Mates’ muster milestones

THIS year’s Cleveland cattle sale celebrates a group of committed individuals who have devoted a great number of years to the preparation of the yearly event.

Stuart Hirst has mustered the cattle on horses for 40 years along with his wife, Veronica Hirst, who celebrates her 32nd year and Rodney Jones, who is in his 30th year.

Their service and involvement has been a remarkable contribution to the annual Cleveland weaner sale held in Ouse in the Central Highlands each year.

While Mr Hirst this is his last year, Mr Jones reminds him that he has been saying that for the last 20 years.

“I might even come in the next year and ride the buggy but I think my riding days are over,” Mr Hirst said.

At the age of 83 years, he does not seem to have slowed down with his natural abilities on horses and working with cattle is as swift on the paddock as his whip.

The yearly muster event brings people from all over the state thanks to the camaraderie that is created.

Ms Hirst said the muster was a great way for participants to merge their life’s works and interests.

“It’s an interest in horses and because were on a farm anyway and we use the horses for stock work, it’s sort of like an extension,” she said.

Her involvement was sparked by Mr Hirst and previous campdrafting competitions.

The two make a great team on the farm and in life, with the years and experience clear when Veronica is in the paddock mustering.

Mr Jones forms another great team with his son, Adam Jones, celebrating his 30th anniversary.

“We’ve made mates and friends throughout the years, a lot of the same people come and some have come for only a couple years riding,” Rodney

Jones said. “Some people you don’t see at all through out the year and then you see them here and it’s nice.”

Mr Hirst and Mr Jones met at the Cleveland property in 1993 and have ignited a lifelong friendship thanks to the mustering.

The team works for up to 12 hours on some days congregating at the Cleveland property for five days prior to the sale.

The Cleveland weaner sale is being held today at the Cleveland property.