Blackall barks up the right tree with working dog sale

Sally Gall
By Sally Gall
Updated May 10 2022 - 11:44am, first published May 9 2022 - 8:00am
Jack displays his top-priced ribbon for the Central West working dog sale, with vendors John Pointon and Prue Howard, and sale organisers Beau Frame and Matt McLane, Frame Rural Agencies. Pictures: Sally Gall

An experienced mustering dog, the two-and-a-half-year-old Border Collie named Jack topped the inaugural Central West Queensland working dog auction at Blackall on Saturday.

Little Pastoral, Wandoan, paid $16,000 for Jack, who was offered by Rockhampton-based breeder John Pointon, setting in place a new benchmark for a sale that could become a regular feature of the central west calendar if Saturday's interest is anything to go by.

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Held as part of Blackall's annual show, it attracted a large crowd to the selling ring, along with 45 registered bidders.

Eleven of the 27 dogs on offer were sold through AuctionsPlus to buyers as far away as Tenterfield, Capella, Hervey Bay, Gundagai, and Quilpie.

At any one time, the Saturday morning sale had over 60 viewers on AuctionsPlus.

Twenty-five of the lots were sold under the hammer for an average of $4000, with another dog selling after the sale.

The stands were packed with interested spectators and buyers overlooking the selling ring.

Selling agent Beau Frame said it had begun as an idea from ACL Working Dogs at Barcaldine, which Frame Rural then developed.

"When I was getting more phone calls from people wanting to buy dogs, I knew we were on the right track," he said. "It was great to have the support of experienced dog breeders for our first sale."

He believed it was the first working dog sale in the central west for nearly 15 years.

Mr Pointen said he thought it had been a great idea from the start, given the staff shortages there are in the bush.

"I supported it with nine dogs - I don't normally do that - but I wanted to support the bush," he said.

He was pleased to see Jack go to Little Pastoral at Wandoan after an online duel that involved bidders from North Queensland and NSW.

"Jack's a good all-rounder, that's what makes him so good," he said. "The buyers wanted a dog to make their weaners quieter and he'll certainly do that."

ACL Working Dogs had the second top price at the sale and the highest priced female when they sold Triple C Skye to a Charleville buyer on AuctionsPlus for $9500.

Skye was sired by Crawford's Star and her dam is Triple C Annie, and had done one full round of weaner breaking at the time of the sale.

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"We could not be more happy with the result," they announced afterwards on their Facebook page.

Among the other notable results were the sale of Nugget, a 12-month-old male Kelpie sold by Georgie Moore for $8500 to a Capella buyer on AuctionsPlus, and D&R Spot, a 22-month-old male Border Collie, offered by Daniel Lynham and sold to a Belyando buyer on AuctionsPlus for $6000.

Mr Frame said all vendors told him afterwards they were keen to return next year, and others were now keen to set dogs up for future sales.

Saturday's sale had a mixture of experienced dogs and young ones just beginning to work.

The sale was preceded by a pre-work demonstration with cattle and sheep on Friday, giving potential buyers an opportunity to see what the sale lots were capable of.

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Sally Gall

Sally Gall

Senior journalist - Queensland Country Life/North Queensland Register

Based at Blackall, CW Qld, where I've raised a family, run Merino sheep and beef cattle, and helped develop a region - its history, tourism, education and communications.

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