Have a Waler of a time at Ebor this Australia Day

Erica Jessup (front) and Halie Halloran with Waler, Miss Wonga. PHOTO: Debrah Novak
Erica Jessup (front) and Halie Halloran with Waler, Miss Wonga. PHOTO: Debrah Novak

LOOKING for something different to do on Australia Day weekend other than a barbie, hit a ball or hang at the beach?

Beneath contemporary Aussie culture is a legacy left by our pioneer forebears 150 years ago.

It is the often little-known story of the establishing of a new horse breed that laid the foundation for our horse industry.

It didn't take long for early pioneer settlers to realise their valuable horse imports weren't suitable for the harsh living, working and exploring conditions across the Australian landscape, including the wilderness of the Clarence catchment.

Do you remember Banjo Paterson's iconic poem, The Man From Snowy River or the famous Australian Lighthorse charge at the Battle of Beersheba in the First World War? The horses in these stories are Walers.

The Guy Fawkes River National Park has had a Waler population since the 1870s and a decade ago a number of local farmers and horse people recognised the historical value of these wild horses and established the Guy Fawkes Heritage Horse Association.

The GFHHA will hold an open day on Sunday, January 27 so visitors can learn about and even buy a registered Waler.

National Parks will be available for questions and Digby Foster will demonstrate horse handling.

Morning tea and lunch provided; cost is $5 (kids free), venue is 1378 Guyra Rd, Ebor.

Gates open 9.30am, bookings essential for catering.

Make sure you pick up our Australia Day special edition of DEX with a two-page feature on these stunning animals.

Topics:  australia day guy fawkes heritage horse association open day

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