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Open Discussions Thread, Australian Brumby in General Discussion; God, this entire debate stems from romance and mythology. "We sent all our horses to war then shot them all, ...
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Old 25-09-2010, 08:38 AM   #31
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God, this entire debate stems from romance and mythology.

"We sent all our horses to war then shot them all, now we have a duty to save the ones that are now roaming wild and free."

Well read what actually happened to them all

Wartime 44 - Fromelles (pages 54 - 56)
They shot the horses ? didn?t they?

George Lambert, A favourite charger with groom, ANZAC Mounted Division (1919, oil on canvas on wood panel, 35.6 x 46.2 cm).
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.?
Maybe I?ll get court martialled; but I?m damned if I?m inclined
To go back to Australia and leave my horse behind.

With these words one of the AIF?s best-known soldier-poets, Major Oliver Hogue (?Trooper Bluegum?), expressed what may have been a common sentiment in Palestine in 1919: that it would be better to see the mounts of the light horse shot rather than sold to the local population. Hogue may or may not have been the starting point, but since then there has persisted a common belief that light horsemen shot their horses in significant numbers so they would be spared a hard and cruel postwar existence. This belief is mistaken.

Australia sent more than 120,000 horses overseas. Of these, 82,000 went to India (although different figures are sometimes offered). Another 10,000 went to France with the infantry in 1916. The rest, 29,348 horses, were shipped to the Middle East to ?horse? the AIF or other parts of Britain?s imperial armies between 1914 and late 1916. At the end of the war the Australians in Egypt, Palestine and Syria had 9,751 horses of all types and their fate quickly became an important consideration in the AIF?s demobilisation. Returning the horses to Australia was quickly ruled out, partly because of the disease threat they posed to Australia?s livestock industry. More fundamentally, returning them would cost more than the horses were worth. What, then, should the AIF do with them?

Wallace Anderson, Louis McCubbin, Romani (1931, diorama, 600 x 863 x 500 cm).
In France, Belgium and Britain, it was quickly decided to sell the horses to locals. The sales would recoup some money for the AIF and would assist with postwar reconstruction. Sales proceeded throughout 1919 ? but only after assurances had been attained that French and Belgian butchers would not take the horses for their meat.

Similar sales seemed a less likely option in Egypt, where camels and donkeys were more desirable work animals, and also because, as Lieutenant General Harry Chauvel informed AIF Headquarters, there was strong opposition to the horses being sold to those of an ?Eastern nationality? because Middle Eastern standards of animal treatment affronted Australian sensibilities.

In early 1919 the Australian government decided that its animals in the Middle East would be classified according to age and fitness, with the better mounts being either passed to imperial units, pooled in remount depots for later reissue or, failing that, sold. The older and unfit horses would be destroyed. Thus in February 1919 veterinary officers began examining horses: all riding horses over 12 years old, all draught horses over 15 years old, all unsound horses and those requiring more than two months? treatment were marked for destruction.

After their manes and tails were shorn (horse hair was valuable) and their shoes removed, these horses were taken to selected spots near their camps where working parties under the command of a veterinary officer shot them with pistols. They were gutted and the skins salted (these were valuable too).

A veterinary officer examining horses of the 15th Light Horse Regiment, AIF.
In all, 3,059 of the AIF?s horses were destroyed in this way by members of Australian or British military forces.

The fit and younger animals of the Australian Mounted Division were passed directly to the Indian 4th and 5th Cavalry Divisions, which were busy with postwar occupation duties in Syria. The surviving horses of the Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division were pooled at the imperial remount depot at Moascar in Egypt. This division?s riding horses, after a brief reissue to the AIF during the Egyptian Rebellion, which broke out between March and April 1919, were ultimately given to imperial units. There was no use for the medium and heavy draught horses locally, however, and these were shipped to France, where ready buyers were waiting.

