Stockman (Australia)

In Australia a stockman (plural stockmen) is a person who looks after the livestock on a large property known as a station, which is owned by a grazier or a grazing company. A stockman may also be employed at an abattoir, feedlot, on a livestock export ship, or with a stock and station agency.

Stockmen who work with cattle in the Top End are known as ringers and are often only employed for the dry season which lasts from April to October. A station hand is an employee, who is involved in routine duties on a rural property or station and this may also involve caring for livestock, too. With pastoral properties facing dire recruitment problems as young men are lured into the booming mining industry, young women from the cities are becoming a common sight on outback stations, often attracted by the chance to work with horses.[1] Some stations are now making changes for the employment of women by building female living quarters and installing hydraulic cattle crushes etc.[2] An associated occupation is that of the drover, who, like the shearer may be an itinerant worker, and is employed in tending to livestock while they are travelling on a stock route.

A station trainee is known as a jackaroo (male) or jillaroo (female),[3] and does much the same work as a stockman.

Brahman bulls
Bulls respond well to a good stockman
Two stockmen at Brunette Downs
Two stockmen at Brunette Downs Station ca. 1953
StateLibQld 1 294671 Sheep mustering at Chermside, ca. 1931
Sheep mustering at Chermside, ca. 1931
Newcastle Water cattle yard.
Stockman in cattle yards at Newcastle Waters Station


A stockman is responsible for the care for livestock and treatment of their injuries and illnesses. This includes feeding, watering, mustering, droving, branding, castrating, ear tagging, weighing, vaccinating livestock and dealing with their predators. Stockmen need to be able to judge age by examining the dentition (teeth) of cattle, sheep and occasionally horses. Those caring for sheep will regularly have to deal with flystrike treatments, jetting animals, worm control and lamb marking. Pregnant livestock usually receive special care in late pregnancy and stockmen may have to deal with dystocia (abnormal or difficult birth or labour). A good stockman is aware of livestock behavioural characteristics, and has an awareness of flight zone distances of the livestock being handled. Apart from livestock duties a stock person will inspect, maintain and repair fences, gates and yards that have been broken by storms, fallen trees, livestock and wildlife.

A head stockman is responsible for a number of workers and a range of livestock and property operations including the supervision of operations that includes feeding, mating, managing artificial breeding and embryo transfer programs; managing vehicle and equipment maintenance; repair and maintenance of property structures; supervising and training of staff.

Mustering is done with horses or vehicles including all-terrain vehicles (ATV), and some of the large cattle stations use helicopters or light aircraft to assist in the mustering and surveillance of livestock and their watering points. Cattle mustering in the Outback and the eastern ‘Falls’ country of the Great Dividing Range often necessitates days camping out in isolated areas and sleeping in a swag (bedroll) on the ground with limited food choices. Damper is a traditional type of bread that was baked by stockmen during colonial times, or nowadays when the bread supply has been exhausted. It is made with self-raising flour, salt and water and is usually cooked in a camp oven over the embers of a fire. In these areas the days in the saddle are often very long as the cattle have to be mustered and then driven to yards or a paddock where they can be held. After the stock have been yarded they may then require drafting prior to branding, shearing or whatever procedures are required or have been planned.[4]


Stock Horse ready for work
Stockman, an Australian Stock Horse and Kelpies ready for work on Australian property.
Lunch kit 2
A pannikin, quart pot and saddlebag as used by stockmen to boil the billy and carry lunch when riding.

The role of the mounted stockmen came into being early in the 19th century, when in 1813 the Blue Mountains separating the coastal plain of the Sydney region from the interior of the continent was crossed. The town of Bathurst was founded shortly after, and potential farmers moved westward, and settled on the land, many of them as squatters. The rolling country, ideal for sheep and the large, often unfenced, properties necessitated the role of the shepherd to tend the flocks.

Early stockmen were specially selected, highly regarded men owing to the high value and importance of early livestock. All stockmen need to be interested in animals, able to handle them with confidence and patience, able to make accurate observations about them and enjoy working outdoors.

