Bonalbo lays claim to being the birthplace of cattle-dog trials in Australia – and Fraser Ramsey has been there from the beginning.

Story and photos by Mandy McKeesick

The Sydney Morning Herald of March 3, 1950 had a rural flavour. There, on page 11, snuggled among pear and milk prices, advertisements for stock and the inevitable weather forecast, is a tiny news article. It reads: “The first cattle dog trials to be held in Australia will be conducted at the Bonalbo Show Society’s ‘Silver Anniversary’ show … in May.”

Sixty-six years later, Bonalbo, in north-eastern New South Wales, remains a stronghold of the working cattle-dog industry with regular trials throughout the year, plans for a bronze kelpie in the town’s park and a love and respect for the sport’s oldest competitor, 87-year-old Fraser Ramsey. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #110

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2017