The value of working dogs recognized as kelpie sells for $27,000 at Australian Kelpie Muster in Casterton

A kelpie from Dubbo in New South Wales has won the highest price at Australia’s first working dog auction.

Kimmy, a 33-month-old black and tan kelpie, was bought for $27,000 at the auction in Casterton, Victoria, as part of the Australian Kelpie Muster this weekend.

Its owner, Kahlee O’Leary, said she was delighted to receive this award.

“I got a little emotional and had a hard time holding back my tears,” she said.

“Very happy that she has gone to a good home.”

Mrs. O’Leary said she was a great companion.

“She has a great personality, that’s for sure.

“She definitely gives it her all when she works. You can’t ask for much more than that.”

The event includes demonstrations of working dogs and training schools.(Rural ABC: Megan Hughes)

New home in Tasmania

A young brother-sister duo bought Kimmy from Tasmania.

This was Ashley and Lachlan Meaburn’s first working dog purchase; they run merinos and rams on their property near Oatlands.

A black and tan kelpie makes rings around a small flock of sheep demonstrating his skills
Visitors were entertained by demonstrations of working dogs. (Rural ABC: Megan Hughes)

“It was pretty exciting, and I’m just glad we got it,” Ashley said.

“I really liked its practicality.

“For what I wanted, something ready to go, really practical, easy, and he’s a very sweet and friendly dog ​​when you’re not working with sheep.”

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The stars of the hit ABC TV show Muster Dogs appear at Casterton Kelpie Muster(Lisa Millar)

Not a record

Casterton Kelpie Association vice-president Rob Pilmore said Kimmy was one of 49 dogs up for auction.

“We actually have a very wide range of dogs this year in age and skill,” he said.

“Probably one of the best strains across a whole range of skill sets and age groups.”

There were dogs from New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania for sale.

While $27,000 is a substantial amount for a working dog, the national record sale is $35,200.

A middle-aged woman and man stand in front of an Australia's Premier Working Dog Auction sign
Casterton Kelpie Association President Karen Stephens and Vice President Rob Pilmore. (Rural ABC: Megan Hughes)

A Victoria kelpie named Hoover snagged this award at last year’s auction.

The average price for dogs at auction was $3,400 including puppies, and the total turnover for the 26th Australian Working Dog Auction was over $400,000.

The Kelpie’s House

Over the weekend, 10,000 people came to Island Park in Casterton for the festival over the weekend.

Casterton Kelpie association president Karen Stephens said it was a record crowd.

“It proved to us that everyone wants to get out after two years of confinement after COVID,” she said.

A dark colored kelpie rounds up sheep in a pen
Over 40 dogs were listed for the working dog auction. (Rural ABC: Megan Hughes)

It’s the 26th year of the event, and it’s making a big difference to the Victorian western town.

The event includes working dog demonstrations, the kelpie dash, the kelpie high jump, a kelpie hill climb, and a kelpie triathlon.

“We want people to come to Casterton all year round. It’s the engine of our economy here,” Ms Stephens said.

“We know people now have Casterton on their to-do list because a place to visit is really exciting for us.”

A black and tan kelpie herds a small flock of sheep in a grassy ring
The Kelpies demonstrated their abilities ahead of the auction.(Rural ABC: Megan Hughes

Job , updated

Bette C. Alvarado