Friday, 16 June 2017

Casterton Kelpie Muster 2017

We feel like we're regulars at the Casterton Kelpie Muster now, after being spectators last year, we entered Meg in the Triathlon this year.
To learn more about the event and catch up on our escapades last year read here.
Brian has been training Meg for endurance for the past few months, with many kilometres around the paddocks while checking sheep every day.
She's used to jumping up and over the sheep yards and high cattle loading ramp as part of her working days but Brian built a high jump similar to what she might experience at Casterton, and we let her have a jump once or twice every day. She loved it, and we aimed at maintaining her enjoyment so she would continue her eagerness for jumping.
Funnily enough, although she knows she can jump more than 1.5metres, she never jumps over the fences and gates.
During the past year we sold our trusty old caravan, so this year we booked a little cottage in a small country town thirty minutes away from Casterton through Airbnb.

was perfect for our needs, dog friendly of course, and only 30 minutes drive from Casterton.
We loved it so much we booked it for next year too.

It was much easier and faster to travel from here in one day without towing the van, and we stopped along the way for car boot picnics.
Ha! Some might have thought it funny to see us boiling our billy next to the car on the outskirts of Penola, but it was the best cup of tea and (chicken sandwiches packed the night before), and Meg got to wander and stretch her legs.

All of the comforts of home at cosy Tuppence Cottage.

Taking part in the opening event is always a real buzz. 
The street parade.

And then it was down to business and time for competing.
50 metre Street Dash
Ready for the High Jump!! Busting to go!

 She surprised us both, and herself too, by jumping much higher than we had expected.
 1.8metres, her personal best. 
So she finished in sixth place for the street dash and sixth place for the high jump.
Wow, we were just overjoyed that she was focused enough to concentrate and complete the tasks in front of the huge noisy crowd.
Next up, and the final event of the triathlon......the Hill Climb. 

Brian was at the top, hollering her name over and over. It's so steep. The person who is catching the dog (Brian) is driven in one of the official vehicles around the road and up to the top of the hill.
The dog release person (me) is standing at the bottom of the hill, waiting until the dog hears the call and focuses on running to that call of it's master/boss.  If the dog runs through those two white squares near the lower part of the hill, a five second bonus is taken off the time.
The starter gives the OK, and as soon as Meg could hear Brian calling, she was off..!!  She ran towards the centre of the bonus markers and then veered around the edge of them...!
One dog at a time. There are many blind spots on the way up, so the caller needs to keep on hollering so the dog doesn't turn and go back down.
I knew I could not maintain that level of hollering, screeching  without ruining my throat forever, and as Brian is her official "Boss" she will run through anything to get to him.
She did it...!!! A little slow, but she kept on going until she reached him at the top.

More wonderful memories of another great fun weekend, and the fabulous people we met. 
The results sent to us the following day, not that were there to be competitive, astounded us!
Out of fifty dogs entered, twenty seven dogs finished.
Meg finished in sixteenth place..!!

Refreshed and rested after our four days away from home, we're back into life on the farm again with new vigour.  Brian has another week of annual leave, so lots of jobs are getting done around here and he's getting time to just be. To stand in the chook yard and look at the hens instead of rushing from one job to another, but not one to sit around, he's constantly busy and doing stuff. There's no chance of him getting under my feet, that's for sure. :) XX

Cheers and thanks for popping in, I have so much more to tell you, but that will have to wait.


  1. What a champion, they are such intelligent animals! And their love of work and pleasing their masters is second to none!

    1. Cheryl, she can just about talk and will do anything to please us. :)

  2. Aren't working dogs amazing animals! AT our local show, coming up shortly, they have a dog jumping event. Our boy loves to watch it! Sounds like you had a great weekend, Sally. The little cottage you stayed in looks lovely. Meg:)

    1. The cottage was perfect Meg. Everything was there, comfy and warm. I could happily live in a tiny cottage like that. Our big stone house was freezing cold when we returned, and it's taken a few days with two fires burning 24/7 to warm it up, Brrrr!!

  3. Congratulations to you all! I love your coat, Sally. It would really stand out in a crowd. We used to have a border collie cross and he was such a lovely dog.

    1. Thank you dear Chel. The coat was given to me by a friend who was moving o/s a few years ago and I had never worn it until now. I do love it though. I have a soft spot for Border Collies too. :)

  4. Well done! Looks like lots of fun :)

    1. Thanks Liz. I think we're Kelpie Muster addicts now, and have offered to volunteer in some capacity next year!

  5. Oh well done Meg!! Thats an awesome first attempt!

    Would you like to borrow Aggie for a bit and help make her civilized?! Maybe Megs good behaviour will rub off on her!! haha! Mind you her strong, stumpy little legs are not built for jumping. (can you imagine?! hahahaha!) But she will sniff our any mice/rats/rabbits and deal with them quicker then you can blink. She is smart enough, but golly she is stubborn. ;)

    That little cottage is just too cute! Im so glad you both had some time away and its good to hear Brian can potter about on the farm a bit and take it all at a slower pace and enjoy it.

    1. Little Aggie is useful in her own ways Emma. ;) XX

    2. Well she is a great mouser!

      For the first time when we had a guest over she did an initiaal excited jumpy hellp and then SAT! She didnt spend the whole time attached to their shoelaces, just a little nibble outside and she seemed to find a portion of indoor manners. After we walked around the garden, we came in for a cuppa near the fire and she even LAID down calmly. She seems to be growing a brain! ;)


  6. Awww ... well done Meg!!

    You must be so proud, what a wonderful dog to pick this up so quickly and not to be phased by the crowds on her first competition. Well done to all of you.


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