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Kelpie tops dog auction

By Country News

A two-year-old kelpie named Whiskey has earned the title of Casterton’s top dog after she scored a $15000 price tag at Australia’s premier working dog auction across the recent Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

South Australian farmer Trent Bettess paid the top price, and said he was impressed by the dog’s great temperament and long casting when she was worked in the yards during pre-auction demonstrations as part of the Casterton Kelpie Association Working Dog Auction.

Breeder Jack Leonard, who is based at Melville Forest, near the Victoria-South Australia border, had his bloodline featured among 66 dogs sold, raising more than $280000 in total sales with a clearance rate of 86 per cent.

Casterton Kelpie Association president Karen Stephens said while prices did not break records, the committee was ecstatic with the result produced, raising an additional $15000 from 2018 totals with an average selling price of $4900 per dog.

She said in 23 years the auction had cleared $2.9million worth of kelpie sales.

‘‘This year we attracted buyers from across Australia, with one couple travelling from as far as Western Australia to purchase two dogs,’’ Ms Stephens said.

‘‘The addition of Auction Plus, an online biding portal, also assisted to engage a broader market of buyers, keeping bidding competitive.

‘‘It is clear to see that the agricultural sector sees the value in these hard-working dogs, with the profile of our event attracting a growing buying market.

‘‘Our auctioneers James Tierney and Bernie Grant were outstanding, with starting bids topping $5000 on many occasions.’’

Organisers estimated 10000 people attended the event.