A three-year-old Kelpie from Southern NSW is Australia’s new top dog – fetching $14,000 at the Jerilderie Working Dog auction.
Incredibly, the black-and-tan Coopendale Charlie trumped the previous record by nearly $2000, just half an hour after it had been set.
Breeder and stockman Shane Maurer, Milvale, said the $14,000 sale followed a back-and-forth bidding war “between two blokes with a lot of money”.
In the end it was Mr Maurer’s friend and repeat customer Dwayne Evans who won the stare-down at the February sale.
Mr Evans, the Wilcannia-based goat-chaser and station manager, will take his prize pooch west in the next couple of weeks.
“I couldn’t believe it, I only had $6000 as the reserve,” Mr Maurer said.
“They just kept going.”
It was the second time that day the national auction record was broken.
James Fowler’s Nomak Delta went for $12,250 about 10 lots earlier, knocking over the previous $12,000 record and holding the mantle for about half an hour.
The sale continues a pretty decent run for Mr Maurer, who, on top of breeding the most expensive Kelpie in history, is the reigning national working dog champion.
He said he was unsure if he’d defend his title in Western Australia later this year as his champion dog – nine-year-old Getitdun Davey – has been having issues with arthritis.
Mr Maurer hails from Gloucester and works as a stockman at David Donaldson’s “Yarra” property.
He previously worked at Rupert Murdoch’s “Cavan”, near Yass, for five years, where he first began to breed Kelpies.
“I’ve learned the dogs have to have strength and cover, but it really comes down to natural ability,” he said.
“If they’ve got it naturally, you’ve just got to guide it, harness it. It needs good genetics.
“You can tell by about a year if they haven’t naturally got it.”