Gay Prichard

Gay Prichard was well-known in North-East Victoria as a breeder and exhibitor of coloured sheep. Gay ran a flock of coloured sheep on her property in the Tallangatta Valley. She was an avid spinner and knitter, producing a range of garments in natural colours. She and her husband Tom lived on the property “Grassmere” 22km down the Tallangatta Valley.

Over all the years she bred coloured sheep Gay was never one to miss out on a market, social gathering or agricultural show and travelled great distances to enjoy the company of her fellow breeders and craftspeople. Gay bred a wonderful line of silver grey Corriedale sheep. They produced long generous

fleeces and had calm temperaments. It was a sight to see the Prichard trailer arrive at an agricultural show and the show sheep all calmly unloading themselves and being guided into pens. At the end of the day these same sheep would wait for the gates of the pens to be opened and then they would load themselves, jumping into the trailer without halters.

There were many prize winners in the sheep section but Gay had equal interest in the poultry pavilion where she would also accumulate many prizes with the entries she brought along with the sheep. Tom had built a double row of boxes which sat in front of the sheep trailer to house the poultry. Her special love was soft-feather bantams and her pride was “Champion of Show” at Royal Melbourne Agricultural Show.

Gay was a wonderfully skilled country woman. She had grown up riding with hunts in the Yarra Valley and was a highly respected horse-woman. She was active in local community activities and a hard worker for the Tallangatta Valley School and the Country Women’s Association. Her baking was another skill which won her many show prizes. She made the best sponges – high, light and flavoursome. It must have been those lovely eggs she produced on the lush pastures in that high rainfall area of Victoria.