Who We Are
The Society aims to preserve and promote the bloodlines of the Australian Stock Horse, recognised for its versatility and superior performance amongst work and leisure breeds. We are proud of where we have come from and use it as the solid foundation for where we are going.
History of the Breed
A proud history that has made the Australian Stock Horse 'the breed for today and tomorrow'.
The breed began with the arrival of horses with the First Fleet to Australia in 1788. Originally these were of English Thoroughbred and Spanish stock, then later Arabs and Timor and Welsh Mountain ponies were imported. Horses for the Colony needed strength and stamina to survive the long sea journey and to work in the untamed environment of their new home. Over time, weak horses were culled to breed sturdy, saddle horses required by explorers, stockmen, settlers, bushrangers and troopers. Despite the mixed origins, these horses developed into a strong and handsome type, which was eventually called the Waler after the Colony of New South Wales.
The hardiness of the Walers made them a natural and often preferred mount for the cavalry. Almost 400,000 horses were exported beginning in the 1850s to serve overseas troops. Initially they were used by British troops during the Indian Mutiny; then in South Africa they served in the Boer War and finally they were supplied during World War 1.
At the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics the Australian Stock Horse took centre stage and billions of TV viewers learned the remarkable history of this living Icon. The Sydney Olympics fuelled a dream to develop the sport potential for the Australian Stock Horse so that horse lovers in other countries can enjoy 'The breed for every need'.
Like to learn more about this living Australian icon?
Click here for full details of Breed ancestry, the evolution of the breed and the versatility of the Australian Stock Horse.
Formation of the Society
After the First World War, despite the recognition Australian Horses had won and, although the Waler was known as a distinctive type, there was no Stud Book or Registry. Mechanisation of primary industries reduced the need for working horses and it was not until the 1960s that an interest in horses was revived due to the increasing leisure time available to society.
Mr Alex Braid, of Wellington, invited Mr John Kenneth Mackay, from Dungog, to chair the Inaugural Meeting on the 28th April 1971 at the Cole Dudgeon Hall, Sydney. Mr Herbert Griffith, of Scone, and Alex Braid gathered together a group of enthusiasts to discuss the formation of the Society at the Inaugural meeting. Ken Mackay's opening address spoke of the Waler as in the Boer War and the 1914 - 1918 war as well as Stock Horses in general.
On the 15th June 1971, a General Meeting was called at the Tamworth RSL Club to launch The Australian Stock Horse Society. At last our home-bred horses were given the recognition and formal organisation they deserved. Approximately one hundred people gathered at the meeting where Office Bearers and a Management Council were elected.
Click here to read more about the Formation of the Society.
For practical guidelines for the application of the ASHS Brand Identity, click here to download our Corporate Style Guide.
The Society Brandmark consolidates and modernises the trusted image of The Australian Stock Horse Society, both as an organisation and as a brand. Central to the corporate image is the A brand which was originally designed in 1971. This brand may be applied only to horses accepted into the Society's Stud Book.
Our Brand Identity positions the Society as a progressive organisation but with strong values built over forty years of hard work.
In 2004 Australian Stock Horse International was formed as the business development arm of the Society. The particular focus of this area is to service the international demand for Australian Stock Horses and a brandmark was developed to be used in conjunction with the existing Society emblems.
In 2006 The Board of Directors approved the official flag in keeping with the original version. The Board provided a new flag for all Branches and Management Councils of the Society to commemorate the 35th Anniversary of the Society in 2006.
The official Australian Stock Horse Society Flag is pictured below.
Click here to read more about the development of our Corporate Identity (33KB PDF file).