Other sheepdogs related to breeding at ‘Campaspe’
Yulong Russ is the main influence behind the Campaspe line of dogs.
Owned by Bob Ross, the white faced Russ won the Centenary National Championship Sheep Dog Trial at Canberra in 1970, with the Queen presenting the trophy.
Around that time, and for a few years before and after, Russ was consistently winning many of the biggest three sheep trials around, including the Baden Powell Victorian Championships at Werribee in 1968 and 1971. But more importantly, he spent his life working sheep and cattle to a high standard on the Ross brother’s property in the steep Strezlecki Ranges in Gippsland, Victoria.
In the early 1970’s he was practically a house-hold name amongst farmers. Many people who saw him work rate him as one of the all-time great dogs. Common comments include that he was the brainiest dog people have ever seen work, extremely natural, and very strong. A number of knowledgeable dogmen rate his mother Campden Jip as the best bitch they ever saw.
Bob Ross worked Russ very quietly, with minimal commanding, leaving the dog to work things out mostly for himself. Occasionally a grunted “Russ” was all that was required. There are many stories about Russ’s exploits, most centering aroung his great intelligence. Stories of other dog’s sheep escaping from trial grounds and Russ putting them back through a hole in the wire fence, and many others.
The Campaspe line has as great—or greater—concentration of Russ blood than any other line.
Renowned handler and breeder, Jack Hiscock, rated Esjay (bred by Syd Cavanagh) as the best all-round dog he had worked. And Jack had worked many top dogs, in all sorts of conditions, over a lifetime spent handling stock.
In my opinion Esjay has bred some of the best dogs of more recent times, including Moorlands Snow, Moorlands Ugly and Moorlands Tomie, amongst others. Moorlands Georgie (Moorlands Snow x Moorlands Emma) was an exceptional bitch I owned, and she was linebred to Esjay 2:2 (both her parents were by Esjay).
Esjay won numerous arena and field trials, and many people commented on his forcing ability. He appears numerous times in ‘Campaspe’ pedigrees, mostly as the sire of Moorlands Tomie. Esjay was a grandson of Miller’s Pete 2nd.
Pete was a short-haired, black white and tan dog owned by Syd Cavanagh. He features prominently in the background of the Campaspe dogs.
Very well bred, being not only by Yulong Russ, but also out of a Sinclair’s Butch bitch. Sid said he was very strong, and very natural, although very hard-headed to handle, as many of this line were. There were quite a few good dogs of this same breeding, including Miller’s Mighty (an exceptionally strong dog of Jack Hiscock’s), Miller’s Kim (mother of Moorlands Snow, see photo and see Jack Hiscock articles for more information about Kim), Miller’s Bounce (of Bob Ross’s, see photo Bounce is on right), Miller’s Fantastic, Miller’s Spectacular, to name a few.
As mentioned elsewhere when talking about Sinclair’s Butch, Butch and Yulong Russ where fairly closely related, possibly more than half brothers, so that may help explain why the crossing of a Sinclair’s Butch bitch and Yulong Russ worked so well.
When Sid retired Pete from trialling, he gave him to Jack Hiscock. Brendan O’Connor (Barravore) joined Pete to one of his bitches, and Jack got two of those pups, Barravore Jim and Barravore Jean. Syd later bought Jim from Jack, and did a lot of trialling with him. I bred a couple of litters from Jim, and Sid gave him to me as an old dog to breed from.
This is the only photo I have seen of Pete, as a pup (top right).
Macpherson’s Moss was imported by James Moore in the 1920’s. Bred by T Hunter in 1921, and sold to C W (Brewster) Macpherson, before being sold to James Moore. He was a big, strong boned, short coated, black and white dog, with a good, strong head. Moss was the runner up in the 1926 International Trials, being beaten by his own son, Glen.
Chris Howe (who took over the Kyneton kennels in Victoria after the death of James Moore), stated that Macpherson’s Moss “was the greatest sire ever seen in the southern hemisphere.”
Bred by Sinclair of Lancefield, Sinclair’s Butch was a short-haired, black and white dog of Jack Hiscock’s. Jack rated him very highly, and I believe the main influence in my line of dogs goes back to Yulong Russ and Sinclair’s Butch, and if you go further back, probably to three main dogs (Sunset Rob, Goldie Park Rex, and Kyneton Afton), and finally back to Macphersons’s Moss. Brendan O’Connor always thought his Barravore line of dogs was a product of Yulong Russ and Sinclair’s Butch, and they are basically the same blood as the Campaspe line. He always spoke very highly of Sinclair’s Butch.
Both Yulong Russ and Sinclair’s Butch go back to Sunset Rob, Goldie Park Rex, and Kyneton Afton, so it isn’t surprising that their blood mixed well. Sinclair’s Butch was by another Butch, of Allan Miller’s (see photo) who was reputed to be an exceptional dog. There is a story behind Butch, sometimes referred to as Miller’s Butch. For some reason he was registered without a prefix, but as far as I can make out from talking to various people, he was an Austral bred dog, bred by Mr. Eric Deppeler, by Sunset Rob same as Yulong Russ’ father Austral Star, and possibly a full brother to Star, which would make Yulong Russ and Sinclair’s Butch something like half brothers (and there was similarity in their mother’s breeding also). More information, articles and photos to come…
Bred by A.B. Carter, and a grandson of the famous Kyneton Afton (of Allan Miller’s), Sunset Rob was reputed to be “the biggest dog on the trial ground”, and one of the most succesful and widely used sires of the time. He won the 1960 Victorian Championships at Werribee. A study of the stud book shows how widely he was used. Short haired, black and white.
Both his parents were out of Ruff Hill litter sisters, Betty and Spray, who were themselves line bred.