Behind this plain bureaucratic process was a rather more heartfelt experience and there is no doubt that many light horsemen felt aggrieved that the horses would not be returned to Australia. There was much sadness and a sense of injustice, which some men no doubt carried for many years. For example, one regimental history written after the war refused to recount the event in detail because of the memories it evoked.

The military authorities were worried that men might be inclined to have their horse falsely classified and destroyed, but attentive veterinary officers made sure this did not occur. The meticulousness with which the whole program was managed ? financial adjustments between the British and Australian governments were at stake ? meant the chances of something untoward happening were slim. Indeed, the very complete surviving horse inventories from 1919 make it clear that units kept a very close eye on their horses.

Two Australian Light Horsemen take a horse into the surf, not far from their camp at Romani, Egypt, September 1916.
So how did the idea that so many light horsemen secretly shot their horses come about? There is no clear answer, although a misunderstanding of the official process, probably tied up with hazy memories and careless telling of the real story, seems the most likely explanation. In 1946 one of the AIF?s other literary figures, Ion Idriess ? never one to duck an opportunity for literary licence ? wrote that many light horsemen shot their ?faithful friends? rather than see then go to the ?fellaheen and the Arab?. But he had been sent home in 1918, so he certainly had no firsthand experience of these events. Family lore has no doubt played its part and claims in the Duchess of Hamilton?s First to Damascus (2002) about her father taking his horse away from camp, tying a handkerchief around its eyes and shooting it seem to fit into this category. One light horseman, J.L. Grey (writing under the pseudonym Donald Black), recalled in his memoir Red dust (1931) how he took his horse, Blackboy, from camp one morning and they spent a few quiet last hours together, but then returned to camp where Blackboy joined the other horses being taken away to be shot. The only clear case of a light horseman shooting his own horse is that of Henry Bostock, who recalled the experience in his book The great ride (1982); he was detailed to work on the destruction parties and he shot his horse quite officially.

Horses shot and left in
the desert, c. 1918.
The notion that light horsemen, following Oliver Hogue?s suggestion, quietly slipped away from camp with their horse in early 1919 and then returned alone is persistent, and is one of the most often-heard stories related with the often mythologised light horse. The evidence indicates, however, that it never happened.

Cite as: Bou, Jean, ?They shot the horses ? didn?t they??, Wartime 44 (2008) 54?57

Sourced from Australian War Memorial - Wartime 44 - Fromelles (pages 54 - 56)
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Old 25-09-2010, 08:48 AM   #32
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Page 434
International Encyclopedia of Horse ... - Google Books

Acknowledges that what is being called Waler today, is not what the Men rode to war.
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Old 25-09-2010, 08:53 AM   #33
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OW!! i have popcorn stuck in the back of my throat lol anyone got any water hahahah ...

Hmmm interesting concept 'just a thought' but i am going to keep my mouth shut too lol before i cause any drama's ... i have a brumby they are the best horses but i can honestly say i wouldnt be able to rehome my brumby as he would not be suitable for the uprising numbers of begginer riders ... they are very smart horses and we have very little experienced riders that would take them on because all our experienced riders are in the showing, jumping or dressage or western areas where the brumbies breeds are of no use in these types of competitions all they would be good for is mustering or maybe a few rodeos for fun ... but many of the station owners breed their own horses to use for mustering ... I have shot brumbies and i owned two .. one that was passed on to another experienced rider who wanted to use him for the odd campdraft and rodeo and the other is with me which i just do whatever with ... i can see the difference in a feral and a good horse ... the only reason why i have a brumbie is because he was given to me and yes i fell for the he will be shot thing so i got 2 of them ... its hard because our brain and heart are two different organs that play against each other all the time ...

Whoops lol opened my mouth hahahah but couldnt help myself
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Old 25-09-2010, 09:00 AM   #34
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Sorry to everyone out there that has bought a Waler, but my honest opinion is that you have bought a feral horse that has been well marketed with romance and history and is about as far removed from the horses actually sent to the war as I am to the soldiers that rode them.

