Host: Killili Working Kelpies
Written by: Courtney Robinson – Owner, Killili Working Kelpies.
I was fortunate enough to do a couple of road trips last year, and a big one this year.
The first trip was with a mate called Wendy – we loaded our hounds and blasted our way to a property called Anthony’s Lagoon, on the Barkly Tablelands. We were a bit restricted for time away so it was basically just drive as much as possible, with as few stops as possible until we got there. Of course we had to pull up to let the hounds out a few times a day; this is especially important when carrying young dogs so that they learn there will be a time and a place to go to the toilet. This helps them stop going on the back of the ute, or trailer.
On arrival it was basically straight into it. Neil McDonald was up there helping Bindi settle into her new job as weaner handler, and we were there to learn more about it. Wendy and I have both done plenty of Neil’s Advanced Livestock Movement and Management Courses, but this was the first time we had done any work with him outside of a school. Needless to say it was awesome. All up we were away about two weeks, including traveling time.
The second trip was just me and the dogs. Another trip North, this time to the Douglas Daly Research Farm up near Katherine, where Neil was holding another Advanced Livestock Movement and Management School and a friend, Rach, was working there as well. I had a couple of pups to deliver to Neil, so the timing worked well to use it as an excuse to head up there. It was a cruisier trip this time, as I didn’t have to hurry home so much, and having a litter of three month old pups on board meant I was pulling up pretty frequently. It was hot so I stopped three times a day at different road houses to hose the dogs off.
There was a bit of excitement on the first night there when we were sitting around having a few bevvies, when we heard the poddy calf bellowing. Spud the manager and Rach ran off into the night to see what was going on, next minute we heard screeching from Rach, so we all dashed off to see what was happening, and a big olive Python had this poor poddy by the pizzle, and was trying to make a meal of him! Spud saved the poor chap, and we all went back to the drinks.
The biggest trip of them all, and by far the best, happened this year!
Teesh and I had been throwing the idea around for a while, doing a BIG trip with the dogs. And it didn’t take too long for us to say “bugger it, lets just go!”. So we did!
In a nutshell we were away for about seven weeks, left at the end of March, and arrived back in late May. We started in Dongara WA, loaded our combined 21 dogs and worked our way South to Esperance. Then we went across the Nullabor to Neil and Helen’s farm in Keith, SA before heading to Gippsland where we spent a week assisting in a trial with Meat and Livestock Australia.
Then it was up to NSW and finally QLD where we spent the whole week at Rockhampton Beef Week before we started working our way home. Back along the NSW coast we traveled to Scott Amon’s property (Barru Working Kelpies), before arriving back Neil’s for a rest. Then it was a Sheep Shearing School in SA, where we took a LOT of photos, and got to help a fella called Peter Barr penning up with his team of Kelpies and Collies.
By then we were pushing for time to arrive back home, Teesh’s ute was booked in for work in Perth and my husband was starting to wonder what I looked like so we missioned it back across the Nullabor and arrived at Teesh’s southern block at about 7.30 in the morning on the 19th. Back home, and back to reality! The trip was all about meeting like minded people, learning as much as we could about handling dogs and educating livestock, and it exceeded every expectation! We have a page called Kelpies and Country Girls hitting the Road, which you can check out for all the highlights and photos from the trip.