Kelpie bitch Capree Eve sets new world record at $49,000

Terry Sim, October 21, 2022

Capree principal Chris Stapleton, left, with Capree Eve, and Elders Mudgee auctioneer Jason Pearce. Photo –

WORLD record-priced Kelpie Capree Eve will work with some of Australia’s most valuable sheep in the Gilmore family’s Tattykeel Australian White and Poll Dorset flocks at Black Springs, New South Wales.

The 20 month-old black and tan bitch was yesterday sold for $49,000 to Tattykeel stud team member Ross Gilmore for $49,000.

Mr Gilmore bid through the online platform AuctionsPlus that was interfacing with the Capree Poll Merino Ram Sale & Invitational Working Dog Sale at Mudgee in New South Wales.

Eve’s price tag easily exceeded the previous record of $35,200 paid for 26 month-old Eulooka Hoover at the Coprice Casterton Working Dog Auction in 2021.

Capree Kelpie stud principal and breeder Chris Stapleton said he was hoping to get around $30,000 for Eve at the sale. He has sold dogs previously for $20,0000 and $25,000.

“So I was pleasantly surprised, you could say.”

The Gilmore family last month set a new national meat sheep record of $240,000 for an Australian White ram and $26,000 for a ewe at the 9th annual Tattykeel sale.

“So I should be pretty sure I’ll get my money, I reckon,” Mr Stapleton quipped.

“When you can sell a ram for $240,000 that you can’t even shear, you can afford to buy a Kelpie for $50,000.”

Mr Stapleton has been breeding Kelpies for more than 50 years, training his first sheep dog at eight years old. He turns 70 this year and consider her one of the best bitches he had bred.

He said the talented Eve has worked sheep, cattle and goats and had the potential to trial, with natural distance and cover on stock and good breaking cast in the paddock.

“She’s not looking to overwork, you can tell her to get off and relax, or she has a ton of force and bark if you ask for it.

“She’s quite and sensible, very level-headed, not silly in the kennel and really faithful – she’s a step behind you all the time,” he said.

“It’s very hard to get that real yard dog force and yet have finesse outside.

“She breaks out on her cast and without too much eye,” he said.

“I spent 50 years breeding this type of dog – she just didn’t fall out of a tree, she’s not an accident, she has been bred to do what she does.”

Capree Eve’s bloodlines go back to some of his foundation dogs, including five crosses of Glenlogie Lucky, a multiple National Kelpie trial, Australian Yard Dog Champion and NSW Yard Dog Champion.

“There are not too many good Kelpies with bloodlines she (Lucky) doesn’t feature in.”


Genetics is cheap – Ross Gilmore

Ross Gilmore said he bought Eve for her work skills but also her genetic background that pushed the price to that level.

“In breeding things, genetics is cheap.”

He said he liked Eve’s evident commonsense and ability to think.

“And that is in most of Chris’ dogs; they’re problem solvers – all the dogs I’ve got go back to Capree in one way or another.

“In my mind, the Capree stud basically set up the Kelpie that I would call a Kelpie with brains, toughness and an ability to still get a lot of stuff done, but not cause problems along the way.”

Mr Gilmore said the 30 stud Australian White rams penned for the sale a few weeks ago were valued at $1.2 million, illustrating the need for a calm dog able to move valuable stock without problems.

“They’ve got to be able to read the stock and get calmer when stock get toey, whereas most dogs will actually lift with the sheep.

“It’s no different to having a good stockman, they also have to be able to read the stock,” he said.

“That was something that I saw in Eve.

“She’s a beautiful type of dog and I like here work, but it was the breeding background behind that that pushed it a bit further.”

Mr Gilmore said also hoped to breed pups from her to improve the quality of the dogs used on Tattykeel.

“We’re running 15-20 dogs between us, so improving them is worth the money.”

Elders Mudgee auctioneer Jason Pearce said there three main bidders on Eve, including initially also onsite bidders, but finally just Ross Gimore online and the underbidder on the phone.

“I’m just so pleased for Chris and Pauline, he’s an icon of the industry, over 50 years to achieve that result, he has been the best for a long time.”

Mr Pearce said Eve’s demonstration showed she was “so controllable.”

“She’s just got so much natural stock sense.”

Ten dogs were offered and sold in the sale, for an average just over $12,000. In the second on-property Capree Poll Merino sale, rams sold to $7250 twice.






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