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MEDIA RELEASE - Whiskey earns title of top dog

11 June 2019

A two-year-old female Kelpie named Whiskey has earned the title of Casterton’s top dog after she scored a $15,000 price tag at Australia’s Premier Working Dog Auction at the long weekend.

Keith-based farmer Trent Bettess paid the top price impressed by the dog’s great temperament and long casting when demonstrating in the yard’s during Sunday’s pre-auction demonstrations.

Breeder Jack Leonard, who is based at Melville Forest, had his bloodline featured among 66 dogs sold, raising more than $280,000 in total sales with a clearance rate of 86 per cent.

Casterton Kelpie Association president Karen Stephens said whilst prices didn’t break world records, the committee was ecstatic with the result produced, raising an additional $15,000 from 2018 totals with an average selling price of $4900 per dog.

She said in 23 years the auction had raised $2.9 million worth of Kelpie sales.

“This year we attracted buyers from across Australia, with one couple travelling from as far as Western Australia to purchase two dogs. The addition of Auction Plus, an online biding portal, also assisted to engage a broader market of buyers, keeping bidding competitive,” she said.

“It is clear to see that the agricultural sector sees the value in these hard working dogs, with the profile of our event attracting a growing buying market. Our auctioneers James Tierney and Bernie Grant were outstanding, with starting bids topping $5000 on many occasions.”

An estimated 10,000 people attended the long weekend celebrations which continue today with a working dog school.

The Kelpie High Jump was one of the weekend’s most popular attractions which resulted in a three-way tie at 2.66 metres.
Zack Caroll with Wilbur, Tristan Mioni with Cork and T. Frawley with Banjo reached the top height to claim the weekend title, however were unable to meet the record set by hall of famer Bailey, owned by Tegan Eagle, at 2.951 metres.

The Kelpie Hill Climb recorded some of the fastest times seen with L. Kennedy and Banjo claiming the title at 26.78 seconds, followed by K. Davidson and Alby at 29.47 seconds.

Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Anita Rank said the iconic event continued to grow and engage a new generation of dog lovers.

“The Kelpie Muster is one of regional Victoria’s greatest attractions and is successfully engaging a new global audience. We had visitors from the Netherlands, UK and a Japanese journalists at the weekend, all wanting to learn more about this unique working dog,” Cr Rank said.

“The economic and social benefits to this community are beyond financial return. This is testament to the hundreds of hardworking locals who commit year-round to ensure this is a success and we thank them for their dedication.”

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