Northumberland sheep dog becomes world's most expensive on record after selling for £18,000

Emma Gray with her new 18,000gns world record price working sheep dog Megan.Emma Gray with her new 18,000gns world record price working sheep dog Megan.
Emma Gray with her new 18,000gns world record price working sheep dog Megan.
The world-record price for a working sheep dog at an official sale has been smashed by a Northumberland shepherdess.

Emma Gray, 34, hit 18,000gns (£18,900) with her two-and-a-half-year-old black and white bitch, Megan, at the Skipton Auction Mart sale on Friday.

“This is so much better than I have ever done,” said Emma, who farms the remote National Trust-owned 150 acre Fallowlees Farm at Harwood Forest, near Rothbury.

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“It’s good that people value sheep dogs these days,” she added. “They are getting the recognition they deserve.”

Just 12 months earlier, Emma, who farms North of England Mule sheep and commercial suckler cattle, had herself established a new world record price of 14,000gns (£14,700) for a sheep dog bitch at Skipton.

The July 2017-born Megan arrived with some of the best bloodlines in the business, being related on both sides to many top-performing trials dogs.

Bidding began at 3,000gns and quickly rose to the new world record price when Megan fell to a telephone bidder from Oklahoma in the United States, 44-year-old cattle farmer and businessman, Brian D. Stamps, of Tuttle in Grady County.

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Mr Stamps, who owns an oil and gas company in central Oklahoma, raises 100% full-blood Wagyu cattle on 2,000 acres in his home state, also running a satellite herd in Camperdown, Victoria, Australia.

He said: “I have followed the Skipton sale for several years as I used to run Border Collies here stateside. I figured it would be the best place available to secure a dog which would meet our needs.

“I did not know about Emma, but read posts she made about a facebook group and this caught my attention when I had seen a video of the dog working and how she handled cattle.”

“I used to trial 20 years ago, but do not have time to with our operations, though Megan is going to run some trials here and then retire on our ranch.”

Breeding from Megan is also on the agenda.

But Mr Stamps added: “We did not buy her to be a puppy factory, but rather a working dog for our ranch.”