The Noonbarra Stud has bred many Kelpies that have won sheepdog trials. We have also trained a number of dogs that are so versatile they have won Arena (3 sheep) trials, Utility Sheepdog Trials, Yard Dog Trials and farm type trials, including Championships. One of these dogs was our top sire, Noonbarra Gabe, another was Noonbarra Tina.

Many of our customers went on to win with their Noonbarra Kelpies too. The most famous would of course be Noonbarra Butch who was owned by Michael Johnston of the Milburn Kelpie Stud. This dog was the State Champion and then went on to win the Australian National Open Championship.

Another sensational Trial dog was Noonbarra Luke, owned by Bruce Boland of Nyngan in far western NSW.  He won most of the big championship Trials in the outback. Places such as Bourke, Collarenebri etc. Noonbarra Luke was used by quite a lot of Studs in their breeding programs.

Noonbarra Mack, Noonbarra Moss, Noonbarra Mate and Noonbarra Bindi have all gone out recently  and won sheepdog Trials and these dogs are owned by people completely inexperienced in trials. Angela, the owner of Noonbarra Bindi, lives in a normal suburban home and has no sheep and no past experience with livestock.

Noonbarra Smart II, Noonbarra Kate I, Noonbarra Shane, Noonbarra Judy, were all good sheepdog trial dogs.

Keep in mind that sheepdog trials are only a sport and don't always reflect the everyday work that is needed to be done on an Australian property. Although we have enjoyed participating in trials we have never considered them important from a breeding point of view and still prefer to breed dogs that are complete versatile all round dogs rather than just trial specialists.

Noonbarra Judy working wide on three flighty Merino sheep in NSW State Arena Championship

Worked by Mary Bilson

To Steve & Mary

Just writing to let you know how Mack is going. I am extremely happy with how he has turned out. I sent him back into timber country on his own to round up a mob of about 15 sheep which would of worked out to be about 2 kilometers away, after waiting a few minutes he turned up with the 15 sheep and 1 horse. He has a brilliant cast and shows no hesitation in backing in the yards or going underneath them. I will be testing him again in up comming trials although I have taken him when he was 9 months and received a score of 76.

From Craig Johnston

Noonbarra Tina was a very stylish Trial winner in the 1980's

Information on Kelpie history & the outstanding Kelpies of the past can be found in the new 2006 edition of our book



Famous Kelpies Book


Softcover 136 pages.




We think this book would be an enjoyable read for anyone with even a passing interest in the Kelpie. It would be a great guide for breeders and trainers with information that is impossible to get anywhere else!

The Rockybar Stud, owned by Les Tarrant, was one of the most famous in Australia for half a century and their influence can be seen in Kelpies all over the world today.

Les Tarrant started with Kelpies in the 1930's. He led a life of droving, mustering and working with horses and livestock. In 1950, he set up the Rockybar Kelpie Stud in the far north-western districts of NSW.

We look at some bush characters and old dog men such as the remarkable priest of Goondiwindi, Father McCormack, Stanley McMaster, Frank Scanlon, Stan Collins, and more. We look at the individual dogs in the old Rockybar lines and the more modern lines (after 1980). We have a huge section on Les Tarrant in his own words explaining how to breed Kelpies and the problems and pitfalls to avoid. There is a good chapter of the book dedicated to how to train Kelpies the Rockybar way. Another chapter is on yard work and yard trials.

There are plenty of photographs and some were very hard to obtain. Many (probably most) would never have been seen by the general public before.

Large A4 format. B/W photos throughout. 166 pages.


Latest 6th edition of this very popular manual designed for all Kelpie owners of every level from raw beginners through to experienced trainers. This practical manual deals with everything involved in owning and training a Kelpie to ensure he grows up to be a well mannered, obedient dog.

The book is not about training on livestock! It deals with general obedience training, socialising your Kelpie, feeding, crating, toilet training, preventing problem behaviour, dominance issues, car travel, bathing, digging holes, stealing food, walking on a lead, coming when called... and much more.

Over 100 pages.

Click here for more details

Noonbarra Working Kelpie Stud

Mary and Stephen Bilson.

539 Lookout Road, Mullion Creek via Orange 2800

Postal Address: P.O. Box 1374, Orange NSW 2800, Australia

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