Bred with Natural Working Ability



34 Years: 1976 - 2010


How  Working Kelpies Of Kirkcaldy started:

In 1976 Peter Austin was appointed to the position of sheep overseer on Mt Hesse at Winchelsea, Victoria. The property ran 20000 merino sheep, including a fine wool merino stud, and about 1500 cattle, mainly Hereford and also some Santa Gertrudis  and Devon cross cattle. These exposed me to the Bos Indicus temperament that can be worked with the correct type of dog. At the time the property was run by Peter Kininmonth with 3 full time men. When necessary there were contract labourers employed.

The quality of working dogs made it possible to operate the large livestock enterprise with only 4 men.

The impetus for Working Kelpies of Kirkcaldy occurred when it became evident that well bred kelpies would be vital for my every day work on Mt Hesse. Peter and Kate already had a great young dog in Liscannor (Jack) Deano, (Rockybar Buff x  Liscannor Dell.). We purchased Glenville Tammy (Port Patrick Taj x Glenville Jean) and Wyreema Jillie  (Wyreema Sweeney x Wyvelloe Pattie), who became the two foundation dams.

Rockybar Ripper was purchased in 1977, as an 8 year old dog for $1000. Ripper was a proven worker, trial dog and most importantly he was a proven sire, whose brilliant characteristics live on in many of our dogs today. In 4 years he sired over 100 pups for the stud.

In 1979, we embarked on a trip through northern NSW and southern Queensland to meet and learn from the elder statesmen of the Australian Kelpie breeders. These included the well respected, late Frank Scanlon, Bill Prendergast, Les Tarrant and from Bert Bromham and Gordon Mc Master.  It was a very valuable learning experience, gaining knowledge of the temperament and working traits of many of the kelpie bloodlines that were dominant then, some of which have maintained their dominance within the working kelpie bloodlines today. Those men could relate to us the foundation kelpies that have made our breed what it is today.

Frank Scanlon wrote of Working Kelpies Of Kirkcaldy in 1982 “you have a very good stud of well bred, good type kelpies”.

Working Kelpies Of Kirkcaldy held an auction in 1982.  At the time The Weekly Times reported that “Australia’s first major auction sale of Kelpie sheep dogs at Mortlake, on June 19 was an outstanding success with 48 stud kelpies selling to five states”, further “the sale was attended by 300 people”. It was an innovation for that time.

Glenville Tammy (Port Patrick Taj x Glenville Jean)  Rockybar Ripper
Glenville Tammy (Left) & Rockybar Ripper (Right)



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© 2006 &
Updated 10th May 2006

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