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Casterton - Kelpie Walking Trail




Warrock Homestead, north of Casterton, is the birthplace of the amazingly intelligent Kelpie breed of working Australian cattle and sheep dog.

The original ‘Kelpie’ was born in 1871; her parents being a pair of black and tan Collies imported from Scotland by Warrock’s owner George Robertson.

Robertson had a policy of not selling females from the stock but had given a pup to his nephew. Jack Gleeson, a drover working at nearby Dunrobin Homestead, wanted to buy a female pup, but could not obtain one from Robertson. At a rendezvous on Warrock’s boundary fording the Glenelg River, Gleeson met with Robertson’s nephew and asked to buy the pup. The nephew initially refused to sell but eventually swapped the pup for a horse which he fancied. Gleeson named the pup ‘Kelpie’, meaning ‘...a malignant water sprite haunting the fords and streams in the shape of a horse’.

Shortly after, Gleeson left the district and Kelpie was mated with working dogs in Ardlethan, NSW. The progeny created the bloodlines of the Kelpie breed, with one of the original litter going on to come equal first in a trial in 1878.

As part of Casterton’s 150th Anniversary celebrations in 1996, a statue of Kelpie was commissioned and placed outside the Casterton Town Hall in celebration of the Kelpie’s history. More unique hand-crafted statues and sculptures depicting the Kelpie in many forms feature in the ‘Kelpie Walking Trail’.

Kelpie Walking Trail
Meandering gently around town, the Kelpie Walking Trail links five unique sculptures revealing the fascinating life and times of the Kelpie. The statues feature interpretive signage and the walker can chose from three routes.
  • Route 1 will take you via the main shopping district with its heritage-themed streetscape
  • Route 2 is slightly longer and takes in some wonderful River Red-Gums and riverbank.
  • Route 3 comprises the River Walking Trail, along the beautiful banks of the Glenelg River.
Pick up a map from the Information Centre.

The statues are:
#1- 'Jack Gleeson' Artist: Barb Dobson. The exchange of the first kelpie for a horse.
#2 - 'Australia Kelpie Muster' Artist: Annette Taylor. Large scale reproduction of George Haddon's artwork in the RACV Royal Auto magazine article on the Australian Kelpie Muster.
#3 - 'Man's Best Friend' Artist: John Dixon, Lyons. Depicts the loyalty and reliability of the Kelpie breed.
#4 - 'On the Sheep's Back' Artist: Annette Taylor. Represents how Australia rides on the sheep's back.
#5 - 'Kelpie' Artist: Peter Corlett. Celebrates Casterton's claim to fame as the birthplace of the Kelpie.

Photos:





Map: X925 Ref: J4



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