How Working Kelpies Of
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
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 (Left) & Rockybar Ripper (Right)