Arthur HazlettBorn in 1938,at Coonamble in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Came from a family noted on both sides, for stockmanship and horse handling abilities. His father, Vic Hazlett, was a noted Rough Rider and rode some of the best horses of his era. A travelling buckjump show, owned by Thorpe Maconville, banned him from riding their horses. After Vic, had ridden three of their feature horses so successfully, that they had never bucked again. One was even sold to a dairy farmer, for a workhorse.In 1947,at the age of 8 years, Arthur went on his first major droving trip. To bring back a mob of 1000 bullocks, that his father had bought in Queensland. They had been brought down to Walgett in New South Wales by a drover and had to be walked 650 miles back to Swan Hill, Victoria, to be sold. At a sale put on specially for them by their agent.On the trip went Arthur, his younger brother Ron and older brother Wally. As well as their father and mother. With these drovers, went two good sheep dogs who were used on the cattle, a 1936 International Truck with a 28 foot tray. Which they slept in once the horses, used to work the cattle were unloaded. This was quite an achievement for three boys aged from 7 to 9 years and their parents to have made with such a mob of cattle.Arthur got his first dog at the age of 10 years. This was to be one of the brainest dogs he was ever to have owned.The next major droving job that Arthur went on with his two brothers was in 1956. His father had flown to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory and purchased 750 Shorthorn cows and calves. Arthur and his brothers went to the Alice, (as Alice Springs is commonly known) on the old Ghan Railway. Booking a full train of cattle carriages to bring the cattle back through the Northern Territory, into South Australia, to the New South Wales border. It took them 3 days of travelling to reach the border. The cattle having to be loaded and unloaded at Quorn S.A., for food and water.From the border of New South Wales and South Australia, the cattle were walked down the stock routes to Menindee. Stopping there as the Darling River which was in severe flood at that time. (The 1950’s were the highest recorded rainfalls and floods, Australia has seen in its history). The three brothers had to wait a few weeks before a train could cross over the Darling River, once the flood had subsided.Once again they were loaded on a train, crossed over the Darling River and unloaded the cattle at Darnick. Then the mob were walked down the stock routes to Swan Hill, Victoria – Where they were sold at a special sale put on for them.Vic Hazlett, in the years from 1944 onwards. Started buying sheep and cattle in large numbers. Out of areas such as Wilcannia, White Cliffs, and Western areas. He continued his dealings in stock right up until the l970’s. During a 6-week period in 1944,he bought 26,000 sheep. Most of these were trucked to the Swan Hill saleyards, where they were sold.In the period of these dealings, the Hazlett family had plenty of stock work to do. The majority of which was done by family members. Arthur did a lot of the droving trips on his own. Often taking mobs of 4 to 5000 sheep the 23 miles on the stock route. To the Swan Hill saleyards. These trips often taking 10 days, as the stock routes always had good feed on it . The local Stock Inspector was not pleased as he wanted the stock to be moved more quickly on the stock route . By moving the sheep slowly and letting them feed ,they put on condition on the way to the sale yards. To get to the yards entailed a crossing over the Murray River, at a bridge on the edge of Swan Hill.As Arthur often did these trips, with just his horse and dogs to help him. On many occasions he spent some time holding and shepherding sheep and cattle about on the stock route. Waiting for inspections by potential buyers or forthcoming sales. He developed a deep appreciation and a firm conviction on what effective working dogs should be like. Something which has remained unchanged throughout his life.At the age of 4 years, Arthur suffered an infection of Golden Staff, by falling on a rusty nail. This disease and other complications have continued to cause him ill health throughout his life. Which makes his achievement of establishing his own strain of working Kelpies, even more remarkable.Arthur’s father, Vic, was well known with his ability with dogs. So much so that people used to send spoilt dogs to him so that he could get them going again. His patience with these animals, was amazing. Many of the dogs he was given to the surprise of their owners. became handy workers. Arthur learnt much from him that he put to good use. ln the years after the War, coupled with the loss of many stations working dogs through the owners being away fighting and the severe Distemper epidemic that wiped out many populations of station dogs completely. It became nearly impossible to obtain suitable replacements, so after seeing a series in the “N.S.W. Countrylife”, the predecessor to “The Land”. The decision was made to purchase purebred dogs, not only for workers, but also as future breeders.An advert in the N.S.W. Country Life early in 1955, by Ab Martin and Tony Parsons caught their eye. These two with the help of a number of breeders and the advice of Frank Scanlon, had gathered together some of the best bred and working Kelpies then available. This convinced Arthur and his brother Ron to order a dog and a bitch. They cost them £25.00 each, plus freight. Ron and Arthur reckoned that they had got close to being paid wages when their father gave them the money to buy the two foundation Kelpies.
