200 volunteers helped Casterton, birthplace of the Kelpie in the Wimmera (south-western Victoria) celebrate the 5th Annual Casterton Kelpie Festival over the Queen’s Birthday weekend. The Australian Kelpie Muster, incorporating the Casterton Kelpie Festival and Casterton Working Dog Auction is a festival that takes a light-hearted look at the Kelpie’s vital role in rural life in Australia.
Some say laughingly that at a Wimmera BBQ, when the toddlers get too close to the river, the kelpie is sent out to herd them back without a stubbie having to be lowered – try doing that with the toy poodle from a city flat! (www.whitehat.com.au)
The Kelpie Race brings gales of laughter up and down Casterton’s main street as gallant Kelpies race over sheep’s backs, striving to make the quickest time. In the Iron Kelpie Hill Climb, all records were shattered this year as the biggest ever field of Kelpies raced up Casterton’s Blueberry Hill on Saturday afternoon – the winner’s time 25.62 seconds. The status of the kelpie as a loyal, hard worker was once again justified with ‘Jenny’ clearing 2.34 metres to set a new record in the Pedigree Kelpie High Jump.
On Sunday, the nationally-renowned Working Dog Auction was held, this year attracting a crowd of over 1,500, the largest crowd ever, to watch 59 quality working dogs demonstrated at the ninth Casterton Landmark Working Dog Auction. The Telstra Country Wide Top Price Dog attracted a price of $5000 and the selling average was $1836.
The Casterton Kelpie Association thanks its sponsors for its wide publicity and basically making the event possible.