Australian Aborigines were good stockmen who played a large part in the successful running of many stations. With their intimate bonds to their tribal places, and local knowledge they also took considerable pride in their work. After the gold rushes white labour was expensive and difficult to retain. Aboriginal women also worked with cattle on the northern stations after this practice developed in northern Queensland during the 1880s. A Native administration Act later stopped the employment of women in the cattle camps. Aborigines and their families received the regular provision of food and clothing to retain their labour, but were paid only a small wage.[4]

In 1911, rural stockmen received only £1 to £1/5/- a week plus keep after a decision was made by the Arbitration Court. The award of 1918 increased wages by up to 50 per cent to a minimum of £2/13/-. Head stockmen received about £1 extra. Stockmen now work under a state or federal award, which is reviewed regularly.[4]

The employment of mounted workers to tend livestock is necessitated in Australia by the large size of the "properties" which may be called sheep stations or cattle stations, depending upon the type of stock. In the inland regions of most states excluding Victoria and Tasmania, cattle stations may exceed 10,000 km² with the largest being Anna Creek Station at 24,000 km² (6,000,000 acres).

Stockmen traditionally ride horses, use working dogs and a stockwhip for stock work and mustering, but motorised vehicles are increasingly used. Sometimes the vehicles that are used are four-wheel drive (4WD) "paddock-bashers", which are often old unregistered utilities. These vehicles may also be modified by removing the top and fitting roll and bull bars for bull or buffalo catching.[5]

Transportable steel yards are now often carried on a truck to an area where stock-work can be completed without having to drive stock long distances to permanent yards. Stockmen and their horses can be unloaded at these yards and then the cattle can be branded and also transported from these yards if required. Lambs are also often marked in temporary yards as a means of reducing infection.[4]

The traditional attire of a stockman or grazier is a felt Akubra hat; a double flapped, two pocket (for stock notebooks) cotton shirt; a plaited kangaroo skin belt carrying a stockman's pocket knife in a pouch; light coloured, stockman cut, moleskin trousers with brown elastic side boots. The moleskin trousers have now largely been replaced by jeans. The plaited belt is often replaced by a working stockman or ringer with a belt known as a Queensland Utility Strap which can be used as a belt, neck strap, lunch-time hobble or a tie for a "micky".[6] This attire is still used in Australian Stock Horse competitions. Pocket knives may be used to castrate and/or earmark an animal, to bang cattle tails or in an emergency to cut free an animal entangled in a rope or horse tack.[7] Specially designed and cut for riding, oilskin coats are used during wet weather. The horse typically wears a ringhead bridle, a saddle cloth, a leather Australian stock saddle, which may be equipped with a breastplate in steep country, and saddlebag and quart-pot.[4]

A number of equestrian sports are particularly associated with stockmen. These include campdrafting, team penning, tentpegging and polocrosse, as well as working dog trials. The sports are played in local and state competitions and are often a feature of agricultural shows such as the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Stockman challenges are also gaining in popularity across the eastern states of Australia. In this event competitors show their skills by whipcracking, packing a packhorse (to be led around a course), bareback obstacle course, cross country, shoeing and stock handling competing in a single Australian Stock Saddle. The best will compete in a final with a brumby catch and a second final section of a stock saddle buckjump ride where they have to mark out carrying a stockwhip, or a timed obstacle event.[8]

Cultural depictions of stockmen

Gill Stockman
The Stockman by S.T. Gill (1818-1880)

The role of the stockmen has often been celebrated in various media, with the stockman being generally more highly renowned for his ability to bring down a bullock than an outlaw and for sharp wit rather than sharp shooting.

Two well-known songs commemorate the death of a stockman, the anonymous "Wrap me up with my stockwhip and blanket" and Rolf Harris's "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport".

Through the 19th and early 20th centuries the writing of balladic poetry was a favoured form of literary expression, and the public recitation of such pieces remains a feature of Australian folk festivals. The majority of the most popular ballads deal with rural subject and many are specifically about stockmen. These works include Adam Lindsay Gordon's Bush Ballads and Galloping Rhymes which includes "The Sick Stockrider", and, most famously, Banjo Paterson's epic poem The Man from Snowy River.