A Red Male and a Cream Female duly arrived. The male was a very good dog with wild Merino sheep and more than paid for himself by his working ability. Later a Cream bitch was purchased from the same source and turned out to be a top worker and outstanding brood bitch for the Riana Kelpie Stud,registered to Arthur Hazlett. This Cream ,bitch called Karrawarra Tammy II was a full sister to Karrawarra Zoe the mother of Scanlons Butch. Widely used as a sire by a number of breeders. Tammy is on the maternal line of all but one of our brood bitches and appears many times in our pedigrees.These foundation dogs, descendents of the dogs in the photo from the 1955 newspaper. Were of the highest quality working Kelpies of that era. Arthur has maintained his stud mainly within those original lines. No non- heading or hard eyed dogs have ever been kept or bred from. In fact he is one of the few breeders that only breeds from broken in and fully proven working parents, both sires and dams. He has maintained his dogs to a high standard through unchanging selection for natural ability, effective workers and a strict culling process of any animals that do not meet the grade. Arthur has always used a horse when mustering, so stamina and constitution were a big factor in what dogs and bitches made it to the breeding stage. A high quality worker should also be able to breed progeny in its own likeness So progeny evaluation begins as soon as the first progeny are old enough to be handled and later worked. This is how the Riana Stud has been able to line breed and maintain a distinct strain of working Kelpies.A Boolimba dog, belonging to G.0’Bree of Piangle Victoria, was used over our Scanlons Dell line bitches. The progeny included many good dogs and bitches, as well as the sire of Riana Kim.(owned by Frank Scanlon)Riana Kim, is probably our best known dog, given to Frank Scanlon as a pup. Frank rated him very highly,telling me he considered him one of the five best dogs he had owned. High praise indeed from one of the best Kelpie men Australia has ever had.Also a dog purchased from the Glenville stud of Bert Bromham had a big influence. Bred along similar lines, as our own, he left many top progeny, including Riana Cash, Riana Sage, Riana Buckle, Riana Tess, Riana Spider, etc. Riana Spider was the highest scoring Kelpie at the Queensland Championships in 1989 and tied with Riana Ace (by Riana Cash) in 1991.Frank Scanlons last dog in Glenville Swanee was used over a number of our bitches, leaving top quality progeny. A cream male Riana Don, by Swanee has turned out to be an exceptionally gifted worker and a top sire for us.Arthur has won both a three sheep trial and a yard trial. During 1995 he competed in 4 trials, during which he won a three sheep trial and placed consistently enough to win the Ken White Trophy for that year. This was a prize for the most points for a Novice Handler, awarded on placings during the year throughout Queensland.But Arthurs main aim has always been over the last 43 years has been to work and breed the highest quality working Kelpies , that you can make a living with in the livestock industry. Not with standing that his dogs have the class and style to hold their own on the trial arena as well as in every day working situations.Two quality dogs have been exported to Sweden for stud duties and competition. Riana Dan a cream male and Riana Metal, a blue and tan. They have had good sucess at trials and are breeding progeny their owners are very happy with. As the Riana dogs have been linebred for type, stamina and working ability over such a long period, prepotent breeders turn up more regularly than in dogs constantly outcrossed.At present the Riana stud is experiencing a strong inquiry from the U.S. We have orders for stud dogs for delivery later in the year, as breeders in that country come to realise that they need utility dogs,not just the modern yard dog type that has previously been sent there. A red and tan male,Riana Sarge has been sold to Dr Bill Davis of California, to found a stud along similar lines as the Riana Stud. Dr Davis travelled 16000 miles to come especially to us to select a sire.As the Riana stud has been breeding the utility type of Kelpie in the mold of the old Scanlon dogs,for such a long time. Sticking to a straight line based mainly on the descendents of Scanlons Dell. Then the Riana stud is the obvious place that U.S. breeders should look for future stud animals.Having sold a 38,600 acre property at Dirranbandi in Queensland in 1996. All the stud dogs he has over 2 years old ,were broken in and tried on that property. A very testing place with extreme heat,burrs and long distances between water. No place for the faint hearted or weak ineffective dogs.With so few studs having maintained their dogs along the old utility lines that made the Kelpie famous, the future looks bright for the valuable genetic resource that this stud can provide. More than ever stockmen will want to get back into these natural instinct workers with wide casting ability, a free eye and powerful movements that can complete a job in either paddock or yard. Very few dogs that are about today still have the early keeness, concentration and ability to shepherd their stock for long periods,without harming them. As the Riana Kelpies still have this ability today, they are unique .With over 43 years of breeding effective utility ,working Kelpies ,along his own lines. Arthur Hazlett, is one of the few breeders who can claim to have bred his own distinct strain of working Kelpies, in his own lifetime. Many breeders who started off with similar genetic material. Have not even been able to maintain their animals at the standard of working ability that they started with.One of the main reasons for the success of the Riana Stud, has been the firm policy of straight breeding. As well as the fact that no animal has been used in the breeding program, that has not proven itself as a worker . Too many dogs today are being bred from, with one or both parents never having been tested or proven as effective workers.With the use of only proven parents, the Riana stud can use progeny testing to its best advantage. Those prepotent sires and dams, then become our elite breeders. Providing us with progeny that will carry the high quality and working ability, into the next century.If you examine the photo supplied taken in 1955 of the dogs that founded the Ab Martin/Tony Parson studs. My early dogs were direct descendents of these. From the photo I have supplied of a group of some of my best dogs taken this week ,you will see that I have maintained them fairly closely to the old type. With a more distinct type and eveness to be seen in the Riana dogs,as they have all been bred by a single person in the one stud. Not a wide range of types and collected from a number of breeders and sources as in the 1955 photo.Today (2008) I have a basically closed stud of around 14 bitches and sires. Due to the near total loss of Heading dogs bloodlines in Australia, I have had to maintain the breed and select within the families within the Riana Stud to keep the heading Kelpie going. The Riana Kelpies are of better types today than those original foundation dogs. Breed more consistantly and give wide working, heading dogs that work as well as any of the best of the Kelpies of the past.