For Jaye Hill being a wife, a mum to two kids and managing the family’s horses and stud cattle is only the start to her busy life. If she isn’t traveling to camp drafts and keeping up with the bookwork for 2 places you will find Jaye sculpting bronzes for a growing demand of customers.
Born in Cloncurry and raised on a station in NW Queensland with her two brothers Kelly and Darcy agriculture has always been a major part of Jaye’s life. After primary school by Distance Education and boarding school in Townsville, Jaye completed two years at Longreach Pastoral College graduating with honours and as the first female Dux of the College.
From there, she travelled to “Bunda”, a station which consists of half a million acres in the Northern Territory. It was here that Jaye worked for the Underwoods breaking in and showing their stud cattle, riding young horses and working in the stock camp.
After some more adventure Jaye then set off to America for 6 months working on Brahman studs and with cutting and reining horse trainers. Then a 6-month stint in NZ riding and grooming polo ponies was next before she spent a month with master sculptor, Eddie Hackmann to learn the art of bronze sculpting.
The Jaye Daley Hall Bush Bronzes has now gone from a little sideline to a business that to a business Jaye is flat out keeping up with!
In between all these different jobs, Jaye did periodically spend time back at home “My heart has always been with the station life….it is in my veins, it is in my blood. “
After all her travels Jaye returned home to Caiwarra and helped her parents out as well as doing work for neighbouring properties for some extra money.
In September 2003, after Jaye had taken the reins of both her parents Caiwarra and Dingading property for four months so they could nurse her brother Darcy back to health in Adelaide after a horrific head injury, she married her now husband Ben in Longreach. Fast-forward to February 2006, accompanied by a large debt for a young couple and their 3-month-old daughter Madison Gayle, they were fortunate enough to move onto our own station, Bibil, 200kms north of Longreach.
Their young family was then completed in September 2007 with the arrival of Wyatt Daley Hall. Family time is something Jaye said can be a challenge as they continue to get ahead as Ben works away for most of the year contract mustering, taking campdraft schools and truck driving. Jaye says “the kids and I stay home to look after the place…the cattle, horses, bookwork and the menagerie of other station jobs that needs attending”. Great work Jaye sounds like Ben married the perfect woman.
Since both kids have started school, they decided to employ a governess to teach them through LSODE. Jaye figure’s both the property and the schooling are high priority, however, she can only do one at a time so believes its someone else teaches the kids! Jaye says they have been very lucky to have had current governess Jess for going on 3 years now. Not only is she the governess but she has also become Jaye’s good friend and right-hand woman.
“We attend numerous camp drafts throughout the year where we meet up with Ben. We pack up school, anything up to 20 horses, a few dogs and sometimes a goat or a chook or whatever pets the kids have at the time and head off in the truck and trailers”. There have had a few mishaps in the truck at different times with blown steer tyres or lights not working but to date the capable Jaye has always managed to get their destination ...sometimes anywhere up to 1000kms away.
When the camp drafting session is done Jaye love’s being at home, “I love station life, the cattle and the horses”. The couple farm both commercial and red and grey stud brahman cattle. The stud has been an interest Jaye started before marrying Ben and something she has kept going with Jess & the kids. She sell’s brahman bulls sometimes through sales but predominately in the paddock from home and the emphasis on their cattle is on Quality, fertility and temperament.
In the wake of a 6-year drought, Jaye & Ben have now doubled the workload and purchased her childhood home Caiwarra, from her parents. It is 550kms between Bibil and Caiwarra and there are another 500 head of stud cows on there. It keeps school holidays exciting with the days spent with Jess & the kids at Caiwarra mustering, branding, weaning and selling paddock bulls. It’s fair to say that Jaye now has a well-worn road between the two properties!
And if she wasn’t busy enough with the cattle Jaye also helps manage a broodmare band of about 18 mares. These take some managing in themselves with breeding and caring for the mares and stallions and handling the foals. The horses in general are a pretty continuous project for Jaye at Bibil. “They are a big part of our business though and we sell numerous horses throughout the year from handled weaner foals through to going camp horses”.
At this early stage it remains unseen whether Jaye’s kids will carry on their mother legacy and commitment to hard work. But it’s what she loves and wants to be doing for the reminder of her life. Has Jaye said “life is too short to be somewhere you don’t want to be”. What an amazing Agwoman you are Jaye and what a life you have set up for yourself and kids.