The Australian Brumby project Blog 2
I’d like to introduce you to some Heritage horses from Guy Fawkes Heritage Horse Association.
Whilst there is a great debate on whether wild horses should remain wild or domesticated, this project is not about that.
When I saw the on-ground culling plans from our government I could not sit back and do nothing – these horses deserve a better way to be managed.
The Australian Brumby Project was initiated for me to give back to the Horse; for me to personally thank those horses that have changed my life and taught me invaluable life lessons. With this in mind, one of the best ways I know how to contribute is through my passion for Equine photography, to show you what I see every day when I look through my lens.
Grace Beauty Majestic Worthy
The Guy Fawkes Heritage Horse Association is dedicated to preserving the heritage value and characteristics of the horses found in the Guy Fawkes River National Park in NSW.
After the government aerial cull in 2000, the Association was formed in 2004 & worked alongside National Parks & Wildlife Service NSW to manage the number of horses in the area in a more humane way.
There was a trial of passive trapping, where the Association leased 300 acres to hold and assess the horses for suitability of rehoming. This system is still in place today and other culling methods for the area have ceased.
Over the years there has been government debate over culling ALL horses within this area, and that lead some members of the Association to bred these horses with the intention to maintain the Heritage horse.
In this blog, you will meet both purpose-bred Heritage horses along with some Horses caught from the wild.
“It is with the hope that the government makes passive trapping a regular priority, not just a priority as numbers increase. This workable plan is an ongoing viable option to the management of horses” says Erica of the Guy Fawkes Heritage Horse Association.
Having known Kathy of Manobier Park Heritage Horses for many years now, I remember when Kathy first spoke about purchasing her horses. I have followed their journey and watched her successfully train and educate her horses to competition level. I finally got to meet Kathy’s horses at Equitana in Melbourne in 2016 in the breed village and marveled at how happy they were, a credit to her hard work.
When I started this Brumby project, I knew where to start because Kathy is a perfect example of successful rehoming.
All three of Kathy’s horses, Southern Cross Spellbound, Southern Cross Pheonix, and Guy Fawkes Pandora are all multi-champions in the show ring and have also successfully competed in trail.
Recently, on a late Winter’s evening, I was lucky enough to meet the team again.
Joining our session with horses was Natasha and her daughter Rhubie, Dianne, and Bridget with her Bogong High Plains Brumby Dorothy.
Poet was put into retirement due to injury however, whilst Natasha studied Equine Myotherapy she worked on him as a case study and rehabilitated him back to a riding horse. He was used as a lead horse when training Jahi under saddle. He is now Natasha’s main riding horse whilst her daughter Rhubie rides Jahi. She believes cross-training is very important in a young horse’s education and has found the Guy Fawkes horses as amazingly versatile mounts, and addictive as she now owns three!
“Jahi has done very well in the show ring as a youngster and really enjoys his bush trail rides with Poet” says Natasha.
“Over the last 6 years, we have rehabilitated an area of our property by developing a 3 pond wetlands with extensive native planting. This project has attracted and enhanced wildlife especially the bird and frog populations. I undertook this project as I am a wildlife carer and wanted to develop some pre-release acreage. We are in a bushfire pron area and thus having tall grass is a fire danger. I let my horses graze the area out to keep the fire load down. The horses do not cause any damage to this area. I have had cattle get into the area and damage the fragile area around the ponds. Thus my personal experience leads me to believe that our brumbies are being blamed for damage done by cloved hooved animals such as pigs and deer as well as human damage such as 4WDs” say’s Kathy.
Above: Dianne is leading Southerncross Spellbound who is purpose-bred from Heritage bloodlines.
Guy Fawkes Pandora (pictured above) is a Brumby trapped and rehomed through the Guy Fawkes Heritage Horse Association.
Southern Cross Pheonix is a purpose-bred Heritage Horse with the most incredible movement and Kathy aims to campaign her in the near future in Equestrian Victoria Pony dressage.