INVERELL station manager Jeremy Grills’ $31,000 two year-old Kelpie bitch Peterson Flo gave him his third consecutive top price in the RMA Network Working Stock Dog Auction at Glencoe in New South Wales on Saturday.
Despite declining values at recent sales, Colin Say & Co auctioneer Shad Bailey said the average price of $8788 for 26 dogs sold of the 31 offered in the AuctionsPlus interfaced sale was up slightly on last year.
“We bucked the trend and it went above all our expectations.
“It was definitely the strongest catalogue of dogs that we’ve had in our sale,” he said.
The $31,000 paid by Queensland graziers Hume Simpson and Gennie-Anne Woodall at St George was a record for the Glencoe sale and made a hat trick for Jeremy, who has topped the sale for the past three years. His top price at the 2022 sale was $29,000 and $26,000 in 2021. Flo’s price was the highest he had received for a dog. He bought her from breeder Peterson Kelpies about 12 months ago.
Strong demand for all-rounder dogs
Mr Bailey said labour is very difficult to find.
“I found it was a genetic thing as well – the strongest the genetics you could see there was a push for some of the better bitches in the catalogue as well.
“The catalogue was very good, the genetics were right and labour is very hard to come by.”
He said dogs previously had to be able to back, push and bark in the yard to top the sale.
“But you can see a big push now to that all-round style of dog that can do all facets, because there are so many people here that have dropped sheep numbers and are running a few cattle that can do a bit of everything.”
Mr Bailey said interest came from all states and territories from the Northern Territory to Tasmania to Western Australia and dogs sold into four states.
Flo – by Capree Donald Trump out of Peterson Jay – was described as a very natural young bitch with a very strong eye, a nose bite on cattle and some bark. Jeremy said she works sheep in the yards and the paddock with a free back and bark and hard in the race.
Jeremy said he had been breeding Kelpies for five years.
“All my dogs are really natural; I don’t put sides on my dogs, I just don’t believe in it.
“I think you take too much out of a good dog if you are sitting there telling it what to do all day.”
In Flo’s sale video, the drone showed Flo covering three “points” off balance – the lead, side and the tail — with Jeremy on a four wheeler covering the other point as they moved a mob of sheep.
Jeremy said all-round dogs are very sought after, with one potential buyer commenting that Kelpie breeders had “gone too hard into yard dogs.”
“That’s why she was very sought after, because yeah she can do the yards, but her thing is the paddock.
“In another 12 months’ time I reckon she would probably go 1.5kms for stock if she had to, and it would be on one searching cast.”
Jeremy said good dogs will always sell well, but the true test of a dog beyond bloodline was found in their work.
“And something that breeds on.”