Perhaps made most famous by one scene in The Man from Snowy River in which an Australian Stock Horse and his rider plunge down the side of a mountain. These horses are quick, tough and strong and owe some of that to their brumby blood.
Developed over time from the original Australian horse breed the Whaler, the Australian stock horse’s original bloodlines came from the South African Cape and arrived on the Australian continent in 1788.
Heavy Thoroughbred influence with traces of Percheron and Quarter Horse blood give this stock horse versatility and strength.
History dates back to the early 19th century when the first settlers arrived and brought horses and ponies with them to work the land. By the early 20th century the crossbreeding of the imported horses had created many solid pony types.
Main initial contributors to the Australian Pony are English Thoroughbred, Hackneys, Welsh Mountain and Cob type, Arabian, Timor, Hungarian and Exmoor ponies.
In 1931 the Australian Pony Stud Book Society was formed to establish and document a standard of type. The stud book contains the records of many different pony breeds and the Australian pony section encompassed the British mountain and Moorland pony breeds along with stock bred in Australia.
Average height 11 – 14 hands Action is smooth and free
Head should be alert with a flat forehead Neck is slightly crested, long and fine Back is strong with a deep girth Tail is well-set and carried high Legs are strong and fine with well-shaped joints Hooves are strong and neat
Work horse Riding horse Agriculture work Show horse
Since horses were brought to Australia they have become an integral part of the existence there. Wild Brumbies run freely in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Northwestern Australia.
The first horses arrived in Australia in 1788, having to come by long boat journey meant that only the strongest animals made the journey. That coupled with the dry and inhospitable climate in which they live makes the Australian Brumby a tough animal able to survive in drought conditions.
The stock that feeds the brumby herds were used as war mounts during both of the World Wars. Today these herds face slaughter in increasing numbers because many consider them a scourge that cause environmental damage.
Average height 12 – 16.2 hands Generally small animals
Varies from animal to animal but should be of riding type Head is large and balanced Short, strong back Solid and sound feet