2014, People, Stories and Articles

Casey Liston – Head Stockman – Innamincka Station, SA

“A lot quieter with the horses!”

Visiting with the Innamincka stock camp at the Kudramitchie trucking yards, Lyle and Helen noticed the keen enthusiasm for the use of horses for mustering. It was good to talk with Casey Liston, the trailblazer for the revival of horse work at Innamincka and a source of encouragement to the group.

2013 was Casey’s second year at Innamincka; promoted from the position of Leading Hand in 2012 to Headstockman in 2013. She enjoys working with horses, convinced that the combination of motor bikes and horses at Innamincka is a good one. She states “The cattle are a lot quieter with the horses”.

Casey and Innamincka’s manager Graham Morton have a seemingly argumentative yet robust and positive working relationship and Casey affirms that Graham is “very happy about getting some more horses broken in and maybe getting a good stallion for breeding.” As a result, in 2013 about eleven working horses were broken in and used for tailing out and walking cattle away from the yards.

In her role as head stockman, Casey refers to the team of young men and women in the stock camp as “these fellas”. “These fellas have come out from the city,” she explains. “Some have never ridden a bike or a horse. I thought it’d be a bit hectic with all these green fellas, but it’s turned out really good. They’ve built up their confidence…three of them have deferred their uni courses for a year and they’re already talking about staying an extra year…they love it out here.”

They gathered for an early morning photo out at camp. We’d travelled some unfamiliar territory to get to the Kudramitchie trucking yards the night before, arriving a bit later than planned. Casey’s response was reassuring. “Its good that you come around … really good. I reckon we buy a lot of stuff that we wouldn’t ring up to order. I’ve been telling these fellas … “just wait til Lyle comes.”

P.S! After all of those fellas had gone for the day, it was time for Lyle and Helen to depart for the next station. We set out along the track we’d come in on, or er, so we thought. Wrong track! Not wanting to become sand bogged, reversing was the only option and about half and hour later, we set off again … this time in the right direction.

Ah, memories are made of (mis)adventures such as these! Kudramitchie trucking yards … we will remember you!

Image caption:

1) The Innamincka workers and manager, Graham Morton, armed with Kent Saddlery gear and preparing for the day’s muster. L-R: Joe Spur, Kevin Jenkinson (chopper pilot), Andrew Reardon, Jethro Rees, Graham Morton, Dean Hurley, Casey Liston (headstockman), Mark Eacott, Maidie Dawson