By Isaac Murphy
The Ipswich Puppy Auction gives Queensland owners, trainers and breeders alike their only opportunity to buy and sell dogs on their home soil. With the concept going as strong as ever interstate breeders are taking notice of the sales, which notches up it’s thirty second edition this Sunday.
Ipswich Club Manager Merv Page has been there for most of those sales and said everything was on track for another fruitful year.
“Everything is lining up nicely, we’ve got 165 lots with a lot of different breeds available. We’re expecting as good a crowd of potential owners as ever,” Page said.
“The Auction is a big event on the greyhound Calendar and as the only current puppy auction in Queensland, we get great support from trainers both buying and selling as well as the public looking to get into ownership.”
While all transactions are predominantly Queensland based Newcastle breeder Alex Verhagen has seen the potential of the sales in the last two years, reaping the rewards of different bloodlines.
“The lots are generally spread around fairly evenly from mostly Queensland trainers and breeders. A breeder from Newcastle, Alex Verhagen had twenty-one lots in last year. which he sold fourteen of and has come back with a further twelve lots this year,” Page said.
“He obviously brings pups with different pedigree, which clearly piqued the interest of buyers last year.”
Verhagen said he left last year’s Auction with no doubt he’d be back in 2019 and has a team of handy pups available for the right price and an eye towards the great prize money on offer for Auction graduates.
“I’ve got two out of Fernando Bale and Hally Allen who is really well bred. Her mother is a half-sister to Barcia Bale and was a good winner in her own right. I’ll be chasing some good money to let them go but am more than willing for the right price,” he said.
“I’d love to keep a few dogs up in Queensland. The prize money for the graduate races is a real draw card.”
“I’ve won a Puppy Auction before and I love the concept. If you put them in, you only have to beat a select number of dogs, but I’m tipping there will be plenty of competition this year.”
Page said Verhagen is a great example of a breeder willing to sell for the right price, with stories about buyback rates overly exaggerated.
“You hear stories that the auction is a buyback, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” Page said.
“People come to the sales with a price in mind for their pups and if that’s met they sell, we’re certainly trending in the right direction selling most dogs.”
Page said there was a lot of satisfaction in seeing graduates go on and race well with one set of lucky owners a big chance at the Auction races next year.
“Wolf Racketeer who’s with Tony Brett is one who springs to mind. The blokes who bought him Peter Steele, Glen and Terry McDermott who are from trotting backgrounds have already been in touch saying they’ll be back this year,” Page said.
“It’s no wonder they’re back. We’ve increased our prize money for the 431-metre final ($21,000), 520 metre final ($60,000), and the 520 metre Consolation ($10,000) as well as the $2000 breeders bonus for the winner of the finals which is sure to attract more return customers.”