BOBBY Gregory is one of the Angus breed's big characters – always ready for laugh, and a bloody hard worker.
Bobby, like his father, Abbey, spent his entire working life with the Booroomooka stud at Bingara, NSW, where they worked for the Munro family under HR Munro (Hugh senior), HG Munro (Gordon), and Hugh Munro.
Bobby's grandfather, Abe, also worked at Keera, managing the sheep, but Abbey and Bobby were cattlemen.
“Abbey was a great shower of cattle,” Hugh Munro said.
“The judge always knew where he was in the ring and that talent was handed down to Bobby.”
Bobby's showing career began in 1938, when, at the age of three years and four months, he led a calf around the ring. That passion continued, and after Abbey's retirement in 1967, he took over as stud manager with his wife, Yvonne, who's been by his side on the property and the show circuit.
Bobby was born at Keera and started working on the property from a young age, following his dad around and getting involved in everything from shearing to breaking the station horses and racehorses.
“We were always flat out, seven days a week, but we were always working together, and getting the cattle ready for shows,” Yvonne said.
“Bob used to help me tie all the calves up and I’d handle them but I loved it. It’s something that I really miss but I just wish I was younger. We sit at the shows now and we’d love to be out there in the ring.
“Some people who go down to the show for two or three days, but we stay there for the whole fortnight because we watch the stock horses, the hacks, all the jumping. We have a nephew who shows alpacas and another nephew showing Angus cattle, so we’re there to watch them.”
Last year the Gregorys chalked up 80 years attending the Sydney Royal Easter Show, the pinnacle event for the beef breed.
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At the 2016 event he was honoured with the Royal Agricultural Society Show Legend Award and contribution award after winning grand champion parader 17 times at Sydney.
The Gregorys are best known for their work in the show ring but they also had plenty of talent as stockmen, and Bobby was quite the jockey in his day.
He trained racehorses for the family and jumped and campdrafted until he took on the stud manager's role.
Yvonne was a handy horsewoman, having met Bobby through her successful showing career.
“I started hacking at Sydney in the six and under nine riding class and kept showing up until a few years before we were married,” she said.
“I remember visiting Keera in 1958 when the Bingara show was on, so I had to turn one of his campdrafters into a hack when I got there.”
Over the years Bobby and Yvonne have helped many young people with showing, and after retiring, they worked with schools in the region.
“We loved showing. You’ve just got to be passionate about the cattle and devoted to them.”