GOAT musterers rounded up the sheep producers at the 12th annual Jerilderie Working Dog Auction at the weekend, driving Kelpie prices to record levels.
Dwayne Evans from Weinteriga Station at Wilcannia paid a record price of $10,500 for two-year-old black and tan Kelpie dog Ned, offered by sheep producer and contract stockman James Fowler from Violet Town in Victoria.
James described Ned, bred from Karana and Stockmans bloodlines, as a true all-rounder with strong natural ability, good cast and distance off his stock. He also has plenty of bark, back and push, and has won yard dog trials.
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Organisers described the February 26 auction as their most successful yet, with 43 of 47 dogs selling for a gross of $157,250 and an average of $3356, $526 higher than last year. The previous record price at the auction was $7600, set in 2015.
Co-organiser Warwick Doolan said about 500 people attended the auction at the Jerilderie Racecourse, with bidders coming from Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and throughout New South Wales.
There was particular interest from the goat harvesting regions of New South Wales, which is unusual for the event, he said.
Co-organiser Andrew Rutherford said the goat industry interest helped drive prices to record levels, and was indicated by dogs being bought to go into goat-harvesting areas around Bourke, Ivanhoe, Wilcannia, Pooncarie, Cobar and Menindee.
“The goat fellows are probably just outbidding the sheep fellows, I think that’s what happened.
“There was a big crowd there and a lot of interest in the sale.”
Ned gives James a $7000 average
James Fowler said Ned was one of four dogs he sold at the auction that averaged $7000. As well as Ned, Dwayne Evans bought two more of Jame’s dogs for goat mustering, paying $6600 for 19 month-old Kelpie Ben and $5700 for 26 month-old Kelpie Kelly. His other Kelpie, 19 month-old Chick made $6050.
“I’ve had interest from other goat blokes who couldn’t get down to buy them and have rung after the auction to find if I have more.”
“I’m on cloud nine to say the least,” James said.
James said he knew nothing about goat mustering and has never had this interest before.
“I am only a novice, I’ve only been selling dogs for three; I’m a bit of an unknown, or I used to be.
“I’ve just been a good stockman with good dogs and really enjoy training dogs and getting them to reach their potential.”
James had expected Ned to be among the top couple of dogs at the auction, but was “on cloud nine to say the least” after selling Ned for $10,500.
Other leading sales and vendors in the auction were Leroy, Ged Bibby, $7200; Canawindra Rex, Dave Kennedy, $7000; Boomer, Greg Bibby, $6900; Ripper, Andrew Rutherford, $5600; Beau, $5300, Andrew Rutherford; Yarraman Duke, Nathan Shaw, $4700.