Meet Jonathon Schalcher, the saleyards runner
THEY call him the runner and the name fits.
Meet Jonathon Schalcher the bloke who criss-crosses the catworks of the Warwick saleyards running vital paperwork from the livestock agents and weigh bridge to the office and back again.
His job is not for the faint of heart or those with a fear of speed at heights.
On a regular Tuesday cattle sale he might do 60 fast trips across the metal walkways suspended more than 2m above the ground.
When cattle numbers peak, it he can be upwards of 100-plus runs in a role, which starts at 7.30am on sale day and finishes around midday when the last pens are sold. But he is not the sort to complain insisting he loves his job and his bird's eye view of livestock.
"I like to see what cattle are selling and who is selling them," Mr Schalcher said.
"I also like looking at the breeding."
He's been the Warwick saleyards runner for two decades.
"I took over the job from my brother in March 1992," he said.
"He did it from 1990 and 1991 and then I took over."
Mr Schalcher, or Jonny Shocker as some of the saleyards regulars affectionately refer to him, has been doing the running ever since.
Yet there is no doubting his fitness for the role or his commitment to the job.
"I live at Junabee where I have sheep and goats on country I lease," he said.
"So I ride my pushbike in for work every Tuesday. That's 20km.
"I start at the saleyards at 7.30am so that means I have to leave home at exactly 6.48am."
He's on the catwalk ready for the sale to start rain, hail or heat of summer.
Most people he said were friendly and considerate and made sure the narrow walkways were clear for his quick passes.
"I always start the sale fast, it keeps the agents happy," he smiled.
"Most agents are good to work for, even when we get pretty busy."
When he is not working at the saleyards, he has a job across the way at Wickham Freight Lines, which means he cycles to Warwick most week days.
"I love working. This is a good job even in winter 'cause you warm up fast."
Local sale goers describe the charismatic runner as an "icon" and a critical part of the local complex.
"Jonny knows just about everyone at the sale and, if he tells you something, it's right,"
Freestone landholder Bill Pentecost said.
"The yards just wouldn't run as efficiently as they do without him."
But while "the runner" has an exceptional work ethic and every week is busy, there is still a little something missing from his life.
As one wag teases good naturedly: "When are you going to find a nice girlfriend Jonny so we get some little Jonnies?"
This cheerful local has the grace to smile. Yes, he admits, a nice girl would make his life well near perfect.