Competitive sheepdog trials have been conducted in Australia for approximately 150 years. During the events, one or two dogs move three to six sheep around a paddock, fences, gates, yards or enclosures according to a handler’s instructions. Separating sheep is particularly difficult for the dogs as herd animals naturally resist being split into groups. In Australia, sheepdogs are predominantly Kelpies and Border Collies, both exceptionally intelligent, agile, and obedient breeds, with great stamina for hard work.
Visua’s stamp design celebrates the 150th anniversary of the first Australian Sheepdog Trials, depicting three illustrated portraits of the most common breeds used in competition. The portraits convey the loving, playful ‘off-duty’ character of the dogs, while the lower section of the stamps feature the highly focused ‘on-duty’ in-competition character each dog demonstrates while at their handler’s command.
The individual stamp colours were inspired by Australia’s rural and outback farming landscapes; clear blue skies, lush green winter fields and dry summer sun-burnt paddocks. Visua also designed the postmark, a playful paw-print, as well as an extensive range of stamp products including first day covers, minisheets, booklets, postcards and stamp dispenser boxes.
Stamp images reproduced with permission of Australia Post. ©Australia Post.