Ugly was a lovely, natural bitch, full sister to Moorlands Snow. Black and white, long haired, with a white face, Jack worked her succesfully in a lot of trials. The equal of any dog in her ‘short covering’ and ‘square covering’ work.
Unfortunately she died whelping while Jack was away at a dog trial. There is footage of her working at the Victorian Championship sheep dog trials, and on the DVD “Natural Ability”.
Blazing was a good looking, black and white, short haired, prick eared dog of Jack Hiscock’s. I was never particularly keen on him, although he did win a lot of trials and did a lot of work for Jack. He did have lovely smooth force and was very intelligent.
He was the result of an outcross mating, the first time Jack really went away from his old blood, and to my mind a backwards step. I didn’t like his mother, her work, looks, or breeding, although many of her line were very succesful and well-known trial dogs. But he did have some good blood on his father’s side. His sire, Moorlands Don 2nd, was by Moorlands Snow (one of my favourites), out of Dell 3rd.
Blazing bred a lot of pups, only occasionally throwing a good one. Sid had one that wasn’t bad, a big, strong, white faced dog called Star, but in my opinion Doige is by far the best, an exceptional dog, far better than was his sire.
Bred by Pam Vickery of Mansfield, Kiz was a bitch I did a fair bit of work with on a 5,000 acre property in rocky, granite hill country, with sheep (merino and crossbred) and beef cattle (the property ran about 1,200 Angus cattle). She was a handy dog on sheep or cattle, and a natural backing dog. She would also use bark very intelligently. She is included in the DVD “A few good dogs”. She was a good natural casting bitch, although she lacked a bit of ‘scope’ and half-a-kilometre was about her limit. She didn’t like working out of sight on her own, and lacked the real natural mustering ability I look for. I have seen her do some exceptional work handling mobs of about 150 weaner cattle, on her own, working them in timber and scrub along the bank of a creek, with the weaners trying to cross the creek. This was the first time the young cattle were let out of the yards after weaning. I have since sold Kiz, and the main interest here lies in her being the mother of Campaspe Bounce (by Moorlands Tomie). Her mother Gael was by a very good dog called Cavanagh’s Mick, who was by Bos by Sid Cavanagh’s dog Miller’s Pete 2nd. Mick was out of Alan’s Kim, who was by Moorlands Lou 2nd (brother to Moorlands Snow and Ugly). Kiz’s father was out of a bitch by Sid Cavanagh’s Barravore Jim, who was also by Millers Pete 2nd. Jim was from the same litter as Moorlands Tomie’s mother, Barravore Jean.
Georgie did a great deal of very hard work for me in rough hill-country on big properties, and proved herself in very challenging conditions. When she was twelve months old she would cast a kilometre, wide and deep, and muster a paddock of scattered stock on her own. As a dog a couple of years old she would cast a great distance, and must rate with the very best mustering dogs there have been. She also had the most cover of any dog I have seen, and could hold any sheep that could possibly be held, whether one wild whether in the rocks and timber, or a thousand just shorn merino lambs.
She was very hard and headstrong (and looked it), as many dogs of this line are, and a fair handful, but an incredible bitch.
She was from an AI litter. Her sire, Moorlands Snow, had been trod on by a horse ridden by a bloke working for Jack, and injured so he could no longer serve a bitch. Jack had the vet out to AI Emma, but she didn’t get in pup (Emma was a full sister to Moorlands Tomie). Jack decided it didn’t look too hard, so next time he AI’d Emma himself. After a bit of trial and error he got things together, and she had 9 pups! The whole litter was very similarly marked black white and tans.
I had another bitch from the same litter, Moorlands Tammy, but she wasn’t as good. Georgie is included in the DVD “A few good dogs”. I wish I had a lot more footage of what she was capable of.
Chocker was another high-quality bitch I owned by Moorlands Snow (Georgie was also by Snow). Unfortunately she was spayed and so I never bred from her; I wish I had been able to.
She was another very natural, big casting dog, with great natural mustering ability, good holding ability, cover, ‘block and hold’, and good force. I did work her in a few three sheep trials (she was the first dog I ever trialled), and she would usually pen, but her movement physically wasn’t great and she tended to frighten sheep. She would bark in the yards or in the paddock when required or to command, and just generally had a lot of stock sense.
She is included in the DVD “A few good dogs”.
Sue was a leggy, athletic bitch with exceptional speed, movement and stamina, and a great jumper.
She possessed good natural ability, and would naturally hold sheep at four months of age out in the open (see ‘A Few Good Dogs’ DVD for footage of Sue when 3 1/2 months old when first introduced to sheep). She was strong, forceful, highly intelligent and bold, but too busy and lacking enough ‘width’ to be a top dog. No bite on sheep, but would bite and block and work cattle strongly.
Unfortunately she died of snake bite only a few days off whelping her first litter (she was in pup to Doige). She is included in the DVD “A few good dogs” as an example of a nice natural pup when first introduced to sheep.
I have included the pedigree of Herdman’s Tommy here for interest of breeders. Tommy (breed by William Wallace) was a famous dog and influential sire early in the “border collie” breed, and his pedigree shows the type of close breeding I talk about in my book, and is no doubt a big factor in his success as a sire.
Two of his sons won the supreme championships in 1907 and 1913, and Eric Halsall states that 27 of 29 dogs to win the supreme championships from 1906 – 1951 were descendants of Tommy’s.
Old Hemp (owned and bred by Adam Telfer) was joined to his own mother Meg, producing daughters Gyp and Fan. Fan was then joined to her half brother (at least) Riddle’s Moss. A son from this litter Wallace’s Tweed was then joined to Gyp, his mother’s sister.
Tommy was black white and tan. Meg was black, Roy was black white and tan. Interestingly, Hemp (considered the father of the border collie breed) was also black white and tan.