PRICES were firm at the Casterton kelpie auction despite a decrease in the numbers offered this year, with pups between four and five months-of-age demanding particularly competitive prices.
Black-and-tan Bagalla Coke was at short odds for most of the day to make the best price, and didn't disappoint breeder Ian O'Connell, Bagalla Working Kelpies, Strathkellar, with his $10,000 price tag.
The 22-month-old male was bought by Mark Williams, Lillimur to work his 5000-head SAMM and Merino flock.
It was the Williams' family's first Casterton auction, but they always planned to bid at the top to replace their recently-passed working dog Quinn with a dog that had the complete package.
Mr O'Connell is no stranger to five-figure sales, after making the same price for Bagalla Mister last year - just $500 off top-price.
Click the image below to see the Casterton Kelpie Muster gallery.
All eight dogs making $5000 or more were male; a reflection of people's reluctance to own bitches under the new working dog code in Victoria.
The top-priced bitch, and 11-month-old red and tan with Pandara pedigree, consigned by Clint Shelton, Island Kelpies, Bracknell, Tasmania sold for $4500.
Ricky Jones, Jones's Silvercity, Broken Hill, NSW, was next in line, and made $8000 with 30-month-old Kelvin.
Noted volume buyers at the top end was the Old family, Emu Park, Balranald, who bought three trained dogs at an average of $5167.
Although the auction got off to a shaky start with the first three dogs passed in, the $3057 av was consistent with previous sales, RMA Network auctioneer James Tierney said.
"There were some pretty well-bred four to five month-old pups, and they were a bit dearer than the same age bracket last year," he said.