DOGS GET THE SHOW JUMP

Townsville Bulletin - - PROPERTY -

THE Etheridge Show and Turnout is on in the tiny Gulf Coun­try town of For­sayth to­day.

One of the fea­tures of the show apart from the greasy pig race is the work­ing dog jump­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

Out here in cat­tle coun­try it’s im­por­tant that a dog be able to jump up on to the back of ute piled high with hay, sad­dles, a quad bike or two and the boss’s fenc­ing re­pair gear.

A dog or a “turner” that can’t jump can be a li­a­bil­ity when the whips are crack­ing and speed is an ab­so­lute ne­ces­sity. The boss does not take kindly to hav­ing to take time out to lift ol’ Rover up on to the back of the ute ( they call them “turn­ers” at For­sayth be­cause their sole role in life is to turn cat­tle).

Last year Aaron Gal­lagher and Kara Saun­ders’ four year old Col­lie- Kelpie cross, Bil­gus, won the jump­ing com­pe­ti­tion. Aaron with lit­tle son Vic­tor were back putting him through his paces yes­ter­day. Psssst. Here’s a bit of in­side oil for the pun­ters. A rogue cow charged Bil­gus last week and hurt one of his legs. He has been a bit ten­der, but Aaron reck­oned he was mak­ing good progress. We’ll see how he goes to­day. As well as the Dog Jump there is the Bungee Pull, Dingo Derby ( dog race), Catch the Chooks, or in the this case Catch the Guinea Fowl. “We couldn’t get any chooks, but Hooter Young has lent us some guinea fowl. I’d like to see any bastard catch them,” said show pres­i­dent Si­mon Terry. There are foot races, a kick a goal com­pe­ti­tion, and three legged races.

Pic­ture: SCOTT RAD­FORD- CHISHOLM

TOP TURNER: Aaron Gal­lagher with son Vic­tor, 15 months, train Bil­gus for this week­end’s dog jump.

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