At this year’s Dookie Show Jill Kellock watched on eagerly as horses she has bred were presented and showed under the capable hands of Barb Clarke, Cassandra Neal and Haylee Adams.
It was a great day out for Mrs Kellock; both of the horses she showed were awarded champion in their classes and Yabba Lodge Simba won supreme horse of the show.
Mrs Kellock has had a long association with equestrian events which started back in 1947, when the now 85-year-old left school in Catani, Gippsland to help on her father’s dairy farm with the horse and pony breeding and showing.
For many years she travelled the show circuit with her father, including show riding at the Dookie Show, and once she travelled as far as the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
They would travel by truck, with Mrs Kellock and her brothers and sisters in the back with the horses, snuggled up close to the cabin.
After she married Ron Kellock, who was sharefarming in Catani, the showing of horses continued.
In 1956, after their first child was born, Mr and Mrs Kellock purchased a farm and settled at Yabba Lodge, Dookie.
Mrs Kellock’s father Reg Gardiner continued showing horses all over Victoria, including at Dookie, and Mrs Kellock, although a busy mother, helped out whenever he came to the Dookie Show.
The Kellocks’ children first started riding at three or four years old, and for many years Mrs Kellock along with Jo-Ann, Chris, Geoff and Rhonda would present to the local shows in their best riding gear with immaculately presented ponies for the exciting competition of dressage riding in the show ring.
This of course included travelling in the back of the truck with the horses, even as far as Melbourne.
It wasn’t just horses and riders that needed to be prepared before a show day; Mrs Kellock made all the cakes, biscuits, sandwiches and anything else needed for a nourishing picnic at their destination.
Eventually the whole family was immersed in showing every weekend during the show season.
Mr Kellock was often ringmaster at Dookie, and as the years progressed he and Mrs Kellock were regularly asked to judge particular horse classes in the show ring.
Mrs Kellock has an enduring love for horses, and is a well noted judge of good conformation.
Over the years Mrs Kellock’s granddaughters have been taught to ride by her and they have also shown together.
On one occasion in 2007 Mrs Kellock, her daughter Jo-Ann and granddaughters Emma and Georgina all rode at the Dookie Show.
Mrs Kellock only gave up actively showing her horses and riding in the show ring when her husband died in 2012.