"The Man from Snowy River" was to become the source of three movies, one in 1920, and another in 1982 to be followed by a sequel. A TV series followed called Banjo Paterson's The Man from Snowy River.

In 2002 the story was shown as live musical theatre called The Man from Snowy River: Arena Spectacular. The inspiration for this musical performance came from the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, when the performance opened with 121 stockmen and women riding Australian Stock Horses in a tribute to the Australian pastoral heritage and the importance of the stock horse in Australia's heritage.[9] The pastoral tribute took place to music written by Bruce Rowland, who composed a special Olympics version of the main theme for the 1982 movie "The Man from Snowy River". David Atkins and Ignatius Jones, who were the artistic creators of the opening ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, were also the co-creators of the musical, The Man from Snowy River: Arena Spectacular.

A further tribute to the stockman derives from the fact that for a number of years the promotions of the Sydney Royal Easter Show have referred to it as "The Great Australian Muster".

In Longreach, Queensland, Australia, a Museum and Memorial called the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame was established to pay tribute to the pioneers of the Australian Outback.

Famous stockmen

See also


  1. ^ The Telegraph - Jillaroos bring feminine touch to Outback farms Retrieved on 2009-6-9
  2. ^ Campdraft Rules Archived 18 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Leconfield 5 day Jackaroo/Jillaroo school
  4. ^ a b c d e Coupe, Sheena (gen. ed.), Frontier Country, Vol. 1, Weldon Russell Publishing, Willoughby, 1989, ISBN 1-875202-01-3
  5. ^ Beattie, William A., Beef Cattle Breeding & Management, Popular Books, 1990, ISBN 0-7301-0040-5
  6. ^ Solid Hide Belts Archived 13 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 6-2-2009
  7. ^ Traditional pocket knife Retrieved on 5-2-2009
  8. ^ Snowy River Stockman's Challenge Archived 10 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2008-12-6
  9. ^ Commentary on the official DVD of the opening ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics

External links

Australian Stock Horse

The Australian Stock Horse (or Stockhorse), has been especially bred for Australian conditions. It is a hardy breed of horse noted for endurance, agility, and good temperament. Its ancestry dates to the arrival of the first horses in Australia, brought from Europe, Africa, and Asia. It is used today in a wide variety of disciplines, and is still valued as a working horse by stockmen and stockwomen throughout Australia.


A cowboy is an animal herder who tends cattle on ranches in North America, traditionally on horseback, and often performs a multitude of other ranch-related tasks. The historic American cowboy of the late 19th century arose from the vaquero traditions of northern Mexico and became a figure of special significance and legend. A subtype, called a wrangler, specifically tends the horses used to work cattle. In addition to ranch work, some cowboys work for or participate in rodeos. Cowgirls, first defined as such in the late 19th century, had a less-well documented historical role, but in the modern world work at identical tasks and have obtained considerable respect for their achievements. Cattle handlers in many other parts of the world, particularly South America and Australia, perform work similar to the cowboy.

The cowboy has deep historic roots tracing back to Spain and the earliest European settlers of the Americas. Over the centuries, differences in terrain and climate, and the influence of cattle-handling traditions from multiple cultures, created several distinct styles of equipment, clothing and animal handling. As the ever-practical cowboy adapted to the modern world, his equipment and techniques also adapted, though many classic traditions are preserved.


Cowman may refer to:

Cowman (profession)

Cowman (surname)


Ken Shirk or Cowman, an American ultramarathon runner

Cowman Publishing Company, publisher of books by Richard C. Halverson

Cowman, a sept of Clan Cumming

Cowman, Otis the Cow's alter ego in Back at the Barnyard


Horseman may refer to:

Horse rider; see Equestrianism

Wrangler (profession), in the United States

Stockman (Australia), who works with horses rather than with cattle or sheep

Horseman, Wisconsin, unincorporated community

The Horseman (opera) (Finnish: Ratsumies), a 1975 Finnish opera by Aulis Sallinen

Elaine Horseman (1925–1999), British author

BoJack Horseman, an animated sitcom.

