Our beautiful iconic horses

We are fighting for them before the duds in parliament wipe them out

Brumbies Forever

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Photos courtesy of Ian and Michelle Brown. As we have all seen, the shot horses were (apart from possibly one) NOT headshot. This was put in the “too difficult “ box! – which of course it is!

So the horses were taken down with lung shots. These shots would not have entered the heart. According to the RSPCA –

“If the correct firearm and ammunition are used, a well-placed head shot (with the brain as the point of aim) will result in immediate unconsciousness. When there is adequate damage to the brain and the animal does not regain consciousness there will be no suffering.

In contrast, with chest shots (which cause damage to the heart and lungs), the time to unconsciousness can range from seconds up to a few minutes. When an animal is shot in the chest, the time to loss of consciousness and the time to death will depend on which tissues are damaged and, in particular, on the rate of blood loss and hence how long it takes for the brain to have insufficient oxygen. Loss of consciousness and death is likely to be quicker when animals have been shot in the heart. A phenomenon called ‘hydrostatic shock’, where a pressure wave from the bullet causes damage to internal organs, can contribute to ‘bringing down an animal’ quicker and causing a more rapid loss of consciousness in some instances when animals are shot in the chest. However, compared with head-shot animals, those that are chest shot have a higher risk of remaining conscious and suffering for a short period prior to death – though the extent of suffering will vary depending on which tissues are damaged and the rate of blood loss. During severe bleeding they are likely to feel a sense of breathlessness and potentially some anxiety and confusion before they lose consciousness.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for shooters to aim for the chest as it presents a larger target area compared to the head, thereby increasing the likelihood of shooting the animal, especially for LESS SKILLED SHOOTERS. To avoid suffering, shooters should be required to demonstrate competency in killing an animal instantly using a head shot.”https://kb.rspca.org.au/…/what-is-the-difference…/

Environment Minister breaks silence on brumby slaughter


Ray Hadley


Article image for Environment Minister breaks silence on brumby slaughter

The Environment Minister has broken his silence after an entire brumby herd was wiped out in Kosciuszko National Park.

An entire herd of 11 horses, including a number of heavily-pregnant mares, were left to slowly bleed to death after an on-foot shooting believed to have occurred last Sunday.

While it has been widely suspected NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) was behind the slaughter, the department has not openly admitted responsibility.

But a new statement from Environment Minister James Griffin has Ray Hadley confident the Department was behind the shooting. (Full statement below)

“This is just disgraceful,” Ray said.

“Finally an admission that the National Parks and Wildlife Service is responsible for the deaths of those 11 brumbies.”

Press PLAY below to hear Ray’s comments in full


Former Member for Monaro Peter Cochran told Ray Hadley no respect was shown to the animals.

“This was a professional ambush.

“I’m ashamed to be an Australian associated with people who would do it.”

Press PLAY below to hear what they had to say


Environment Minister’s Full Statement:

“Wild horse control is being carried out in line with the requirements of the Wild Horse Management Plan, which was approved in 2021.

“The Plan is the result of years of consultation with stakeholders that have a range of opinions, including wild horse supporters, environmentalists and animal welfare groups.

“The Plan provides for the number of horses in Kosciuszko National Park to be reduced over time to balance the protection of their heritage values, while maintaining the exceptional conservation values of the national park.

“In response to concerns raised by some members of the community, I have asked for an evaluation of the Plan’s implementation, with the assistance of RSPCA NSW.

“I will consider the findings of the evaluation once complete.”

The Waler is an Australian breed of riding horse developed from horses that were brought to the Australian colonies in the 19th century. The name comes from their breeding origins in New South Wales; they were originally known as “New South Walers”.

The Waler combined a variety of breeds; particularly the Thoroughbred, Arab, the Cape horse (from the Cape of Good Hope), Timor Pony and perhaps a little Clydesdale or Percheron. It was originally considered only a “type” of horse and not a distinct breed. However, as a landrace bred under the extreme climate and challenging working conditions of Australia, the Waler developed into a hardy horse with great endurance even when under extreme stress from lack of food and water. It was used as a stockman‘s horse and prized as a military remount.[1] Walers were also used by bushrangers, troopers and exploration expeditions that traversed inland Australia.[2]

The preferred Walers for cavalry duties were 15 to 16 hands high (60 to 64 inches (152 to 163 cm)). Those over 16 hands were rejected for use in the South Australian Bushmen Corps. Unbroken horses, as well as those with grey and broken (spotted) coat colours were also rejected. The selected horses had to be of a good type that could carry sixteen or seventeen stone (102 to 108 kg (224 to 238 lbs)) day after day.

