Tasmanian-based breeder Matthew Johnson and buyers Paul and Jean Weeding from the Okehampton merino stud in Tasmania have reunited to set another top price at the Clark Rubber Casterton Working Dog Auction.
The Weedings purchased Ben for $10,500 at the auction on Sunday, June 9, the top price paid for more than 80 dogs in the auction.
The auction was the high point of the annual Clark Rubber Australian Kelpie Muster which drew record crowds from around Australia to Casterton in south-west Victoria.
Last year the vendor and buyer set a record price for a working dog with the sale of Tom for $12,000. Pleased with the Tom’s performance, Mr Weeding had no hesitation returning to the same breeder and trainer. “He came out to help on our farm a few weeks ago so we had a chance to try before we buy,” he said. “He’s a good, forceful dog with a good temperament and he’ll work all day. He’s only young so he’s got a great future.”
The Weedings purchased another dog from Mr Johnson about 10 years ago. “We paid $4600 at the Casterton auction. Things have come a long way in that time,” Mr Weeding said.
Ben’s performance came as a shock to Mr Johnson. “He’s a great dog but I thought he’d get around the $5000-$6000 mark,” he said. “Last year I knew the Weedings were going to bid but I didn’t have a clue this year. “I couldn’t be happier that he’s going to them.” Mr Johnson described Ben as a strong yard, shed and truck worker. “He’s done a lot of dairy work and he is exceptional in his yard work. He’s your best mate as well.”
The $10,500 sale equals the second top price achieved in the history of the auction.
The second highest price of $10,000 was achieved by vendor Ian O’Connell of Hamilton with Bagalla Mister, purchased by Evan Flint from Kingston, South Australia.
Working Dog Auction committee president Nancy Withers said the quality of the dogs was excellent.
“I’d say it was the best line up of dogs we’ve ever had,” Ms Withers said. She described the prices as very good and reflective of current market conditions. “They reflect the prevailing prices for livestock in the past 12 months which dictate how much buyers can spend. Overall we’re very happy.”
Major sponsor Chris Malcolm of Clark Rubber said it was a fabulous weekend for anyone who loves dogs and the country. “There are some seriously good dogs here. The quality seems to be improving every year,” Mr Malcolm said. “Everyone is saying there is a record number of people here and with 80 dogs in the auction it has really taken off.”
This is a fantastic event to showcase your working dog prior to the auction as well as display the talents of your working dog that you purchased at the 2012 Clark Rubber Australian Working Dog Muster.!