Mark of medium and large format cameras of Komamura Corporation


A huaso (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈwaso]) is a Chilean countryman and skilled horseman, similar to the American cowboy or Mexican charro, the gaucho of Argentina, Uruguay and Rio Grande Do Sul and the Australian stockman. A female huaso is called a huasa, although the term china is far more commonly used for his wife or sweetheart, whose dress can be seen in cueca dancing. Huasos are found all over Central and Southern Chile while the Magallanes Region sheep raisers are gauchos. The major difference between the huaso and the gaucho is that huasos are involved in farming as well as cattle herding.

Huasos (plural) are generally found in Chile's central valley. They ride horses and typically wear a straw hat called a chupalla. They also wear a poncho—called a manta or a chamanto (although this was originally reserved to land owners, as it is much more expensive)—over a short Andalusian waist jacket, as well as tooled leather legging over booties with raw hide leather spur holders that sustain a long-shanked spur with 4-inch rowels, and many other typical garments.

Huasos are an important part of Chilean folkloric culture and are a vital part of parades, fiestas, holidays, and popular music. The dancing of the cueca in which the coy china is courted by the persistent huaso, both traditionally attired, is de rigueur on such occasions.

In Chile, the term huaso or ahuasado (in a huaso way) is also used disparagingly to refer to people without manners or lacking the sophistication of an urbanite, akin to US English redneck.

Jackaroo (trainee)

A jackaroo is a young man (feminine equivalent jillaroo) working on a sheep or cattle station, to gain practical experience in the skills needed to become an owner, overseer, manager, etc. The word originated in Queensland, Australia in the 19th century and is still in use in Australia and New Zealand in the 21st century. Its origins are unclear, although it is firmly rooted in Australian English, Australian culture and in the traditions of the Australian stockmen.

List of sportspeople with dual nationality

The following is a list of athletes with dual nationality. It includes both players who can trace their origins to a foreign country and those who have attained foreign nationality during their career, as well as players who hail from semi-autonomous regions within countries.

Radium (horse)

Radium was an outstanding Australian bred campdrafter and very influential ancestor of Australian Stock Horses. He was a bay stallion bred by Donald Beaton of Levedale, Gloucester, New South Wales. This son of the outstanding campdrafter, Cecil (1899, by Red Gauntlet from Meretha II) from Black Bess by Hukatere (1882) was foaled on 11 November 1918. Beaton took great care in the breeding of his horses requiring horses with ability and stamina, for which he culled heavily. Radium’s sire, Cecil was so successful that in 1913, his owner, Arch Simpson was asked to leave his champion campdrafter at home in order that other competitors had a chance to win the campdrafting event at Geary’s Flat Bushman’s Carnival.

Radium was broken in by Archie Grant and Billy Tout when he was a two-year-old, after which he had several trips to the Cooplacurripa area. He began to show his exceptional ability as a stock horse as he developed and matured. Donald Beaton often drove long distances to compete at bushman’s carnivals with Radium tied behind the buggy. Radium would then compete in the campdraft, often winning and if he was going well, round off his success with an exhibition of campdrafting without a bridle. In circa 1928, Radium was sold to Herb O’Neil, who, as a friend of Donald Beaton, had ridden the horse in competitions for Beaton when he had been unable to get away from his property. Herb O’Neill competed extensively with Radium, winning over a large area of the state. Just prior to the Second World War (WWII), Radium won a Championship Campdraft at Kempsey, New South Wales with the next ten placings going to Radium’s sons and daughters. Radium was also highly successful in led contests for the best type of Stock Horse. During WWII, at a Dungog Bushman’s Carnival over 20 horses were competing in the led stock horse class. In this event Radium received the first placing with the remaining four all being his sons.Radium stood at stud on "Kunderang Station" (now part of Oxley Wild Rivers National Park) for much of his life and had at least thirteen of his sons appear in Australian Stock Horse pedigrees. Quite a few horses had a double cross or were line-bred to this great foundation sire.His son, Chan was one of the smartest horses seen in a cattle camp and was a good sire. Another son, Dimray foaled in 1938 was a brilliant campdrafter and when retired to stud, he carried on the Radium tradition of producing top stock horses and campdrafters. It was as a sire that Dimray had a tremendous influence with his son Reality, his grandson Rivoli Ray and his great grandson, Cecil Bruce being Hall of Fame inductees.