The Walers carried the rider, saddle, saddle cloth, bridle, head collar, lead rope, a horseshoe case with one front and one hind shoe, nails, rations for the horse and rider, a bedroll, change of clothing, a rifle and about 90 rounds of .303 rifle ammunition.[2]

The gaits of the Waler were considered ideal for a cavalry mount; it could maintain a fast walk and could progress directly to a steady, level canter without resorting to a trot which was noisy, liable to dislodge gear and resulted in soreness in the horse’s back.[3] The cavalry horse required docility, courage, speed, and athletic ability, as it carried the rider into battle. The infantryman’s horse was used as a means of transport from one point to another, for example, from camp to a battle ground, where the horses were kept back from the fighting.[2] Heavier animals were selected and used for draught and packhorse duties.[3]

Most of the early Walers carried a fair percentage of Thoroughbred blood, with some recorded as race winners and a few being registered in the Australian Stud Book. While in warfare service in North Africa, some Walers proved successful in races against local Egyptian horses and assorted Thoroughbreds. In 1919 horses from the ANZAC Mounted Division won five of the six events at Heliopolis, near Cairo.[3]

A memorial statue to the Waler Light Horse was erected at Tamworth, New South Wales as a tribute to the men of the ANZAC Corps who served in the Boer, Sudan and First World Wars. This memorial was constructed at a cost of $150,000, funded by grants from Federal and State Governments, the Tamworth Regional Council, Joblink Plus and donations from business houses, property owners, RSL Members and the community. It was designed and created by sculptor Tanya Bartlett from Newcastle, New South Wales. The military equipment is identical to that used in the First World War. Forty-seven light horse re-enactment riders and the 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers took part in the unveiling by Major General William B. “Digger” James AC MBE MC (Retd) on 29 October 2005.[4]

Australian horses were sent overseas from the 1830s; between the 1840s and 1940s, there was a steady trade in Walers to the British Indian Army.[5]

In Australia’s two wars of the early 20th century—the Second Boer War and World War I—the Waler was the backbone of the Australian Light Horse mounted forces. It was especially suited to working in the harsh climate of the Sinai Peninsula and Palestine, where it proved superior to the camel as a means of transporting large bodies of troops.

During the Boer War, Australia dispatched 16,314 horses overseas for use by the Australian Infantry Forces.

World War I

In the First World War, 121,324 Walers were sent overseas to the allied armies in Africa, Europe, India and Palestine.[6] Of these, 39,348 served with the First Australian Imperial Force, mainly in the Middle East, while 81,976 were sent to India.[3] Due to the costs said to be incurred for “returning horses home” with their mounts and perhaps to a lesser extent, quarantine restrictions, only one Waler is known to have been returned to Australia; “Sandy”, the mount of Major-General W.T. Bridges, an officer who died at Gallipoli in May 1915.[3]

The English cavalry officer, Lt Col RMP Preston DSO, summed up the Australian Light Horses’ performance in his book, The Desert Mounted Corps:[7]

“… (November 16th, 1917) The operations had now continued for 17 days practically without cessation, and a rest was absolutely necessary especially for the horses. Cavalry Division had covered nearly 170 miles…and their horses had been watered on an average of once in every 36 hours…. The heat, too, had been intense and the short rations, 9½ lb of grain per day without bulk food, had weakened them greatly. Indeed, the hardship endured by some horses was almost incredible. One of the batteries of the Australian Mounted Division had only been able to water its horses three times in the last nine days – the actual intervals being 68, 72 and 76 hours respectively. Yet this battery on its arrival had lost only eight horses from exhaustion, not counting those killed in action or evacuated wounded.
… The majority of horses in the Corps were Walers and there is no doubt that these hardy Australian horses make the finest cavalry mounts in the world…. They (the Australians) have got types of compact, well-built, saddle and harness horses that no other part of the world can show. Rather on the light side according to our ideas, but hard as nails and with beautiful clean legs and feet. Their records in this war place them far above the Cavalry horse of any other nation. The Australians themselves can never understand our partiality for the half-bred weight-carrying hunter, which looks to them like a cart horse. Their contention has always been that good blood will carry more weight than big bone, and the experience of this war has converted the writer, for one, entirely to their point of view. It must be remembered that the Australian countrymen are bigger, heavier men than their English brothers. They formed just half the Corps and it probable that they averaged not far off 12 stone each stripped. To this weight must be added another 9-1/2 stone for saddle, ammunition, sword, rifle, clothes and accoutrements, so that each horse carried a weight of 21 stone, all day for every day for 17 days, – on less than half the normal ration of forage and with only one drink in every 36 hours!
The weight-carrying English Hunter had to be nursed back to fitness after these operations and for a long period, while the little Australian horses without any special care, other than good food and plenty of water were soon fit to go through another campaign as arduous as the last one!….”

