Photo101 Day 6 theme is Connection. Here I am showing my take on the idea of connection for the course.
Sheepdog trials and cattle work are a big part of Australian country life. Sheepdog trials involve a handler and dog mustering a small mob of sheep over a course and into pens. The dog handler cannot assist the dog to do this other than open and shut gates to the pens. He or she communicates with the dog through whistles or other various commands. If you ever get an opportunity to watch one of these trials then do so. They way the handler and dogs connect is simply amazing.
Mustering cattle from horseback still plays a huge role in stock handling in Australia. Campdrafting is a sport that draws big crowds in country areas. I was lucky enough to attend a sales yard where horses bred for this sport were being auctioned. I saw one horse sell for $60,000. That’s how serious this sport can get. There is an amazing connection between horse and rider in this sport. The action happens at a break neck speed and the reaction times of horse and rider must be seen to be believed. The way the sport works is this, first the rider selects a cow from a small mob (around ten cattle) that are in a small yard. This is the camp. The rider must then indicate to the judge which caw he/she has selected. The clock starts and there is now a time limit for horse and rider to muster the cow up to the gate of the camp. The gate is opened and then horse and rider has to guide the cow around a figure 8 type course as quickly as possible. Another amazing display of skill and connection between man and animal.
Indigenous Australians have a significant connection to country. It is spiritual in ways that most non indigenous peoples will never understand. A Welcome To Country ceremony is performed at many community and other events. This photo is from one such ceremony in Pomona Qld by a member of the Gubbi Gubbi people.