There's an adage about keeping livestock; there will also be losses.
So the news that last year's Casterton, Victoria record-priced dog at $35,200, The Lee's Hoover, met with a tragic on-farm accident is devastating for everyone involved with the admiration breeding and ownership of the red and tan kelpie dog.
David Lees, The Lees Working Dogs, Edenhope, Vic, said he heard of the accident from Hoover's new owner, who wished to remain anonymous, earlier this year. He said Hoover got caught up in an electric fence.
Mr Lees said selling Hoover was a difficult decision even at the record price.
"It's hard to sell a dog of Hoover's abilities and nature. I realised that money couldn't replace that connection between Hoover and myself," he said.
Working dogs can often be specialists in either paddock or yard work, but Mr Lee said Hoover was impressive in both settings.
"But the satisfaction I got from hearing how much his new owner (who wished to remain anonymous) was in awe of him let the anxiety subside," Mr Lees said.
"For seven months, the new owner was the happiest dog owner in the world. He would ring me and tell me how compatible they were and how Hoover had changed the way he was able to handle his livestock.
Mr Lees teamed up with a new partner, The Lees Grit, to win the dog section and the overall stockmen's challenge at Casterton with his horse Unique Cat on Saturday, June 11.
The Lees family also sold a started pup, an 11-month-old dog called The Lee's Beast, for $24,000, and The Lee's Tom sold for $10800 on Sunday at the Casterton Working Dog auction.
A full report on the $407,000 2022 Eukanuba Casterton Kelpie Muster will appear in The Land this week.
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