One well-known Waler was Major Michael Shanahan’s mount, “Bill the Bastard”, who bucked when asked to gallop. Yet, during World War I, when the major found four Australians outflanked by the Turks, “Bill the Bastard” carried all five men – three on his back and one on each stirrup – .75 miles (1.21 km) through soft sand at a lumbering gallop, without first bucking.[3]

Not to return to Australia

The Horses Stay Behind (Poem),
“Trooper Bluegum” (1919).[8] “Owing to the cost and difficulties of transportation, the military authorities had decided to kill all Light Horse horses over 12 years and dispose of the remainder locally – that would be in Egypt, Palestine, Mesopotamia, or wherever a Light Horse unit happened to be stationed.” — The World’s News, 1 February 1919.

At the end of the war, 11,000 surplus horses in the Middle East were sold to the British Army as remounts for Egypt and India. Others, categorised as being unfit, were destroyed.[9] Also, some light horsemen chose to destroy their horses rather than part with them, but this was an exception, despite the popular myth that portrays it as the fate of all the war horses. Parting with their Walers was one of the hardest events the light horsemen had to endure.[10][11]

A poem by Major Oliver Hogue, 14th Australian Light Horse Regiment (“Trooper Bluegum”) sums up the men’s sentiment: I don’t think I could stand the thought of my old fancy hack   Just crawling round old Cairo with a ‘Gyppo on his back.Perhaps some English tourist out in Palestine may find   My broken-hearted Waler with a wooden plough behind.No: I think I’d better shoot him and tell a little lie:–   “He floundered in a wombat hole and then lay down to die.”May be I’ll get court-martialled; but I’m damned if I’m inclined   To go back to Australia and leave my horse behind. From Australia in Palestine, 1919

World War II

During World War II, 360 Australian Walers were assigned to the Texas National Guard 112th Cavalry in New Caledonia. The horses were eventually deemed unfit for jungle warfare.[12] They were sent to India where they served with the Chinese Army before being assigned to the unit known as Merrill’s Marauders.[13]

Reestablisment of the breed

In the 1980s efforts began to reestablish the breed using feral Walers descended from horses that had been set loose in rural regions after the commercial trade ceased. The Waler horse now has two breed associations interested in preserving it, the Waler Horse Owners and Breeders Association Australia Inc. (WHOBAA) and the Waler Horse Society of Australia Inc (WHSA). Only horses and their progeny derived from the old bloodlines, with no imported genetics since 1945, can be registered as Walers with the WHOBAA.[16][17]

Today’s Waler is a functional Australian horse, bred from bloodlines that came to Australia before 1945, that is free of imported genetics since that time.[18]

Australian Stock Horse

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This article is about the Australian breed of horse. For other uses, see Stock horse.

The Australian Stock Horse (or Stockhorse), has been especially bred for Australian conditions. It is a hardy breed of horse noted for endurance, agility, and good temperament. Its ancestry dates to the arrival of the first horses in Australia, brought from Europe, Africa, and Asia. It is used today in a wide variety of disciplines, and is still valued as a working horse by stockmen and stockwomen throughout Australia.


The roots of the Australian Stock Horse date back to the earliest importation of nine horses to Australia, with the arrival of the First Fleet in Botany Bay in January, 1788.[1] Some of the original horse breeds in these early imports included the Thoroughbred, Cape of Good Hope Horse (largely descended from the Barb and Spanish horse), Arabian, Timor Pony, and Welsh Mountain pony.[2]

Horses in Australia were bred for their stamina and strength, with weaker animals culled and only the strongest allowed to breed. In the 1830s, additional Thoroughbreds were imported into Australia to improve the local strains, and the mid-20th century had infusions from the American Quarter Horse.

The Australian Stock Horse and the Waler horse come from similar roots, though today they are separate breeds. The “station horse” that was an ancestor of both breeds was used by the Australian Army in the First World War and was renowned for its toughness and endurance.[3]

However, the modern Australian Stock Horse differs from the Waler Horse in that it is not as big. The horses shipped abroad to fight in war and kept at home to be bred on as Walers were the larger animals, as they were required to carry a rider with the considerable extra weight of weapons and a full pack. Some of the heaviest animals were also required pull water carts and carriages. However, the characteristics of toughness and endurance remain with the Australian Stock Horse of today.

