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Rounding up funds at Casterton Kelpie Muster
For 20 years, the population of Casterton has jumped from 2000 to at least 8000 humans and 1000 dogs each Queen’s Birthday long weekend for the Casterton Kelpie Muster.
Casterton Fire Brigade has been part of the action for the past 15 years. Member Geoff Elmes explains.
“The event has got so big and accommodation really comes under pressure,” says Geoff.
“We used to have a running team with its own track which includes a kitchen and toilets. We’ve kept the facility in a good state so we open it up for campers for the muster. There are 60 campsites and we take a donation. It’s first in best dressed for the choice spots which are along the Glenelg River and, of course, we have no issues with people having their dogs at their camp sites. The entire site is floodlit so we also have no issues with security.
“We also serve a cooked breakfast with the works for a small charge.”
Those small charges added $2500 to brigade funds this year. The brigade believes a new fire station isn’t far away and will put funds towards an upgraded kitchen.
About six brigade members help out at each year’s muster with another brigade role being to wash down the road at the end of Saturday’s events.
The first day of the muster is a fun day with a kelpie triathlon comprising a dash, high jump and hill climb. Other novelty events including awards to the fattest dog, dog most like its owner and six best legs. Crowd-pleasing events such as mutton mayhem, kelpie pinball and a stockman’s challenge also feature. A number of events are split between adult and childrens’ divisions so everyone can join in the fun.
Sunday is serious business with a working dog auction drawing in contenders from interstate and even overseas. Prices this year reached $12,000 for Dotti from Dubbo, NSW, while several dogs from Goomalling in Western Australia attracted good money.
A working dog demonstration that day puts dogs through their paces rounding up sheep.
On Monday and Tuesday there is a working dog school.
The brigade now has its eyes on next year’s event with 39 bookings already for the campground.
“It’s a good little earner,” says Geoff, “and just great to be part of something that brings so many people to town.
Many thanks to Casterton News for the photos.
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