GALLERY: Tobruk Sheep Station mustering ducks now too

TOBRUK Sheep Station will celebrate its 25th anniversary without its most stable mate — Candy the Palomino trick horse.

Candy was 33 and in retirement when she died late last year from cancer.

"A lot of people who've been here would have met Candy," Tobruk's managing director and co-partner Rod Cowdroy said.

But by happy coincidence, her name lives on through Candy the dog, new to the station from a family in Thornleigh.

"She was an active young kelpie who just wouldn't stay in the backyard," Mr Cowdroy laughed.

Candy not only moves the sheep, but keeps a watchful eye on their Indian runner ducks — part of the station's new duck mustering show, being launched on Tuesday, April 1.

Tobruk's program already includes billy tea and damper, sheep mustering, horses, working dogs, sheep shearing, whip cracking and boomerang throwing.

Tobruk was opened in September 1989 by Russell Moore of Orange — who still drops in to visit.

It remains a place where guests can experience a working example of rural and outback Australia.

The sheep station was bought by Mr Cowdroy and Nick Hermann seven years ago. Since then, visitor numbers have gone up from 6000 to 20,000 in 2013.

"It was mainly a Japanese market but with the GFC [global financial crisis] the market changed significantly; today our Asian base is about 60 per cent," Mr Cowdroy said.

"What we're trying to do is bring Tobruk back to the domestic market so we're bringing a new show with duck mustering, tractor rides and an outback barbecue."

Tobruk has 100 Merino sheep and still sells wool, but none are sent to abattoirs as they had in the past.

"Since changing our online presence four months ago, visitor numbers have been up 50 per cent each month," Mr Cowdroy said.

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