Formal recognition of Australian Stock Horses as a distinct breed began in June 1971, when over 100 campdrafters and horse breeders met in Tamworth, New South Wales, to form the Australian Stock Horse Society. Many of these people bred stock horses using bloodlines tracing back to native stock, along with some Arabians, Thoroughbreds, and a few ponies of outstanding merit. Most of the early ASH registrations were of horses bred with bloodlines that excelled at both campdrafting and cattle work in the rugged Great Dividing Range.

Initially, horses were inspected for registration by three classifiers, who assessed them for conformation, breeding, and athletic ability. The best were accepted for inclusion in the Stud Book, some were approved for the registry appendix, and those not meeting the criteria for registration were rejected.

Fourteen specific foundation sires are responsible for most of the bloodlines accepted into the Society Australia-wide, and most well-bred Australian Stock Horses trace to one of these foundation sires. These included horses bred from colonial stock: Saladin, Cecil and his son Radium, Medlow, and Bobbie Bruce. The others were Thoroughbreds; Rivoli, Commandant, Panzer, Midstream, Young Valais, Gibbergunyah, Bushfire, Silvius, and Deo Juvante also exerted considerable influence.[2] Since then Rivoli Ray, Abbey, Blue Moon Mystic, Eliotts Creek Cadet, Warrenbri Romeo, and some American Quarter Horses have also had a large influence on the breed.

The use of Quarter Horse bloodlines is somewhat controversial, with some breeders preferring to stay with older lines. Those who wish to bring in outside blood are required to pay very high fees to the society, thus providing an incentive for breeders to only bring in worthwhile horses.[2]


An Australian Stock Horse

The Australian Stock Horse is bred for intelligence, courage, toughness, and stamina. The horse will be sound, agile and quick moving with a sure-footed walk. It will have a calm, responsive temperament. All colours are acceptable. Height ranges from 14 to 16.2 hands (56 to 66 inches, 142 to 168 cm).

The ideal Australian Stock Horse is well proportioned in all respects according to its size. Desired traits include a finely cut, expressive head with large eyes and a broad forehead. The neck is long and arched, with the head well set on. The withers should be well defined. Overall conformation is well-muscled, but not bulky, with correct conformation that includes a deep chest, well-sprung ribs, a strong and broad back, and powerful hindquarters. The hooves are hard and well-conformed.

Breed today

An Australian Stock Horse competing in eventing

Around 190,000 Australian Stock Horses are registered or foals recorded with the Australian Stock Horse Society.[3] The Stock Horse is used in many competitive disciplines, including polo, polocrosse, dressage, campdrafting, show jumping, eventing, and endurance riding. It is also used for stockman challenges, Pony Club activities, general hacking, and stock work on cattle stations.

While horses are now often being replaced in the flatter Outback and Top End by motorcycles and helicopters, they are still necessary today for mustering (roundups) in rugged mountain terrain.

Public performances

A tribute to the Australian Stock Horse was held during the 2000 Sydney Olympics Opening Ceremony when an Australian Stock Horse reared and then another 120 Stock Horses were ridden into the stadium and performed intricate manoeuvres to the music of the specially written Olympics version of the main theme of the film The Man from Snowy River by Australian composer Bruce Rowland.[citation needed] The Australian Stock Horse Crown Law has represented Australia in World Championship and Olympic dressage competition.[citation needed]

As of March 2008, the Australian Outback Spectacular used 42 Australian Stock Horses in its show on the Gold Coast, Queensland, 31 of which were used in a show on a rotational basis.[4]

Australian Brumby Photography By Carol Hancock

rosneoSdtp20em 61 r8Pmcmi1S550t 9lmbecta06 4u5062i9:Mp16mel1  ·

It just causes me incredible grief to write this and most of you are probably well aware of the deliberate shooting of 11 horses on the Kiandra plains. There are many posts out there now, I just didn’t want to post until I went and visited the site myself. After doing so I have also made the decision not to make any of my photos public, there are plenty out there for you to view but what I want you all to do is to get angry and take action!

It is absolutely sickening how these horses where shot under the guise of being within the parameters of the management plan. No trapping in the area has been recently attempted, there is ample old trapping sites that could have easily been reused so absolutely no excuse by Parks to claim “Last resort”.

The Kiandra area itself housed 15,000 people in its hey day, served by 25 stores, 13 bakers, 16 butchers, 14 pubs, several banks and four blacksmiths, has been mined, sluiced, tuned upside down and back up again and now currently the home to some major construction, most certainly isnt a pristine plain and never could be.

