Stokers Siding farmer Dick Chapman with his kelpie Nugget – the past champion and father of this year’s top working cattle dog, Joe.
Stokers Siding farmer Dick Chapman with his kelpie Nugget – the past champion and father of this year’s top working cattle dog, Joe. Crystal Spencer

Champion of cattle dogs

TRUE-blue cow cocky Dick Chapman loves his work – but not as much as his dogs, who keep notching up championships in cattle-dog-of-the-year competitions.

For the Stokers Siding cattleman and dog handler the prizes and his hobby of breeding champion dogs makes his work that extra bit worthwhile.

Last weekend his latest champ, two-and-a-half-year-old Joe, took out another NSW cattle dog championship at trials held at Cobark, under the Barrington Tops north of Newcastle.

It was a case of “like father like pup”.

Last year Joe’s father Nugget, then a six-year-old red-and-tan Kelpie, won celebrity status in the dog world, winning the title of Australian Open Working Cattle Dog of the Year for 2009.

“The line is coming along very nicely,” said Mr Chapman of his champion dogs.

“Nugget had a good round on the weekend too, but didn’t quite get enough for the championship.

“It was the first time in the championship for Joe.

“It was a good weekend.”

Mr Chapman, who yesterday was back at work at Murwillumbah dairy farmer Bruce Baker’s property with his dogs, said his four-legged workmates just loved the job.

“They just love to do it.

“I’ve got a little bit of progeny by Joe himself now. They look pretty nice pups.

“I breed them and I train them. It just makes it all the more enjoyable.”

“They just can’t get enough of it,” Dick Chapman



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