The entire reasoning for saving wild horses is again IMO fundamentally flawed.

Our wild horses are not Przewalski's Horse, they are not unique, nor special, nor of rare heritage value, they are horses of various breeds that have been allowed to breed up out of control in places where they should never and still should not be.

Just because being born in the wilds makes you then toughen up to survive doesn't make them a better horse.

If our own domestic horses where actually used rather than cosseted and worked rather than housed, fed rations rather than over fed, they would soon learn to toughen up to, or die, as is the natural order of life.

Sorry, but I can not and never will support the argument that any horse should be allowed to roam free, I don't care how many years or generations, remount station or not, the facts are that they are feral.

Natural selection is far crueler than a bullet when you have droughts, floods, disease, starvation, crippling injury, I for the sake of these animals would rather see them all humanly destroyed than left for nature to take its course.

Last edited by Sharaway; 25-09-2010 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 25-09-2010, 09:12 AM   #35
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The concept that Brumbies of today are descendants of horses used in War will always be one of debate. But what is the truth is that they are descendants of a combination of many breeds that helped shape this land.

Brumby Assoc have been developed to work with authorities and to provide an alternative to all of them being slaughtered - a very good example of this is the SE QLD Brumby Assoc who formed after many Brumbies were causing car accidents when coming in contact with traffic, these horses are now being trapped and rehomed successfully - and its also a good PR excerise for authorities when faced with this controversial issue.

Can I ask who is going to pay for the capture of these horses? The horse trapping programs are paid for by the Goverment - NPWS or equivalent in each State where trappings occur or aerial slaughter in other States.
Can I ask who is going to pay for the permanent sterilization of these horses? Currently there are no sterilisation programs taking place.
Can I ask how many 'brumbies' you think need to be saved and rehomed? As many that are currently being passively trapped - in Victoria the Vic Brumby Assoc has a very good working relationship with NPWS who are only trapping how many the Assoc can rehome which is a good option for all concerned.
Do you think these retrained 'brumbies' are going to have a market? The markert is increasing as many people are becomming aware of the positive differences Brumbies are to domestic horses.
Do you think they will compete with every other free or cheap horses in that market? As most of us know - a free horse is not always a free horse and is sometimes "free"because it has serious health or emotional issues.

To reply to the previous comment - Brumbies are being successfully shown, easily trained in dressage and one of our Brumbies recently competed against domestic horses for the first time in show jumping - coming second! They are excellent jumpers! My Brumby when first captured jumped clear out of a cattle yard - at a trot.

We have found our Brumbies to be excellent with beginners and children but we always recommend that a Brumby is to be started correctly by an experienced and gentle trainer - we always recommend celebrity horse trainer Adam Sutton for people here in the Hunter to take their Brumby for training. A Brumby from the wild is ready to bond and trust you, if mishandled that trust will always be broken.
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Old 25-09-2010, 09:32 AM   #36
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HVB, just because you can take a horse from the wild, educate it and give it a home, doesn't justify their existence.

You can apply the same argument to saving horses after a career as a race horse or a pacer.

How many blue blood bred thoroughbreds go for slaughter everyday that you could give a home to?

In the previous thread I showed how dramatically unsuccessful these rehoming programmes where.

Who pays, we all pay.
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Old 25-09-2010, 09:40 AM   #37
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Absolutely - there are many different Associations for many different causes/reasons. We are just a group of Associations that working for a different part of the horse population in this country.

Whether they are slaughtered or rehomed - unfortunately it is tax payers dollars that pay the bill. Personally Id rather my hard earned tax paying dollars going to programs such as rehoming Brumbies then some of the many other uses our Government finds our money to spend it on - but thats a whole nother issue!!!
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Old 25-09-2010, 09:42 AM   #38
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I reckon the human population is doing a far better job of rapidly destroying the 'heritage' of our Australian environment and the whole bloody planet for that matter.

