NEW Zealand competition for Australian Kelpies has helped set a new record of $12,800 at the recent Wagga Working Dog Auction.
Delta Livestock and Property auctioneer Cam Rosser sold New South Wales property manager and Kelpie breeder Matt Sherwood’s two-year-old black and tan dog Wandabar Bowie for $12,800 to Forbes district stock overseer Oliver Hanson at the auction on April 22.
Wagga Yard Dog Club secretary Simon Hartwich said losing bidder for the top-priced dog was New Zealander Rob Mather.
“This year’s line-up was the best we’ve ever had,” Mr Hartwich said.
Most demand came from the eastern states, with many dogs sold within a 200km radius of Wagga Wagga. There was strong demand for good fully-trained dogs, Mr Hartwich said.
Club president Matt Whitley said the 27 dogs sold averaged $4388 and the dogs that were demonstrated on sheep and cattle were sold for the highest prices. Five dogs of the 34 in the catalogue didn’t reach their reserve price and two were withdrawn before the auction.
“It (the $12,800 top price) is a record for Wagga,” he said.
Mr Sherwood said Bowie’s reserve was $6500 and he was surprised at the dog’s final price. The dog is sired by the sire of the auction’s top priced dog last year, Boco Wonder, and out of Coopendale Lucy.
“Bowie is the sort of dog you have to see on a big mob to really appreciate.
“Our average size mob here (on Templemore near Young) is 1000-1500 sheep,” he said.
Mr Sherwood said he only sells a few dogs a year and only those he is prepared to keep, but Bowie was excess to his needs.
$12,800 is most he has ever paid
Mr Hanson said $12,800 was the most he had ever paid for a dog, but the dog’s bloodlines were among his favourites.
“I was looking for a dog that I could run the sheep yards singlehandedly and I’ve already drafted 2000 lambs in a morning with him.
“Matt did a good job with him and the quality is always good at Wagga.”
Mr Hanson will run Bowie in yard trials and will also use him in his Lost River Kelpie Stud.
Mr Hanson said most of his dog team were 7-8 years old and he needed a young dog to take over. It was getting harder to buy good Kelpies which were necessary to enable efficient careful handling of large numbers of stock with minimal staff.
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