rock before putting in a bid for the dog at Bentham and District Auction Mart.

Rock was trained by Shaun Richards, who runs Peny Borough Sheepdogs at Eldroth, near Settle.

He said: “When I bought him I saw something in him and I was right – as he was like a sponge and just soaked up everything that I taught him.

“He is just sheer class and absolute quality and Robert came to visit us three weeks ago after watching him on You Tube.”

He said that he had only had the 18-month-old dog for six weeks before selling him on.

And Rock certainly wowed bidders from home and abroad in a battle that broke the mart’s record at the annual sale of Working and Unbroken Sheepdogs.

Auctioneer Stephen Dennis said: “Normally they go for between £1,000 and £2,000 and our previous record was just over £3,000, so this is a very good price for an unregistered dog.

“It showed the character that you want, with natural fetch, a good outrun and it had the strength and plenty of power to stand up to uneasy sheep.”

With 35 years in the business, Mr Richards is an experienced trainer and keeps about ten dogs at a time.

In 2012 he sold a female for £8,000 and said that since the auction Mr Fleming had also bought one of his female sheepdogs.


Mr Dennis said he expected Rock would now go on to be entered into sheepdog trials in America to get onto the ‘circuit’ in the States.