Radium died on 12 November 1947, at 29 years of age, of a genital malignancy. This was the end of the life of a truly great horse, but he was also the foundation of a great line of horses.


Ringer(s) may refer to:

Ringer, in sports idiom, an impostor, especially one whose pretense is intended to gain an advantage in a competition

Ringer (comics), a Marvel Comics villain

Ringer (EP), an EP by Four Tet

"Ringer" (song), a song by Godflesh

Ringer T-shirt, a style of T-shirt

Bell-ringer, one who plays bells, especially church bells

Road course ringer, a non-NASCAR driver hired to race at a road course

Lactated Ringer's solution, also known as Ringer's, a fluid used in medical treatment

Intravenous sugar solution usually glucose

Stockman (Australia), known as a ringer in the Top End

The mechanism in a telephone that announces an incoming call

In horseshoes, a shoe that encircles the stake

A member of Tolkien fandom

Ringers: Lord of the Fans, a documentary on the subject

An ornithologist trained in bird ringing

A game piece used for scoring in the 2007 FIRST Robotics Competition game Rack 'n Roll

Ringer (film), a 1996 thriller starring Timothy Bottoms

Ringer (TV series), a CW show starring Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sheep station

A sheep station is a large property (station, the equivalent of a ranch) in Australia or New Zealand whose main activity is the raising of sheep for their wool and meat. In Australia, sheep stations are usually in the south-east or south-west of the country. In New Zealand the Merinos are usually in the high country of the South Island. These properties may be thousands of square kilometres in size and run low stocking rates to be able to sustainably provide enough feed and water for the stock.

Sheep stations and sheep husbandry began in Australia when the British started raising sheep in 1788 at Sydney Cove.In Australia, the owner of a sheep station can be called a pastoralist, grazier; or formerly, a squatter, as in "Waltzing Matilda".

In the Australian and New Zealand context, shearing involves an annual muster of sheep to be shorn, and the shearing shed and shearers' quarters are an important part of the station. A station usually also includes a homestead, adjacent sheds, windmills, dams, silos and in many cases a landing strip available for use by the Royal Flying Doctor Service and other light aircraft. Some of these items have regional variants, usually to deal with climate extremes.

Similarly, where the climate and vegetation allow, especially north of the dog fence, cattle stations are similar but run beef cattle rather than sheep. Some properties are not exclusively sheep or cattle stations but may have a mix of cattle, sheep, cropping and even goats which makes the owner less vulnerable to changes in wool or beef prices.

Walter Peak is a notable old sheep station that was founded in 1860 on the south shore of Lake Wakatipu, South Island, New Zealand. It is 13 kilometres across Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown, 40 minutes steaming time on the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship.


Stockman may refer to:

Stockman (Australia), a person who looks after livestock on a station

Stockman (surname), a surname

Rancher, an owner of a North American livestock ranch operation

Cowman (profession), owner or operator of a cattle business

Dairy farmer, owner or manager of a dairy farm

Stock contractor, in the United States, contractor who supplies livestock, especially for rodeo

Shepherd, a person who looks after sheep in the fields

Suzuki Jimny

The Suzuki Jimny is a line of four-wheel drive off-road mini SUVs, made by Japanese automaker Suzuki since 1970. Originated as a car in the Japanese Kei car tax and legal class – a Kei car version is still made for the Japanese market today, as well as versions that exceed that class's legal limits, in Japan called the Jimny Sierra. The latter are also successfully sold in worldwide markets. Suzuki has sold 2.85 million of them in 194 countries from launch in April 1970 through September 2018.

Mounted stock herders

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