A DUCK-LOVING suburban Kelpie has set a new high jump record of almost three metres at the Clark Rubber Australian Kelpie Muster at Casterton in western Victoria on the long weekend.
In the Casterton Kelpie Association event’s 20th year, a huge crowd watched three-year-old Kelpie Bailey jump and climb 2.951 metres for owner Tegan Eagle, 21, from Croydon, VIC.
In other muster events, Gippsland farmer Rob Buckley paid $10,000 for Andrew Kennedy’s top dog at the working dog auction, a young Kelpie bought for $800 in 2014 returned to win the $2000 first prize in the RMA Futurity trial for South Australian stockman Travis Ware and Lucindale’s Rob Copping won his second Stockman’s Challenge.
Bailey jumps, dashes and climbs to triathlon win
Red and tan Kelpie Bailey bettered its 2015 winning jump of 2.55 metres and the event’s previous highest jump of 2.910 set in 2007 by Clare O’Callaghan’s Riley to win the Casterton Kelpie High Jump on Saturday.
Click this link to see an instagram post of Bailey making his record jump, taken by Annie Fenby.
Bailey’s dog jump win combined with a main street dash of 5.38 seconds and a 39.37-second hill climb also secured the 2016 Kelpie Triathlon title for Tegan.
Tegan and her partner Tony Hoyer at first thought Bailey did not like jumping and got few opportunities to practise, though the Kelpie won the dog jump at the Lang Lang Rodeo in March this year.
“We were really surprised, we didn’t know he had that potential.”
After each attempt Bailey always gets a Smacko, but Tegan said the dog jumps “purely for praise and because he wants to get up with me.”
Tegan said Bailey was bred by Lancefield poultry owner Michelle Wilson from working stock and the dog later befriended Tegan’s Khaki Campbell cross duckling Frankie.
“They were best mates, sleeping up there on the dog bed thinking she was a dog.”
Before the duck recently died from aspergillosis, it ate and slept with the dog, and regularly cleaned Bailey’s teeth – see the video.
$10,000 Kelpie Burgess heads to Gippsland
RMA Network auctioneers James Tierney and Bernie Grant sold 51 dogs and pups for an average of $3762.75 in the auction, more than $200 up on last year’s average of $3559 for 62 dogs.
Buyers showed a preference for trained and experienced dogs, paying $5000 or more for 20 of those offered and $7000-plus for eight dogs. The top-priced pup under 7-month-old, 10-week-old Elfinvale Charlie made $2400 for Melville Forest breeder Tom Austin.
Trafalgar dairy farmer and shearing contractor Rob Buckley said the $10,000 he paid for Andrew Kennedy’s 19-month-old Burgess at the working dog auction was the most he had paid for a Kelpie.
“It was just his style and the way he done it, and the trainer; I don’t like them being over-trained.
“The dog was very focussed on the sheep rather than the owner and I just liked the way he worked.”
Burgess will be used on the Buckley dairy and beef herd, in a lamb feedlot and in shearing sheds, but might also have some stud duties with people already calling Rob wanting pups.
“I thought to myself you’ve got to pay $4000-$6000 for any dog, I might as well pay and get the best there – they are solid dogs.
“This dog, yesterday (Tuesday) I had him on the cows and you couldn’t have asked him to do a better job if I tried – new owner, first day,” he said.
“He has very simple commands and is not completely controlled if you know what I mean; the dog still has his own instinct and his own natural ability — he hasn’t had it drummed out of him.”
Nyngan breeder Andrew Kennedy said it was a fitting price for Burgess and the auction generally was very strong. His top-priced dog was named after Rabbitohs NRL player Sam Burgess.
“He is a young dog with huge potential, nicely bred and a really, really nice young dog.”
The strong prices were probably a reflection of the commodity prices in the livestock industries and the season being very good over a wide area, Mr Kennedy said.
“That would have to be the most dogs (at Casterton) that have sold in the $5000-$10,000 bracket I would have thought.”
Casterton Kelpie Association president Nancy Withers said the auction started well with the oldest dog in the catalogue — Cain Jenkins’ 52-month-old Ted, selling first for $7000.
“They made good money because they were good dogs and there is a bit of money in the rural scene, if you haven’t spent it all on hay and grain.
“I always believe if farmers have got money in their pockets, they will invest it in something to improve their efficiency.”
Lucindale stockmen win futurity trial and stockman’s challenge
In the RMA Futurity trial for dogs bought at previous auctions, the eventual winner was Lucindale stockman Travis Ware, with Hilton Park Pear (Cassie), bought by Alan McGurk from Luke Twigg for $800 at the 2014 auction. Travis and Cassie scored 187 points from judge Rex Hocking, to win the event from Monte Warren and Steph on 178 points and Tricia Carter with Diesel on 167 points.
Mr Hocking said Cassie was a very complete dog for its age and was handled extremely well.
“Which is a must nowadays whether you are on farm, trials grounds or wherever.
“She didn’t tie the sheep up too much, not too much pressure and then backed the pressure off and applied it when she had to.”
The winner of the Stockman’s Challenge at Casterton was Lucindale stockman Rob Copping on 16-year-old stockhorse Red Rogue with his seven year-old dog Pomanda Zack, an experienced farm and three-sheep, field and yard trial performer.
It was the second challenge win for the trio, who also won the event in 2013. Mr Copping said the crossbred hoggets were pretty flighty and it was harder to win this year. Mr Copping also placed sixth on the futurity with his dog Pomanda Coal.
Challenge organiser Nancy Withers said she was terribly biased about Zack, being its breeder and part-owner, but added the dog proved its genetics, settling his sheep and working them well around the obstacles. She said the challenge entrants were all top stockmen and women and all did an excellent job with their dogs.