When do we start culling humans?
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Old 25-09-2010, 09:52 AM   #39
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HAHA yes the planet would be much better off!!!

I'll be off the computer for a few hours but will check back later. Incase there are no more posts I would like to thank everyone on this forum for giving me the opportunity to provide another side to this issue. If we have opened the mind a little of just one person then it has certainly been worthwhile. If you have anymore questions and would like to contact me personally then please email me at info@hvba.com.au or please check out our website at hvba.com

If you are interested in meeting Brumbies and talking to their owners then look out for them at your local show - particularly in NSW and Vic and for those fortunate enough to attend Equitana in November, the Vic Brumby Assoc will have a large display. Also Adam Sutton will be competing in the Invitational Horsemanship Challenge - go Adam!!!

Thankyou again,

Kath Massey
President Hunter Valley Brumby Association
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Old 25-09-2010, 09:55 AM   #40
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Default Brumby v's Waler

From proported Waler Breeders Yarramalong Waler Stud

In thier heyday, opinions as to "what is a Waler" varied according to time and place, according to the purpose for which they were bred and the preferences of the breeder concerned.

Today, opinions as to "what was a Waler", and What is a Waler now", vary according to interpretation of historical evidence.

Our approach is to consider all available historical evidence, identify the horses which maintain those attributes common to their ancestors and which are in danger of being lost, preserve them in their offspring.

Horses purchased for military service, for example, varied according to availability and demand. The W.W.1 Artillery horse, Mounted Infantry horse, Cavalry Charger, were different types; and different again from those horses of the same catagory in the 1930s. Yet all had points in common which made them Walers; in conformation, breeding, abilities, temperament.

The term Waler was applied to horses bred in the Colony of New South Wales.

It was never limited in application to a Cavalry Charger type

The old blood and generations of hard living, deprivation and adaptation which was the Walers foundation cannot be copied or re-created today.

Yet we now have not one but to registrys trying to do exactly that.

I have a massive objection and so do many others to "Breeding" these horses, if you want to save a wild horse then go out and take one from the bush and save it.

Dont buy one that has been bred from these saved horses. How is this doing anything to save wild horses, all you have done is paid for more to be bred.

BUT, these guys I can give a little more respect to..

Emu Gully Stockhorse and Waler Stud - About Us

Heritage Stockhorse Walers
What is a Heritage Stockhorse? Firstly it is a horse that has proven heritage Australian breeding back to Australian born horses circa 1870 - 1930 (or earlier) - the same era as the Waler horses sent overseas as remounts for the Australian Light Horse. Secondly the horse must have NO Quarter Horse or any other modern breeds not in existence in Australia in the Waler era. Effectively this means a full pedigree of at least 50 years to rule out any Quarter Horse (first imported into Australia in 1954) as any unknowns may possibly be Quarter Horse.

The Heritage Stockhorse traces back to those horses that helped establish our country in the early days of Australia's colonisation - the explorers, the farmers, the stockmen moving cattle for thousands of miles - an era when horses were essential for work, transport and pleasure. While these heritage horses owe a lot to the Thoroughbred, they may also have pony, Arab or sometimes a little of the heavier breeds such as Suffolk Punch, Cleveland Bay etc and generally go back on the dam line to "station mares".

What is the connection between Heritage Stockhorses and Walers? A.T. Yarwood in his book Walers, Australian Horses Abroad, 1989, said "In essence, the Waler was an Australian horse abroad, working chiefly in the countries washed by the Indian Ocean, though also in the Middle East and Asia. Initially, it was a horse bred in New South Wales and imported to India for military, sporting or domestic purposes, and the term remained current there for nearly a century, applying soon to all Australian horses." (Yarwood page 16). However in the 1800?s and early 1900?s, the term Waler was not used for horses in Australia; instead here they were called "remounts" or stockhorses. Originally, being a Waler only meant the horse came from Australia, so there were many types of Walers, depending on what they were used for. Yarwood stated that, ?like the Man From Snowy River?s horse, a Waler was typically ?three parts thoroughbred at least?, with the origin of the fourth element depending on its intended field of service.? (Yarwood p.17). Of course there were some very heavy horses used as artillery horses, but Yarwood is describing the typical horse used by our mounted infantry in the Boer War and WWI - it is this "remount" type most of us immediately think of when the word Waler is mentioned. These horses that are an integral part of our proud ANZAC history, essentially were the original Australian stockhorse.

