It was an event for the record books, and an amazing day for all who attended the Red Bluff stock dog sale on Jan. 26. Friends and family who couldn’t attend, my family included, watched online as Jeff Clausen, of Melba, and his dog Gurdy stole the show.

Red Bluff is a prestigious stock dog competition. Jeff gives Gurdy commands either on horseback or on foot. Each gentle word or quiet whistle tells her to herd the cattle through obstacles in a certain amount of time. The natural relationship between the two and the intense and steady movements of Gurdy earned them first place, scoring 245 total points, 20 points more than the other competitors.

At the end of the trial came the auction. Jeff had intended to sell Gurdy at Red Bluff, but had no one anticipated how much the little red dog would bring. The bid just kept going higher and higher!

“Sold for $30,000” he heard the auctioneer say.

Two years ago, Jeff bought Gurdy, a sweet little red border collie, with more potential in her than anyone knew. His good friend Mike Relk introduced him to Robin Brown, owner of Broken Circle Stock Dogs. When he went to purchase Gurdy, he remembered Robin saying “good luck with that son of a gun.”

Gurdy became a family pet, but Jeff also started taking her to work with him when she was just 7 months old. With Jeff being a cattle manager at a feedlot Gurdy was used to the livestock. Then she went on to her first dog trial in Drewsey, Oregon before she was even a year old.

“People just started saying how special she was,” Jeff said.

With the recent purchase of Gurdy’s sister Ruthie, Jeff thought he would attempt Red Bluff. Selling her for a record breaking $30,000, Jeff says he was amazed.

“Never in a million years did I think this would happen,“ he said.

Purchased by Lightning 7 Cattle Co. out of Preston Idaho, Clausen said “it was bittersweet.”

Moving forward, Jeff said he doesn’t necessarily want to be a dog trainer, but is willing to help anyone who wants to learn. He will be spending a lot of time training Ruthie. He wants people to realize that these dogs can do the work of two people and they are a great asset to the agricultural community.

 

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