A farmer reached into his pockets and spent a whopping $22,200 on a new working dog at a regional Kelpie muster in Victoria on Sunday.
The black-and-tan, male, two-year-old Kelpie, named Glencairn Seven, broke all records on the day, smashing the previous top price for a working dog of $14,000.
Described as a strong dog with a big heart, the talented pooch had all eyes on him with eager bidders naming their prices in an effort to get him home to their farms.
Known for his great stamina and ability to work small and large mobs of sheep, Glencairn Seven drew a huge crowd to his demonstration prior to the auction, with one lucky farmer clearly seeing his potential.
“The Casterton Kelpie Muster is known as the premier working dog auction, we only take the cream of the crop,” Chair Karen Stephens told Starts at 60.
“Farmers rely heavily on their working dogs and Glencairn Seven caught the eye of many farmers in his demonstration, he performed really well. The new owner had an agent doing the bidding for him but I’m sure he would have been very excited to hear he had taken home the top dog.”
Buying agent Steven McLeod spoke to The Weekly Times shortly after the event, explaining the new owner’s decisions to bid on the talented pooch.
“I suppose they were prepared to pay that money because, when you put it into perspective of labour, if you had to employ a man or woman it would cost a lot more. But I think you might be inclined to wrap him (the dog) up in cotton wool at that price.”
Held in the small town of Casterton, 360km west of Melbourne, the annual Kelpie Muster brings together only the best working dogs across the country with 60 dogs at this year’s event going for a combined $260,000.
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A second dog named Lessi Sally even broke the previous record, selling for a staggering $16,500.
Known as the birthplace of the Kelpie, Stephens said she isn’t surprised prices soared at the most recent event.
“We do expect prices to be fairly high at the auction, we pick the best working dogs in the country and people come from all over to view them,” she said.
“Casterton even has a new Australian Kelpie Centre that only recently opened so it is a very exciting time for us.”