Today the term Waler refers to those horses that are descended from the same horses as those sent overseas as ?Walers?, with no new breeds introduced since that time - and clearly heritage stockhorses fit this criteria - hence our stud name, "Emu Gully Heritage Stockhorse Waler Stud".

Our horses are all registered Australian Stockhorses as we believe this society (ASHS) has preserved and recorded the Waler bloodlines from the past. There are still families living on properties that have been in the same family since the 1800?s, breeding the same type of horses as their great grandparents did, that have maintained detailed stud records, and many of our horses go back to such stations like Bloomfield, Scrumlo, Thornthwaite etc. While not all ASHS horses are "heritage" due to the inclusion of Quarter Horse bloodlines; because our horses have known pedigrees, we can determine exactly what bloodlines are, and more importantly are not, in our horses. With these detailed pedigrees, links to known remount sires such as Tester, Gibbergunyah, Saladin, Jack and Bruce can be traced (See our History page for more information on these horses).

Our Horses
The combination of the Anzac theme of Emu Gully's Adventure Education, together with the family?s involvement in the Australian Light Horse (a WWI military re-enactment group) and love for horses was the basis for deciding the best secondary use for the properties was the development of a Heritage Horse Waler stud.

The family is passionately committed to keeping our Anzac Heritage alive, and the Australian Heritage Stockhorse Waler fits perfectly into the picture.

Currently in August 2009, we have 46 horses including 16 brood mares, with plans to increase the number of brood mares over the next 5 years. (See our Stallion, Brood mare and Foal pages for photos of our horses).
Our horses are all "Stock Horse Walers" and are from carefully researched old bloodlines with full breeding records for at least the last 50 years and have proven links back to the horses that went to war. Our horses have very old Arabian, Welsh, Cleveland Bay, Suffolk Punch, pony and Thoroughbred bloodlines from early last century and have been sourced from the Eastern states ie the area that was called New South Wales before Victoria and Qld became states in their own right. (91% of all Walers exported between 1860 and 1931 were from the Eastern states - our bloodlines go back to these horses. Yarwood, 1989, "Walers: Australian Horses Abroad")

Note: Emu Gully Heritage Stockhorse Waler Stud is not affiliated with either the WHSA or WHOBAA as both these breed societies now only register "Outback Walers" (horses rescued from outback stations in WA, SA and NT and descendants of these horses), and neither group will now register domestically bred registered Australian Stock Horses. Therefore our horses and their progeny are no longer eligible for registration with either Waler group (5 mares and one stallion were registered with the WHSA before they changed their criteria).

(these guys have their heads screwed on right)

Which then goes to my final comment on Walers, if you want one buy a Stockhorse with the above bloodlines, from reputable people like these.

Dont think that when you buy a horse that has been rounded up of a station that you have bought a Waler.

A few examples don't prove the norm, the stats show that from every round up not all horses where re homed, some where even released back for future study.

HVB taking your brumby to all who will come and see to raise awareness for the Brumby plight only further adds to the romanticized argument that these horses should be saved just because you might be able to save one like yours.

But they are NOT all like yours are they?

They can not all be saved.

There already are far to many of them now, breeding unsustainably right now, doing long term damage to the bush right now.

This us why the Government is doing the responsible thing and culling out as many as they can right now. Not leaving it to be debated until we are blue in the face with it.

The honest truth is that no matter what your opinion is, what view, believe etc, the Government, land owners, etc, have to clear these horses, and it will be done as quickly, cheaply, and humanely as possible.
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