Working dogs fetched $27,000, averaging nearly $9,000 at Casterton auction
CASTERTON’s 2022 Eukanuba Working Dog Auction sold three Kelpies for more than $24,000, including $27,000 for entrepreneur Dubbo Kahlee O’Leary’s black and tan dog, Hazeldell Kimmy.
Kimmy was bought by two young Tasmanian farmers Ashley Meaburn, 20, and her brother Lachlan, 11, for their business Ashlach Ag.
Sunday’s AuctionsPlus interface auction, led by Riverina agent James Tierney and Hamilton agent Bernie Grant, sold 46 of 49 dogs and puppies on offer for an average of $8,850, up from 1,194 $ over last year. The world record price for a Kelpie sold at auction, of $35,200, was set at Casterton’s auction last year by Eulooka Hoover, trained by David Lee in Edenhope, Victoria, and bred by Rob Macklin , stallion Eulooka Kelpie.
The most expensive pup in this year’s sale was Elfinvale Dusty, Tom Austin’s 5.5-month-old red and tan dog, who fetched $12,000.
Western District breeder Jack Leonard sold 27-month-old black and tan Sally for $26,000 after peaking at $21,500 at AuctionsPlus pre-sale auctions. Edenhyope breeder Sarah Lee completed the most expensive dogs with 12-month-old The Lee’s Beast, a black and tan male who was sold to a buyer in New South Wales.
It was Kahlee O’Leary, 31,’s first time at the Casterton auction and she auctioned other dogs for around $4,100 seven years ago, and thinks she will be back. She placed a reserve of $9,000 on Kimmy, but this was exceeded by a bid of $13,600 on AuctionsPlus.
“I bought it here to sell…and was blown away by the response of the day, had lots of interest from New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.”
She described Kimmy as a true all-rounder who has worked for other material handlers, in mustering, in sheds and in the yard. The female dog has a confident back and bark and is capable of working cattle and handling large crowds of sheep solo. With Kimmy’s friendly and sympathetic nature, Kahlee said it was hard to let her go.
“Because they are with you every day and they are your best friend and you want the best for them too, you want them to go to a good home – it will be very well looked after.”
Kimmy was bred by Violet Town breeder James Fowler by Gilescreek Reg of Nomak Meg and sold to Kahlee as an eight-week-old puppy for $800. Kahlee said a lot of time, effort and patience has gone into training the dog since then.
Kahlee said the $27,000 will help pay for some vet bills and the replacement Kimmy recently purchased and that she plans to fund a vacation to New Zealand with a friend.
“So it will be a good trip. But I lost a few dogs and I owe a few vet bills.
Ashley Meaburn said the sale was “pretty exciting”.
“I’m just glad we got her.”
Ashley said she liked Kahlee’s practicality and her willingness to work for multiple handlers, but the dog’s performance in the pre-sale demo “sets her apart from the rest for me.”
“I really wanted something out of the box, really practical for what I wanted, easy, and he’s a very sweet and friendly dog when you’re not working with sheep.”
The brother-sister duo run a Merino stud farm in Oaklands, Tasmania and sell a few rams privately.
“We bought some more land for my brother and me.
“This was our first Kelpie dog purchase and she will be a great addition to our growing team.”
Lachlan said, “I think it’s a really good buy.”
Casterton Working Dog’s auction committee chairman, Rob Pilmore, said the catalog was the most uniform ever, “therefore our overall average has gone up”.
“We thought it was a really good overall catalog, price-wise, skill-wise and age-wise…there was something for everyone and different budgets.”
The number of dogs on offer was lower than in previous catalogues, but Mr Pilmore said a number of female dogs aged around 12 months were entered but had to be withdrawn due to their heat.
Winner of ABC’s Muster Dogs series, Frank Finger surprised the public when he purchased Lot 52, Darren Holberg’s 13-week-old tan and red puppy, to bring back to Queensland.
AuctionsPlus said there were 26,270 catalog views and 6,978 users logging into the auction on sale day, logging in from all states in Australia. The 176 active bidders placed a total of 2009 online bids on 48 lots. There were 19 lots sold online, with a few remaining lots in Victoria while most lots headed to NSW, South Australia and Tasmania.
Sales puppies under 5.5 months old averaged $3,400, while older dogs averaged $9,228.