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Breed History

A proud history that has made the Australian Stock Horse

'the breed for today and tomorrow'

Early History

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.

Military Contribution

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.

Modern Role

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'.