Macy Hammermeister is a pen rider and hospital supervisor at the Brindley Park feedlot in Euthulla, Qld.

Story Louisa Harvey   Photo Allie Lee

The sun is still rising and it’s a chilly –2°C when 20-year-old Macy Hammermeister prepares for the day ahead. Her morning routine of tacking up the horses has become a flowing ritual. The accompanying clinking of the bit and stirrups is pronounced in the quiet stables, and elicits a moment of contemplation before the hectic day as a feedlot pen rider begins. 

Macy goes straight into the Australian Country Choice feedlot at Brindley Park, Euthulla, Qld, looking very much at home and confident. Wearing an Akubra, work shirt and jeans, she works quietly and calmly, strategically moving around the feedlot while looking for outward signs of distress in the animals around her. If sick cattle are identified, they are segregated and driven to the hospital pen that she supervises.

The job requires teamwork, and Macy has been able to learn a great deal from the many young women who ride the pen together. “They are a great bunch of girls, and we all love sharing a laugh every day while we work,” Macy says. “Girls in the pen tend to be quieter, and some people say that they are more natural in this role than men. Even though I’m still starting out, it is not about trying to get one up for me – it’s not in my nature. But I like to get the job done and that takes a certain level of determination.” 

This story excerpt is from Issue #145

Outback Magazine: October/November 2022