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First Carcoar Working Dog Challenge success

Terry Sim, December 1, 2021

Rhettlenash Jock working cattle in the Carcoar Working Doh Challenge Sire Shootout. Image – Jess Coster.

CARCOAR’S working dog challenge has set itself up to be one of Australia’s leading trial and sale events with a successful inaugural effort last weekend.

The inaugural three-day challenge on 26-28 November doled out a trial purse of $20,000 – the nation’s largest – and achieved a dog auction gross of $347,000 and top price of $24,000.

The event included sheep and cattle dog trials, and a special Sire Shootout trial won by Ben Coster with his Kelpie Rhettlenash Jock, taking $2000 in prizemoney with 81 points, just one point ahead of Bill Luff with Cotway Dazzler.

Mr Coster said the conditions were “real tough” with wet sheep on a damp course under lights before a noisy crowd.

“So the sheep just didn’t want to run anywhere.

“But they’re the trials that Jock wins,” he said.

“Jock will go to a trial and if the sheep are a bit pingy and you’ve got to get in the high 90s and he’s got to be real fancy, it doesn’t usually happen.

“But if the sheep are real tough that’s when he loves it and that’s when he wins.”

The big winners of the trial events were Chris Stapleton and Capree Red, who collected $4000 for winning the open sheep final and Jake Nowlan with Nowlans Sam, who also won $4000 with first place in the open cattle final.

The maiden sheep final and best stockman award, with $1000 in prize money, were won by Harry Grant and Paddy. Prize money of $2000 and first place in the novice sheep final went to Bill Luff and Tickle and the best stockman award was won by Geoff McDougall. The novice cattle final was won by Grace Halsted with Leeway Snoop and the best stockman award went to D. Chapman.

Preparations underway for 2022 challenge

Regional Development manager – NSW Brock Syphers said the event went “really well” and preparations were already underway for the 2022 event.

“It was an unreal event – there was a crowd there every day.

“We had healthy crowd numbers, a great line up of dogs, and strong prices, which we are very sure can be surpassed next year,” he said.

Special pup Poppy makes $24,000

Nathan Morris, left, with Lockabe Purple (Poppy) and Sam Pickle with Todd wait for their turn in the sale. Image – Carcoar Working Dog Challenge, Facebook.

The top-selling working dog in the sale was former CTLX site manager, Nathan Morris’s 12 month-old bitch Lokabe Purple (Poppy) that sold for $24,000, via the online selling platform StockLive to Wes and Nadene Crozier, Moorara Pastoral, ‘Moorara Station’, Moorak, South Australia. The bitch is by Everyday Roy II out of Rainmar Storm and was bought as a pup specially for the sale from Lokabe Working Dogs at Muttama.

“That’s the most I’ve ever got for a dog, but she was pretty special that dog, you don’t get many like her.

“It was surprising that she made what she did, but I knew she was pretty valuable and that people would battle it out to get her,” she said.

“She was just a really trainable type, with a lot of natural ability that you don’t see in dogs every day, just a really natural paddock type dog that could work the yards really well.

“She’s a true all-rounder, which are really hard to find.”

He missed her dog when it came to shifting some sheep after recent flooding at Forbes. Nathan is the executive director of pastoral for the AAM Investment Group that runs country west of Forbes and in western Queensland.

“She has been my ‘go to’ dog for the past three or four months.”

The working sale averaged $7382 for 58 of the 59 dogs offered and 12 dogs sold for more than $10,000. Two dogs sold for $16,000, including Casino handler Robert Johnston’s three year-old Border Collie bitch Shady Acres Ally May, -year-old Border Collie bitch which reached $16,000 and Murray Wilkinson’s 34 month-old Kelpie dog Kraken Colt.

Sale agent Tom Card from Bowyer and Livermore, Bathurst, said the sale result was driven by the flow-on effect of buoyant cattle and sheep markets.

“I would describe the prices as very strong, with many lots selling well above their reserves,” Mr Card said.

“We had plenty of bidder action, the competition was strong, and, through StockLive, we had buyers from South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales all secure dogs.”

Mr Syphers said the dogs which were purchased through the auction are eligible for a special trial or futurity event next year – the challenge — which they can compete in at following events up until the four years of age.

“Given the calibre of the pedigree and training in the dogs sold this year, we are confident there will be strong competition in this trial, which is set to grow year on year.

“I estimate we had about 700 people pass through the gates in total, and we had great feedback from spectators that you could clearly watch the sheep trial and cattle trials simultaneously,” Mr Syphers said.

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