It is also worth noting that the shooting has also taken place in a retention area within the management plan so please how you chose to advocate for the Brumby is completely up to you but again I beg of you all, just do something……………. anything! No matter how we look at it, shooting an equine, allowing them to bleed out, allowing mares to spontaneously abort is just downright cruel!

If you dont know how to take action, there are many groups you can join such as Bugspray, who is working hard with the radio media to get this senseless killing out there and on one hell of a mission to seek clear and honest answers on to why this has happened.

Lastly, I am very grateful for everyones support, the emails, messages and texts that you all have sent, that in itself has been overwhelming and means the world to me. We just now need to support those that can get answers and that have the power to stop this from ever happening again, it should never have had happened in the first place!

Maree Sura

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©Maree Sura

My heart lies like a heavy stone within my breast

I’m sure, I already know the answer to my quest.

Still … I will come to the empty Plains of Kosciuszko

I will trek all the trails that I know

In the hope that I may see you

Or any other Brumbies that I knew.

I promise to come

But I can’t promise not to cry

I feel that you are here

But just beyond my sight.

I promise this Summer

I will build you a CAIRN.

And add a stone every time I walk by

I will make the base of the Cairn wide

So; whoever walks past

May also add their own stone.

In memory of you and your mob

And for the many Brumbies who have died.

Then around the base, I will sprinkle

White and yellow daisy seeds

In memory of you all.

Photo credit: Michelle J Photography

Pic is of Daps and his mob who are not with us anymore
Snowy Brumby Photography Adventures with Michelle and Ian

Sdsnooetrphih5cf00 01A46240h2,3p1igigr2tm18lh2g1lc500a826u 3  ·

Hi all

This is my story of Little Annie.

I know a few people met Little Annie as she was always in the same area which was almost rd side down near the Long Plain rd entrance.

Let me just mention that last early April 2019 a mare was hit and killed by a logging truck near the Long Plain rd entrance.I have photos of the incident but would never share them as it was just horrific 😞

A few weeks passed and the cold really set in.There was a heavy frost almost every morning up the mountain,that time of year ❄️

One morning(mid April of 2019) en-route to Tantangara we saw a chestnut yearling all by herself just wandering around near the entrance to Long Plain.We stopped asked her where her mum was ,took a few pictures of her and continued on.It was little Annie she was eventually named by a supporter of this page.

The second time we saw Little Annie (wouldn’t have been a week later)she was still in the same area and was with another two brumbies just soaking up the sun ,”oh good” we thought ,she has a mob but it wasn’t to be.

Over the next 7-8 months we would see Little Annie,always in the same area and always alone.A few times Little Annie would be flanking the Rules Point mob (a mob of brumbies that have lived in the area for years)but she was never accepted into the mob or any mob at that.

Winter set in and we had concerns for her as we all know it gets very cold up the mountain and with the snow cover it would be harder for her to find food.

We watched Little Annie over the winter and she did very well considering she was still young and alone,we were quite amazed at how she came out the other side of winter,she wasn’t doing too bad at all.

Spring set in and Little Annies health deteriorated.She became lethargic and was losing weight slowly.Without going into detail,we helped her the best we could…

I would visit and sit with her for hrs sometimes and give her a few little goodies(pics in post)

Little Annie’s condition deteriorated even more so I rang National Parks with my concerns.I explained to them Little Annies story and how she needed some love and attention.I asked if I could please go up and get Little Annie and take her home ,look after her.I had made arrangements at home prior to talking to National Parks as I thought she would be coming home with me.

National Parks advised that a ranger will first go out and access her condition and then make a decision on the matter.

I never heard back from National Parks and I never saw Little Annie again.

We would head up to her area and hike around looking for her everywhere,she was gone.Im not saying that National Parks shot her but that’s all I can think of what had happened as she was suddenly no longer 😞

We think that the mare that was hit by the logging truck in early April of 2019 may have been Little Annies Mum and that’s why Little Annie was always in the area,waiting for mum to come back 😢

Poor little Annie.She was a lovely little girl with a sad story.

Little Annie is now in horsey heaven with her mum 🌈⛅️

I’ve included a video in the comments of the second time we saw Little Annie 😊

These are some of the pictures I took on my last trip to kiandra. I sat there taking pics just watching these beauties grazing surrounded by their mobs, babies and the beauty of the snowys. Brumbies have always held a special place in my heart and I was devastated to learn of the cruel shooting last weekend.

Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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